The Question we are Afraid to Ask

This post touches on a question we don’t want to think about.  Yet life will certainly bring circumstances that force us to face it.  It is a question that troubled me for a year after my granddaughter got lost in the Colorado mountain wilderness.

In my book fully alive I interviewed people who had faced unthinkable loss, and had to struggle with this question.  Their stories were agonizingly honest, sad and powerfully inspiring.

The question:

If tragedy were to strike close to home,  you lost your family or a child,  could you still believe that God is a good God? Could you still encourage other people to trust him?   I am sure some of you have had to face this dilemma. Regardless of your answer, I would like to hear from you.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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75 thoughts on “The Question we are Afraid to Ask

  1. I think it’s an incredibly selfish thing, to be honest, to have more issue with the idea of God taking YOUR family, than all the other millions of families that are torn apart every day.

    If the death of loved ones makes God evil, then God’s been evil long before your family goes.

    • Ryan, So true but much harder to hang on to when tragedy strikes home. When people are swimming in personal grief doubt will often raise it’s head. I can’t condemn those that doubt only pray that God’s love will overwhelm them with the truth that “All things work together for good, to those that love him and are called according to his purpose.
      Ken

  2. Yes, having been in therapy for almost 10 yrs., I know without a doubt that God is good, just, & fair. What we think of as unfair will be revealed to us when we get to Heaven. like seeing a quilt. While we are in this world, it just looks like a tangled mess, but in Heaven it will be a quilt that is beautiful beyond our wildest dreams. As a daughter of the King aka a “princess”, I look forward to seeing Him face to face!

  3. I think we are sometimes afraid to ask, “God, are you really there?” We see situations unfold that have no explanation. There is no way to understand what is happening. We get angry at others, angry at God, angry at ourselves, and have enough anger left over to perform acts of road rage.

    Yet, God is there and His love is unquestioned. He is big enough to accept our questions, strong enough to love us through our doubt, and powerful enough to bring us through the situation in a way that allows us the privilege of encouraging others. Only God can take all of our negativity and turn it into something good.

    • Terry,

      I love the grace that shines through in your answer. Our limited knowledge may cause us to doubt on occasion. But faith is not the absence of doubt, it is moving forward in the face of doubt. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

      Ken

  4. “If tragedy were to strike close to home, you lost your family or a child, could you still believe that God is a good God? Could you still encourage other people to trust Him?”

    In 2007 I had these questions answered in my life. You can read our story at http://www.ourpreciousones.blogspot.com in the 2006-2007 archives. I no longer write here and have moved to a new blog.

    But, my long story short. In June 2006 I held my 3 month old baby girl (one of my identical twins) as she took her final breaths. One her gravestone we have written. From her Mother’s Arms – Into the Lord’s. That in itself is a tragedy no mother wants to face…….God brought me though it……ACTUALLY I was still deep in the grieving process when ONLY 10 MONTHS later my MOM passed away. I am thankful she was a Christian and I know I will see her again…..but it doesn’t make it hurt less……my mom was my best friend…. She lived 3 hours away and I had gone “home” to take care of the her house and funeral. I was 3 months pregnant at the time. After 9 days I came back home to finally rest and try to process it all. THAT SAME DAY I got a call……it was a police officer trying to find my house…..but a family member HAS just called.I knew shy he was looking for us so I told him not to bother…..He was coming to inform me that my DAD had passed away ( my parents were divorced and their deaths were not related)

    You want to talk about a time when you question God. I was there!!!!! My child, mom and dad in a 10 month time span. Humanly, I was crushed……. But, God is God. He gives and He can allow people to be taken away. I was raised by a wonderful believing Mom so my faith was grounded at a young age. I knew to trust in the dark what I knew to be truth in the light.

    It’s not easy and I won’t say I haven’t struggled…….but I can testify I STILL trust Him and would encourage other’s to do the same. I gave my life to Christ at a young age. I am thankful for that. His grace holds me together.

    • Amy,

      Your story inspired me deeply. It is those who have walked though the valley that can speak with the most authority about what it is like to be there. Your honesty is so refreshing. It makes the grace of God shimmer with hope. Thank you Amy.

      Ken

  5. While I have not lost a child or family member, I have had my fair share of hardship. I grew up with and abusive father, had an eating disorder for over a decade and am currently unemployed and receiving food stamps. I have never doubted that God is good. If anything, I am more sure that God is good. I see the world as much darker and more painful than I did when I was younger though. I believe that God can use all things for good and bring restoration, but I think that some of these things will not occur on this side of heaven. I am more ready than ever to be with Jesus and can’t wait to be able to go home someday.

