Monday, September 16, 2013

when children talk about suffering

As I tucked him in bed the other night, Boy 1 reassured me that he understood,

"It's kind of good that Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. Otherwise, everyone would have starved in the famine."

I looked into the face of this nine year old boy, grappling with the topic of suffering and injustice in the world. Some souls seem to be born ready for the hard places.

I sat on the edge of his bed and smiled at his freckled face and earnest blue eyes.

"It's true that God used what was meant for evil to bring about something good. But I think if Joseph's brothers had chosen to do what was right, God would would have found another way to save everyone."

Then I put this key into the door of grace for my son's heart, and I hoped he would open it up and really understand:

"The story of Joseph teaches us that no human mess is beyond God's sovereign, healing hand."

This is what I want all my children to know best of all: that the gospel never leaves us without hope.

I have heard the gospel twisted into a strange kind of backhanded good news. Just last week I heard a man say that evil exists so that God can do good things.

No.

God is and was and will always be love and light with this great purpose on earth: so that evil will not win in the end.

I sat there on Boy 1's bed and wished we could offer our children a less complicated world.

I wish it were a world where older brothers always lift younger brothers up instead of selling them down the river.

The best I can do though, is offer them a mama who will love them no matter what and tell them that God loves them even more than I do.

I held Boy 1 and wished him sweet dreams. Life suddenly overflowed with good things.

I kissed his face and felt reassured that we both understand the most important thing: love will win in the end.



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