Recently, some majorly bad decisions, which did not match up with the apparent character of a person very dear to our family, were revealed. In shocked disbelief, questions poured out. Nothing made sense about any of the information we learned because all things we were hearing were polar-opposite to the person we thought we knew. The more uncovering that happened, though, the more we realized what was being said was true.
How could it be that such a seemingly upright person could let so many people down? What could we do with all the life lessons this individual had imparted in our own lives when it turned out that the teacher was a fraud?
The truth is, the questions are still circulating in our minds. We want to know how, we want to know why, we want to know when, we want to know to where, we want to know how long, we want to know to what extent. But we don’t have full answers to any of our questions. We may never get those answers, not even in Heaven, because by that point God will guard us from all the pain the answers could bring and already did bring.
For us and for everyone, we have a standard of truth that does not change, even when earthly heroes are found fallen: God’s Word.
Moving forward through such a catastrophe is hard. Personally, when I try to rank this catastrophe categorically in the section of “Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Been Through,” I don’t know where to put it exactly between the death of my dad, the loss of our first child, the loss of my husband’s job a few years ago, etc. I think what I chalk this particular hardship up to in terms of labeling is that it’s just plain hard and will take years to recover from. There’s no simplicity to this journey. There is so much learning, so much forgiving, so much repentance, so much financial recovery, so many emotional and mental wounds to be had, that yes, yes, it will take years to heal from this. One person’s sin does not stay at the tip of their nose. No, it reaches much further and impacts not only the ones closest to themselves, but also those in far reaching circles because of the massive ripple effect that happens when one casts the first decision for wrong living into the sea of influence they have.
So what do you do when you don’t have definitive answers for the rest of your earthly days? How do you cope when a life you thought to be true turns out to be a sham? When people let you down that you have always depended on, where do you find solace, comfort, and wisdom?
The Word that became flesh…that’s who you turn to.
I’ve watched two people that I love very dearly die. And do you know what’s interesting about both my Daddy’s death and my Mimi’s death? Both moved their lips to the simplest childhood Bible song a day or two before each of their last breaths: Jesus Loves Me.
For my dad, “Uncle” George “Bev”erly Shea sang those simple, sacred words to him, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus Loves me, Yes, Jesus Loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.” My dad nodded his head in agreement and mouthed the words from his cancer-dried lips, “Yes.”
Then with Mimi, my oldest niece joined my cousin in singing the children’s chorus to her by her bedside. With a respiratory tube down her throat, Mimi mouthed the words along with them as her eyes smiled back to the third and fourth generations that she had helped teach the truth of those words to.
What I observed with both of these musical confessions was this: there were no definitive answers to any of the rest of their earthly days, but the answer for all of their glory days was right there without any sort of a wait: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
And that brought peace in the midst of uncertainty.
You may be going through an awful ordeal like we are. You may not be able to see further than the minute you are in. You may be asking all sorts of questions, but not be getting all the answers you’d like. You may wonder if there is any more trust your heart can extend after being so devastated by someone who showed they were in fact, untrustworthy.
If this is where you are, my friend, might I suggest a simple, yet bold action?
Pick up God’s Word and read it.
And on the days, where it really doesn’t feel like you’ve got hope or you wonder how a loving God could allow you to walk through such hard times, read the truth, let it marinate all over your crushed heart, and ask God to help you embrace it.
As my mom said on the hardest days of grief while losing my dad, “Sometimes the only way I know that God loves me is because it’s written in red in my Bible.”
If you are intentional, you’ll notice more than what’s written in red and see that it’s written alive all around you as you experience the deep love of God through His Son, Jesus, and the presence of His Holy Spirit.
You’ll find that you’re not alone, you’re not forgotten, and you’re not abandoned.
God is with you. God remembers you. God sees you. God hears you. God cares for you.
God provides for you. God remains with you. God loves you. God tells you the truth.
God is Truth.
When so much of what you knew turns out to be a lie, lean harder than you ever have into the One who is the Truth.
Pick up the message of His voice, and let that be what you use to move and navigate through all the uncertainties of your earthly days as you move toward the certainty of your glory days.
Fill your mind with Truth.
Meditate on it day and night.
And if the lies that have penetrated your world get too loud for you to hear the truth, sing your confession, growing child. Sing it with your heart or sing it with your lips:
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.
If all you can see is the hurt, look a bit further for the Healer. He loves you. Yes, Jesus loves you.
When you don’t know anything else for sure, you can know one thing for sure:
Jesus loves you, because the Bible tells you so.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9