  6. Did face this in 1999. My wife of 25 years died following surgery for a brain tumor. There was another factor, however, that contributed to our ability to hold closely to our faith. She had been diagnosed about 3 years prior to the tumor with MS. That diagnosis presented us with the opportunity to face the potential for death, the questions that would surround death and the certainty of our faith as it surrounded our conversations and daily dealings with first the debilitating nature of MS and then the tumor when it was discovered.
    We talked about everything from the practical side of how would our quad level house work once a wheel chair joined the family furniture to “you know it’s okay to remarry should this be the end… but don’t marry Kathy or Melody” 🙂 (That was the conversation)
    Her great spirit also added so much comfort and strength to my ability to push through the pain. The day after she died to find the words “no regrets” written in her hand and dated the Sunday before she died at first about blew me away… and then settled into the deepest part of my soul for reassurance and confidence in God’s role in my future… and his presence in hers.

  7. I have just been pondering this quote from Bill Johnson:

    “The difficulties in our lives expose the degree to which we really believe that God is for us and that His words about our destiny are true.”

    My life is rough and unfair right now, but I know that this is not my true home.

    • Heidi,

      You are so right. It is easy to give allegiance to faith in God when times are good. Much more difficult when we are walking through the fire.

      James:1 Instructs us to consider it joy when trials and temptations come our way, because God uses those to strengthen our faith.

      Not easy to do, but a life changer if we are willing to believe it and act on it.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Ken

  8. So I read your post and your question and I sit here and ponder exactly what to reply because I DO have a reply but not sure how to phrase it. It’s like writing a book huh! God is real, God is good, He is my rock and my salvation and I will NEVER forget that even through the tragic lost of a teenage son! He showed me that my son is safe with Him in His everlasting Heaven and that’s exactly where I want to be someday also! Two days after my son died, I awoke to an amazing touch that felt like a feather – maybe a wing – when I was fully covered but still felt the touch! He also sent us an eagle several times, and I truly believe he is letting my son send us quarters in the least expected places! I could go on and on and on and also wanted to write a book but in the meantime, I can share through typing and word of mouth that I will never lose sight of the fact that God is real, and He is with me at all times! ♥

  9. I used to think that I knew without a doubt, the answer to that question. Then……I was suddenly living my worst nightmare. My husband was killed in a horrific accident on his way to work one morning. Because I went into a rather deep shock within a few hours of being told of the accident and there were so many details still surfacing and decisions that I was somewhat unprepared for to be made…….my mind was a blur. The person that always helped to shoulder me through the storms of our lives was suddenly not there to help me keep my focus on God. For the first time in my adult life I had to face my nightmare alone. I always thought my faith was strong…..but when the test came and was so unbelievably intense I feel as though I failed. I was in such deep shock I could hardly speak or carry on any conversation for a couple of weeks. Praying and talking with God like I had done prior to the accident became suspended for a period of time. Very slowly, I began to be able to talk to Him again and then to pray. I had a tremendous amount of “Why” to work through with Him and I was determined throughout my journey that I was not going to be angry. Anger was not going to bring my precious husband back and I didn’t need the bitterness taking up room in my life.
    Now,……. almost 2 years later, I can say that yes, God is good. Now I walk with Him throughout the day……everyday! I know that my human mind will never be able to comprehend the answers to the “why” questions that I had but, I do know that if they are still important to me when I see my Father one day, I’ll ask him then. The Lord brought my husband and I together for a wonderful 34 years. None of us know when He is going to call us home. We should all live each day as if it could be our last day here on earth.

    • Beverly,

      Thank you for sharing your heart. It is so easy for people to give quick answers when they have not faced this kind of grief. I am sorry for your pain but so grateful that you have found God faithful. Your story touched me deeply. Thank you again.

      Ken

  10. I have seen this happen to those I care about. One person struggles and is miserable. One person gives it to God daily and is full of joy. So even though I know emotionally I would have a hard time if I lost a child or grandchild (I have 3 of each and love them deeply) I know that life would go on and I would be okay spiritually. God always knows so much better than we do, and the “end’ is not the end for those who love the Lord. So I would still speak of the love of God and still trust him. My biggest worry is for my one unsaved son. I pray that before God allows his earthly life to come to an end, he would see to it that he is saved first. Ultimately this is not home and ‘our’ kids are really God’s & he loves them more than we can even imagine. So yes, I’d still believe God is good, and still trust Him. His ways are higher than ours, so while I might want my loved ones to live with me forever, the forever after is more important.

    • Cathy,

      Love your statement near the end of your comment. His ways are higher than mine. What a day it will be when we see what he had in mind and understand the full extent of his love.

      Ken

  11. Having never been there I can not say for sure. But last year I lost two of my best friends, one slow, the other quick/tragic. I have to beleive that God is good to get through it.

