Except When it is Murder . . .

quiet-winter-night-winter-wallpapersPsalm 23:4-6, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

I recently had to confront my own faithless heart when reading the above verses right after finding out that a lifelong friend and her daughter were murdered in their beds by her husband, who then turned the gun on himself.

These situations don’t resolve neatly into any theological system known to man, as there are too many unknowns for us to pass judgment. And . . . even if we could do that, the husband was also a lifelong friend who made us laugh every time we were with him. And he was truly the love of my friend’s life for around 30 years.

So, wanting to make this about her, a devout woman whom I utterly believe was saved by grace through faith, I put myself into the 23rd Psalm and immediately rebelled against the text.

Surely God didn’t mean that. Surely He wouldn’t require someone who was murdered to attest positively to the fact that, walking through the valley of the shadow of death, she feared no evil because the Lord was with her.

Would He truly want her to say that goodness and mercy followed her all the days of her life? Really? Even when she was murdered? Even when she was murdered by the one she loved best?

Here, however, is where our beliefs about God either undergird our entire life or they are forever shaky like the frame of a house built on the sand. Here is where real life and faith either work together consistently or they collide.

I had to tearfully confirm the truth that, yes, God is still sovereign over a believer’s life, even if she gets murdered, even if she gets murdered by her own beloved.

Either He is God of all or He is God of nothing. If our beliefs about God, if our theology about the Holy One are not robust enough to hold up in those times when we don’t have any answers, then they are only based on us and our own logical systems as humans.

May it not be so, Lord! May I trust You fully even in the dark times, the painful times, the times that consist of all questions and no answers.

You are worthy of that kind of trust.


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