There’s nothing like snowfall on the first day of spring to remind you that you are not in control.
Snow at this time is unseasonable.
Or so we think.
Every once in awhile our ideas of what is acceptable and what is not are turned upside down. We are forced to accept the unusual. The unpredictable. Even, the unthinkable.
For the last week and a half, that’s where I’ve been sitting with two friends.
A week ago Sunday, in a span of 12 hours, I got two texts from two different women I love, each of them asking me to pray for two women they love, who were suddenly facing their final days.
Even though I had never met them, I had known about Kat and Amy’s* battles with cancer. There were similarities: Both lived in mid-western cities. Both mothers – one of four, the other of two. Both fighting for a couple of years. Both cancers under control for a bit and then shifted dramatically. My friends were getting on planes to go be at bedsides and say goodbyes.
And along with my friends, I have prayed for each one of these ladies diligently.
Lord, please heal her from her infirmity. May she regain her strength, see her children grow up, and become a powerful testimony of your might.
But prayer has multiple purposes, and asking God to stem the tide of a ravaging illness is only one of them. Prayer is also about opening our hearts to God’s love in whatever form it arrives.
Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes says there is a time for everything. That seems easy enough to accept when life flows through the expected and happy changes: births, graduations, weddings, milestone anniversaries, and deaths following long, full lives.
But when mothers face death in their forties and fifties, leaving behind kids who have not yet reached maturity, we say, “It’s too soon.”
And as much as I have faith that God has a plan for children left behind, and while I KNOW and believe with ALL MY SOUL that He can work good from ANY situation, I sit in the stillness of a snowfall and just wonder why.
This is normal.
Not understanding why is not a sin.
Kat passed on Friday. It seems that Amy has a little time still.
To console myself I keep coming back to this…
“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
He was at the tomb of his friend Lazarus and before he worked his miracle of raising his friend from the dead, Jesus wept.
If God knew that Lazarus would die, had a plan to raise him again, and still shed tears over the suffering that death causes in the world, he surely understands our sorrow now.
Our unknowing is the state of vulnerability in which God loves to work miracles.
He wants to show us He’s still here, and always will be.
Though we walk in the silence of an unseasonable snowfall we are not alone.
He sits with us as we cry. Soothes us with the prayers, words, and actions of others. Smiles on us in the beauty of the natural world. Woos us in dreams that gently coax us onward.
And snowy spring days like this one remind me that everything, absolutely everything, happens in His time.
*Names have been changed.