  12. Dear Ken
    I am 60. My Father has gotten me through countless scrapes,scares and tear filled sleepless nights and met many of my wants and needs. I have seen so much of his goodness, I would like to say of course, I would never deny Him. (I think Peter felt the same way.) But I have also seen my own fear, and read enough of the bible that I need to answer your Question…this way…If tragedy were to strike close to my home, if I lost a family member or a child, could I still believe that God is a good God? Could I still encourage other people to trust him?
    The only way I could still trust him and encourage others to also is if the Holy Spirit will do It for me.

    • Mrs Halmos,

      You comment speaks to the important point of keeping our faith strong. To every life comes a storm. The faith we build today in the sunshine is the faith that will sustain us in that storm. Thank you for your comment.

      Ken

  13. Of course I would still believe God is good. Without a doubt. Tragedy will happen, we are tested beyond belief in so many areas within our lives and will push us to the limit. We must have faith and know that we all have a purpose given to us by God……even if that means we are to die early. Some tragedy’s help others learn, grow, and even save lives. If we never dropped a big rock on our foot how would we know it hurts?

    Who ever said death is a bad thing anyway? Isn’t it only a tragedy to the living? What do we know? It may be sad to the living, but I cant help but think it is liberating to those who pass on.

  14. When I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at 22, the doctors told me I could only have 2 months to live if the cancer returned. I was forced from a very young age to come face to face with what I believed about God and build my response to these circumstances around that belief system. Since then, I’ve struggled through more cancer and child loss, yet kept the same perspective of who God is.

    I strongly believe the way we view God determines how we view our trials. If in our eyes, God is a cosmic-killjoy, we will see our trials as a form of punishment. However, if we see God as a loving, merciful, caring Father, we are more likely to recognize our trials are breaking HIS heart just as much as they are breaking ours.

  15. I lost my dad 5 years ago. I remember crying out to God while my dad was in the hospital, heavily sedated. I didn’t know if my dad had a relationship with the Lord and my prayer was, “Jesus, if daddy knows you, please take him home. If not, please let him stay long enough to make You his king.”

    God let me know without a doubt that my dad was right where he needed to be. It was through two dreams and leading me to scripture (Romans chapter 6 – the title: “Dead to sin, Alive in Christ”) that our precious Father in heaven gave me the strength to let go of my dad. It also absolutely solidified my faith in Jesus Christ.

    So, in answer to your question, yes, God is a good God no matter what. People may do terrible things, but God is good, wonderful, loving, perfect, amazing, and every other good adjective you can think of. There is no other kind of love.

    Great question Ken! Thank you and God Bless You!

  16. I just lost a niece that I was very close to. She had turned her life around was a single mom and was getting her degree in counseling. She was hit by a guy driving a huge truck, passing in a no passing zone. She left an 8 year old daughter that had clinical hyper activity. The daughter went to the dad that had been a drug addict and he too had issues.

    She left a big hole. A memorial was erected in her name at her place of work. She touched many lives for the good.

    I asked God many times, why? I don’t have the answer, but I know and trust God that for whatever reason, it was her time to go.

    Nevertheless, it was very tough to lose her. We were very close and I was her biggest cheerleader. I miss Dawn very much.

    • Jerri,

      Grief is certainly not the result of a lack of faith. In the midst of grief we hang on to the hope in Christ. That is faith. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for commenting.

      Ken

  17. If a family or child perished, God would be the only life raft I have to cling to. I need to believe I WILL see my loved ones again and who else but God can promise that. Also the need to strike out in anger, in frustration, in deep pain, again, who else could understand that, accept it, and never hold it against me except God. In my darkest moments, in my weakest moments, there is always one voice that speaks to me quietly with comfort. It does not mean that I don’t feel and I don’t dispair: it means I believe there is more…more to come…more to be…more life beyond my own.

    • Pat,

      “It does not mean that I don’t feel and I don’t dispair: it means I believe there is more…more to come…more to be…more life beyond my own.” I am hanging on to that. Thank you for your comment.

      Ken

  18. I have thought about that, if I could emotionally & spiritually handle it. My Mom, my 2 boys, my sisters. One sister in particular that Im worried for her relationship with the Lord. I lost my Grandma a few years ago. My grandma lived with me before she got sick. My Mom was a single mom of 3 girls. She worked 12 hr shifts, we didnt see her much; when we werent taking care of our selves (me being the oldest) Grandma was there. So she was my “mom” as well. When she past……I was lost; even though I have/had a good job & a single mom of my own kids, I had been taking care of myself for quite a few years by then. It was a blow to the gut, knocked the breath right out of me. I struggled with it for a long time. Still do at times. So when I think of loosing one of my boys….Ive heard of these little ones getting cancer & all kinds of horrible things….it scares me to death. I also think of them if something happens to me. How will I feel towards God? I really cant say. I pray all the time, God keep me from that giving up on you thing, because you didnt give up on me. Please dont let me fall away. In Jesus name.

  19. I can only speak for the perspective of someone who has lost a baby during pregnancy–2 in my case. It’s the most heart breaking, horrible thing I have ever dealt with in my life and I’ve been through many trials. This month marks the 11th anniversary of losing my first daughter (my first child) and Sept. marks the 5th year of losing my 2nd daughter. I am writing this as a mom–this is not to diminish the thoughts, feelings, and struggles that my spouse felt at the time. I just cannot speak for another.

    I lost my first daughter as a result of a ruptured tubal pregnancy very early on in that pregnancy. I only know that it was a girl because of a dream I had the night before. I know that God have me that dream to comfort me during that time. I had been trying to conceive for roughly 4 years and was devastated when it abruptly ended. It took a lot of searching for God afterwards because of my hurt and anger. I wasn’t angry at God–but angry at the circumstances and that my dream of being a mother ended (or so I thought). I didn’t understand why I was going through it all.

    When my 2nd daughter died–I was 5 months pregnant. She had been diagnosed with a terminal birth defect called Trisomy 18. It is a terminal birth defect if the child is a “full” Trisomy baby. There are different degrees of it–ie Rick Santorum’s daughter, Ella. Most (full T18 babies) do not survive the pregnancy and those that do usually die within the 1st year. Only a handful have lived to see their second birthday.

    We knew that she had a omephalocele (several of her organs where formed in the umbilical cord) very early on in the pregnancy. That is correctable once the baby is born. But her heart defect was too great for her to survive. Instead of 4 chambers of the heart–she only had 2. She had stopped growing and her heart was failing. Once again I was devastated.

    I was not walking close to God when my 2nd daughter crossed. I was not living a life dedicated to Him. No–I don’t believe that God brought that into my life because I failed Him. I believe that every child is a blessing and He gives them to us. But I believe that we live in a fallen world where bad things happen–even to good people who serve God with their whole hearts.

    But I truly believe and KNOW that God will use the things that hurt the most to bring good into our lives. He will turn our anguish into joy. He will allow certain things to happen so that we can show others who are walking that same road–His love and mercy. God is still God. No matter what we face–He still sits on the throne and loves us beyond belief.

    While I still long to see my daughters–I know that they are safe, happy, and whole. They will never face the heartache or corruption of this life. They are in the arms of Jesus. They are waiting for me to return home.

    While the pain was unbearable at times, it does lesson. I have returned to Christ. I have discovered the God who loves me and knows everything about me–and STILL loves me. Had I not walked that path–I wouldn’t be the person I am today. So, despite the pain, I’m thankful.

    I’m thankful that I have been put in a position to touch others and share my experiences. I cry with them, my heart breaks with them, but I have something they don’t have at this moment in their life. I give them hope because He gave it to me. I’m just a vessel for His glory and I pass it on to the best of my ability.

    If someone has lost a child in pregnancy–I highly encourage you to listen to “Glory Baby” by Watermark. It helped me greatly during that time. It might do the same for others. It was a song written (and sung) by a couple who know that path all too well.

    I have faced those moments when all I could do was cry. I have been angry. I have been heartbroken. I have had moments when all I wanted to do was die because I just wanted the pain to stop. But God loved me and understood. He’s bigger than anything we face and He can handle our questions and human emotions. He gave them to us. Remember–He chose us before the world was formed.

    He will pull you through. He will ease your heartache. He will be your comforter. He is God. And He loves you. When you seek God–He will be found. He knows the plans He has for you. Nothing surprises Him. His arm is not too short nor Hi ear too dull to hear. Trust Him. Throw everything at Him and then be still and know that God is still God.

    Thanks for letting me share a little of my story…

  20. Ken,
    You pretty much know my story 2 strokes before I was a year old, multiple surgeries, seeing my wife die 1 month before her 36th birthday,chronic pain, additional strokes and then dementia all before I turned 50.

    You sldo know that I’d be lying if I said my faith has never been tested. When you are affraid to sleep because you know that when you awaken your pain will be worse the the previous day you do start to doubt. I will say that there have been times that the pain was so great that I believed that hell had to be easier that what I was going through, then, a miracle happens. I found a doctor who was able to finally make the pain manageable. I was then able to go cold turkey from the narcotics that I had been taking for 14 years, and tghisd was done with no withdrawal symptoms. That is when my faith grew strong enough to live through the life altering stroke while deer hunting in 2006, yes as a man I stayed in the blind for 3 days following the stwroke, and then the subsequent diagnosis of dementia. With faith the last 6 years heve been a cake walk even when compared to the earlier days of good health and living the american dream. Ad you know God has given me the unnusual job of showing people that life and laughter goes on even though there may be hardship. As I tell people if you keep your heart pointed to God, nothing that happens on earth is ever really bad. It’s only bad when you lose you vision.

    Today’s smell is picante sauce. The whole kitchen smells like picante sauce, with a smell like that today looks like a good day.

      • As you can tell either someone moved all the keys on my keyboard AGAIN. Or my eyes, brain and typing hand weren’t talking to each other, again.

  21. God is good, all the time. I have no doubt.

    Even though my large family of ten children lost our father when the oldest sibling was sixteen and the youngest was four years old. (I was seven.) Even when my son was born with severe congenital birth defects. Even when my nephew chose to take his own life. Even when my two sisters battled breast cancer.

    God is the maker of heaven and earth. There is no evil in Him.

    Once I really understood the fall of man and comparative unconditional love of God, I never doubted He is and always has been good.

    After all He sent His son to teach us about love and grace and freedom under the blood of the cross.. Where would I be without my good God?

  22. A couple years ago I fought hard with this topic. I finally had to realize that there are no easy answers in Christianity or in Science for life and all that happens. There is an awful lot we don’t know and probably will never know until we can sit down face to face with God and let Him explain. It’s perfectly normal to have doubts at times. Even Thomas doubted if Jesus was who He said He was and he had the advantage of being taught by Jesus and also being told of Jesus’ death and resurrection before it happened.

    When the doubts and questions come my way, I remind myself of the various non-Biblical accounts and records of a man named Jesus who walked this earth and had a very profound effect on people. There obviously was a man who had such an impact that many people wrote of him. I take those account and put them with what the Bible says about Jesus and God the Father. I see a God who has been putting up with our bad behavior, leaving Him for various idols, and causing Him to regret He ever made us. Yet He never completely killed us off and to top it off, He sent His son down to be killed by us so that His death would cover our since. That’s what I hang on to for proof of a loving God.

    However, there will always be someone who can poke holes in my proof, and I still don’t understand why He continues to let us remain on a world contaminated with sin and suffering. That’s when I realized that I have to just choose to believe. It’s my choice. And in choosing to believe I have to have a simple childlike trust in Him and the way He runs things. I have to let go of control and let go of my need for answers to everything and just trust. After all, what else is there to do? Be angry, frustrated, and without hope? That just makes things worse. I choose to trust, give in to His plan, and have hope for a brighter future some day. It’s not my job to know and understand it all. My job is to live life the best I can, fully trusting God. It doesn’t remove the pain, but by not being angry and trying to control things, and by placing all responsibility on God, it makes it easier to deal with the pain. Someday we’ll understand the whys, but not now.

    • Sandra,

      You already know how much I appreciate your friendship. I also appreciate your honesty and wisdom. Thank you for this comment.

      Ken

  23. Hello Ken~
    Great question. As a Christian Universalist, the response for me lies in the scriptures…

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

    Phillipians 2:9-11 9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11and [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.cfm

    Ken… In the end (after all of the ages), we ALL confess that Jesus is Lord. At that time, we ALL go to our Father through Christ. This is the epitome of God Is Love!

  24. It is also extremely important to remember that without accepting Christ into our life today, we have no way of dealing with the trials and tribulations of this lifetime. Acceptance of Christ gives us the Fruit of the Spirit which is truly the only way to cope with the death of a loved one. God Bless!

  25. There is a woman at our church that not only lost her husband but both sons at the same time in a tractor trailer accident … to top the tragedy she was 6 months pregnant with their fourth child, her daughter was at home with her when they had their accident. He was a tractor trailer driver and apparently passed out and hit a bridge head on … they were all killed instantly … our church is very small, only about 35 people and most are related … she is remarried now and has had the baby that she was pregnant with when the accident happened, has gone on to have another child with her new husband … and what’s really odd — her new husband is also a truck driver … God has been so good to her 🙂 She never lost her faith … I’m not so sure I could have held up as well as she did under the circumstances …

  26. When my brother was brutally murdered Feb. 11, 1988 my world changed as I knew it. He was not only my big brother and only sibling but my defender in this world and now he’s gone … he only got to meet one of my children — he would have loved my two boys … I miss him every day … with each passing year it seems to hurt more … but it did bring me back to God in a powerful way … I was losing my way fast, and his murder made me realize I couldn’t go on, on my own strength … God is good if we just let Him …

  27. God is good! I’ve always believed this but I turned away from my faith in 1978 after I lost my younger sister in a car accident. I was a new driver and one day I picked up my sister and a good friend and we were going to spend the day together. What started out as a pleasant day ended in tragic loss. It’s been 34 years and I still don’t know anything but what I was told when I came to in the emergency room. My sister had been taken from us. I watched my mother grieve for her youngest child and I blamed myself and I was angry. I went through a period of self-destruction where I was not making good choices or wise decisions. I married when I was 25 and when my husband and I had our children I knew I needed to get back into church. I loved going to church and being involved in the youth group and I wanted my children to have those same experiences I had. I have to admit that my husband and I made sure we were in church with our kids most Sundays but I just discovered we were only going through the motions (until last year). I found a new church and my husband and I went to try it out in April 2011 and we have been going there ever since. It is a tremendous church whose mission is to lead as many people as possible into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. My only regret is that I didn’t find this church when my kids were still living at home. When my son comes home on school breaks he attend with us. He now lives in Atlanta and I pray that he will find a church to get involved in. I then told my daughter and her husband about this church she wasn’t very interested in coming but on Mother’s Day (2012) they surprised me by coming to church. They now come every Sunday they do not have to be at work. My daughter is now expecting her first grandchild and has told me that the baby will be involved in the children’s activities when he is old enough to participate. God is good always even to those who have turned their back on him. I am so grateful that our God is a loving and forgiving God.

  28. My story is this:
    My dad left home when I was 7. He wanted a divorce. Long story short, my mom wouldn’t sign off on the papers and the court kept dragging it out for several years. He was near financial ruin and decided to commit suicide. I was 10.

    I was brought up in the church and knew from an early age that God was real. I think it was at about age 4 that I knew this. I became a Christian at age 19 though. I did wander away in my teen years, but came back to the faith.

    I trained to be a pastor, but didn’t feel I could really teach others or lead others to Christ because even though I know down deep in my soul that God loves us all, I don’t really, strongly feel it. I never followed through with entering the pastorate.

    Honestly, I kind of feel that God has forgotten me.

    I still strongly believe that God is good, but wow, without boring people with details, I’ve had a rough life. It has been really hard for me to encourage others.

    I’m very familiar with Romans 8:28, but I just keep asking, “when is life gonna get better?”

  29. God is good, all the time. Even in times of trouble. This is when God is the strongest in my life. As long as my eyes stay focused on Him, and the world is pushed aside. I can feel his presence and know that he is going to walk beside me and be my strength. At these times, I remember that God is making me the person he wants me to be. It is alright to hurt and to struggle, but stay focused and keep the faith.

    As Romans 5:3-4 states:
    Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

    I am full of hope because I am a character :). Just ask my friends and husband.

  30. I am ashamed to say that I turned my back on God when my beloved sister died in the hospital. I remember begging Him to heal her, then I got desperate and said if you love me you will heal her for me. I stayed in darkness for 3years being mad at a loving God. He never left me, He was there all the time, loving me, protecting me, waiting to welcome me back with open arms. I was so very sorry for turning my back on Him, my best friend, my Savior, my King. Now I understand sometimes we don’t get what we pray for. It just was her time and now she is free from pain and God is taking care of her until I see her again.

  31. Thanks, Ken, for making me think.
    My husband, father, daughter and mother died within 7 years. I was raised in a Christian home but the “faith” I was taught was a way to Heaven not a relationship. It was not until I came to the end of my own idea of what I thought my life was about that I met Jesus. I was broken, on my knees and had no where else to go.
    I now have a speaking ministry. I know that we are all going to face difficulties, sorrow. I thought I “had it all.” I met my Savior and fell in love. It hasn’t been easy but God is faithful and I have felt His arms around me every step of the way.

  32. Absolutely devastating things have happened in my life, and some of them took long years to resolve. One of them was – in the last 10 years I have had a missing family member & their child, who within the last 12 months I found that they are alive (thank you Jesus), but still don’t know phone number or address. She has been through a horrendous time, nearly losing her life with a severe medical treatment, but still won’t give any details to family. She had threatened to disappear if we tried to find her. Grief, yep I know about grief, but also God’s sustaining power to go on, which I have shared with people in need. God is still good, even when people walk away

  33. This is a very hard question to comment on – but I will try. I lost my husband to brain cancer in December of 2008. It has been the very hardest thing to get over. We had known each other since the 6th grade and had been married 47 years. You know that is a long time to get to know someone. He knew all about me and I knew all about him. His thoughts, his opinions, his feelings.
    Not long after he had passed away I was driving up the long drive-way to my home and I screamed out to God “I can’t do this!”. We had two farms to take care of and of course all the decisions would be mine now.
    One morning I was praying to God and I just asked Him how would I know my husband went to Heaven because if he did I would feel so much better. I believed my husband was a Christian but in the end he did say some odd things due to the cancer.
    So as I was leaving to run an errand I turned on the radio in my truck to the Christian radio station and the very song being played was about a person who had lost someone dear and they were saying that because you are in Heaven why would I ask to bring you back. That was the answer to my prayer I do believe! What else could it be? Coincidence? Not to me.
    Since that time I have had incredible peace even though I still miss my husband very very much. God is good. There are just some things we will never know down here in this world. Every one has a cross to bear. I just pray that I endure to make it to Heaven to see my Savior and God and my husband and others.
    This answer is probably way too long. Sorry if it is. I have read all of the posts and they all have really blessed me.

  34. I lost my sister and my best friend on 7-3-09 to cancer after a five year battle. Prior to that Sandy had to battle asthma then arthritis as well as deal with abusive relationships. Even though her loss hurt me deeper than anything, I know God has a plan for all of us and I trust Him completely. I talked to my nephew, her son, yesterday, who was driving down the road in a car with his best friend in front of him who was on a motorcycle. They had grown up together. His friend hit a bump in the road, cross the median and was hit by a truck and killed instantly. My nephew was with him in his last moments. He said he was angry with God and I told him God has a plan for his life and He loves him deeply. We talked for some time. I have lifted him in prayer since the day he was born (24 now) and I believe he will come to fully known our precious Savior and anticipate meeting Him.

  35. 6 years ago, my husband of 37 years walked out on me for another woman. I had no clue this was going on. It was like a death in the family for me and our kids. I cried and cried and screamed at God why. Why me? But God had a plan to make me happy. Two years later, I met a wonderful Christian man, that treats me like a Queen, and loves me more than I have every been loved before. Oh, I said, so this is what God had in store for me. He is an on time God, and he always has a plan. Just keep believing and talking to him and he will be right there with you. Through him, I was able to have peace, and waited to see what he had for me in the future. It is his desire for his children to be happy. Look up when tragedy happens not down. Praise God.

  36. Hello Mr. Davis,
    I’ve been following your website for a couple of months now, at first for your humor, and now the posts that you leave behind here like little fingerprints from your devotions from the Bible, or clips from your family, again thank you.

    From my own personal life’s tragedy’s or triumphs, I can attest to simple truths, that I am not God and He is everything, has everything in His loving hands and is the reason for every step I take and every move I make.

    Could I believe in a God, who after 5 close friends within 6 years died tragically? That after my husband left me, went out for cigarettes never came back, a month later on Easter found out I was pregnant lost the baby on that Mother’s day, and on that afternoon while at Hospital recovering found out my home had burned? Absolutely do I believe in God.

    Now ask me how long before He became First in my life? Eight years of chemical and alcoholic abuse after an intervention to guardian to my brother the 3 kids I had been neglecting. A powerful good God is who I have.

    He did not want me to ever see an ounce of pain or hurt from my sin or circumstances that living in this world presents. And just like Adam and Eve, “It’s this woman you gave me God, It’s this man God, wait It’s the serpent God” I hid behind lies that sin takes us, me to, the reality that makes others at fault for why I sin.

    The fear I clung to, that God’s saving son Jesus, would never love anyone like me, is a lie from the pit of hell. I too like Adam and Eve went to hide from the fear, pain, hurt and the insurmountable loss and devastation around me some caused by me some not. After 5 years of recovery, letting go of these cancers is like removing candy from a toddler, yet I know that I know that God places in my life something good and so much better when I let go.

    I am still learning to be a better example of God, so these valley’s are now stepping stones of recovery, and I am so amazed by the love I continue to not be deserving of. I give back to my AA home group, and plug in to my Church fellowship for my spiritual God shape hole to be filled.

    When He fills my life first He can and does continue to have every part under control… Every hidden place found, every dry and lonely place now an oasis of joy, and this child completely humbled, bowed at His feet to do with me as He so chooses.

    Because He said it I believe it.

    Thank you,
    Elaine

    • Elaine,

      I am deeply moved by your honest and touching comment. You have walked through it and know that sometimes it takes time to heal, time to remember and trust the one who is faithful. Thank you so much for blessing me with your story. Come back often.

      Ken

  37. I would still trust God. Bad things happen to Christians as well as sinners. We don’t understand a lot of things. But like Job said ” The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

  38. Hi Ken,
    I lost my husband in January, after a very short bout of stage 4 lung cancer, that metastasis to his brain. In 3 and 1/2 weeks he went from being a healthy man, or so we thought, to his death. Even though all of this was very devastating, I’m happy to say, I have never lost my faith. In fact I think my faith has grown that much stronger. You see, I’ve always known that my husband was an awesome gift from God. I find myself seeing, even more now, all of the great blessings God gives me each and every day. Thank you Ken for your wonderful insight and also letting us see your humanness. My husband loved you and your wonderful sense of humor as much as I do. F.R.O.G., Jeannie

  39. I have never had to face the loss of any of my 5 precious children and I cannot imagine such a tragedy touching my life! I would hope that I would have enough faith to believe that there was a greater divine reason for this to happen. Recently, I have been going through some challenges with my work (being bought out by a bigger company and the possibility of them closing our office in MN). As I am driving in my car 1 song seems to keep coming on the radio, Kerri Roberts “No Matter What”. I know that is God speaking to me to carry me through this challenge. I would hope that in the event of the tragedy of losing a child, I would be able to lean on those words.

    • Terry,

      I want to thank you for this very honest and thoughtful comment. So many wonderful people are quick to say, “Of course I would trust Jesus.” Much easier to say when you are holding a child than when you have just buried one. I’m with you in that I would hope that my faith in him would be strong enough. No doubt he is strong enough. Thank you again. I pray that God will surround you with his grace and love during this difficult time.

      Ken

  40. August 2007 I found out my husband was cheating on my and files for divorce. The divorce put me back $28,000. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse on January 1, 2008 my parents had a garage fire and my father was caught in it. He had 3rd degree burns on arms, face, and lungs. They didn’t know if my dad was going to make it. I thought that is it I cannot take anymore. Instead of being angry at God, I turned to him instead. My doing that it made me stronger in my faith and knew that God indeed blessed me by making my father well. To this day I am so thankful that I never turned my back on God because I cannot make it through life alone and that was a lesson I had to learn. God does show mercy and brings his lost children home.

  41. I lost a daughter in Febuary of 1989 and turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort things did’nt work out very well,as you can probably imagine but I tayed in that lifestyle for a very long time. Until 2009 when I got completly blacked out drunk and lit myself on fire God has done many wonderful things in my life in the last 3 years, but in 2011 my oldest son was killed by a driver under the influence of drugs, but this time I was able to depend on God to get though his death and the outcome was much much better then with my daughter I was able to stay sober and be the husband and father that my family needed at the time instead of being part of the problem THANK GOD

  42. My husband succumbed to a rare kidney cancer 10 years ago; it was misdiagnosed and a cancerous kidney was put back into his body, thinking it was infection, then later finally removed. And he was terminal and just over 40 yrs old. Our daughter was 4. I had just finished miscarrying a 4th time and had some benign tumors removed from my chest for the third time (no doubt due to faulty pregnancies and hormones). I remember feeling really low at this point — there’s more that was “going on” and there’s no need to put it all down; this is certainly enough. I never doubted God then — maybe I was numb to it all but I truly believe without my faith in something bigger than me, that I would not have survived. I’m Catholic and saying the rosary helped. I didn’t pray for a miracle – I gave that up when I lost my mom to cancer as a kid. I prayed for other people and it took the focus off me and my problems for maybe 25 minutes and it helped. Fast forward 10 years. I have a 15 yr old daughter now facing some unknown health issues…currently under investigation. It’s really hard sometimes to have faith, but I have to trust that God does not make mistakes and that there is a part we all play and when the going gets tough, I turn it over to God and say, “Here you go big fella…it’s in your lap now….fix it.” And hope for an answer. I will say you know you are healed from loss when you can turn it outward. I counseled widows/widowers in grief support groups for years and even wrote a book about grief and loss for teens that garnered me some public speaking engagements and press write-ups and thank yous from readers (no I will not make a lot of money on the book) tells me that I really did something that makes a difference and it makes me smile. And it helped me heal.

  43. 7 years ago I found my son, age 51, dead in his bed. No one knew he had an enlarged heart which took his life. Was I upset? Of course, did I hate God for taking him home, not at all. He had been hunting with his friend and came home earlier than expected. He could have died in the woods, had an accident on the way home, or could have been miles away at his friends home, but God brought him safely home to die in his own bed. Do I miss him, yes, every day. I know I will see him one day. He was my son and I loved him dearly. I praise you, Father God, for your mercies.

  44. Ken,
    My wife and I lost a daughter a little more than two years ago to an overdose of Tylenol which eventually ceased her liver function. We buried her on my birthday. Our sixteen year old grandson “left the reservation” so to speak, determined to be his own man. He turned his back on his family and vanished for two years. Our daughter had made her own choices and God took her from us. Yet we had a peace that was never shaken. Our faith was never rattled. We prayed that God would restore our grandson to us and to HIM. Well, three months ago God proved that He is faithful and restored our grandson to us and to HIMSELF. He lives with us now. He has a church family, he has a job, he has hope that he has NEVER had before. He is working on his GED and will begin diesel mechanics school beginning next spring. God uses ALL things for the good of those who love HIM. Did I mention that God is faithful to His Word? Yes, God is GOOD all the time. As a ordained Deacon, an Ordained Minister, and an aspiring speaker I can do nothing but to encourage others to put their trust in God.