“To live is Christ, to die is gain”, what?  How is that?

It seems to me that death often takes me further away from God not closer.  Death throws a silence over my faith.  So many verses seem contradictory as they seem so unreal. 

God is good? Let’s explore that a little.

Can you truly say that when you have faced death, tragedy and the destruction of your world?  Can you say that and believe it when you have a never faced the end?  Your own mortality?  The death of someone you love? Watched helplessly as the final breath fades?

With no one to blame, is evil the easy answer or is it the only answer for the cause of so much pain in the world?  The violence, the hate, the addictions, the lust and the greed continue on unabated and good people get hurt because of it. Collateral damage?  Innocent victims?

But what about illness, a sickness and death with no concrete cause?  Was there a cause, an action that brought about the effect and the consequence?  What is the grand design and meaning in that if there are no coincidences?

Do I blame God?  Am I angry at God?  My life was irrevocably altered.  I say I still believe and I go through the motions on the outside showing an image to the world, but inside…do I believe?  The face I show the world is that the truth of me?  Do I truly believe what I say I believe? What am I left with when I am alone in the dark?

Total utter silence from God?  No words from beyond except for a faint whisper of  “Trust me”, but faith is the evidence of things unseen, right?  Then I should have a lot of evidence.

What remains unanswered is why?  That is the question that still haunts my waking and sleeping, but no answer ever seems forthcoming. “Trust me.”  Do I only have faith in the finality of that?  What is next?  The next life?  Is it there? Heaven?  Hell? Fade to black?

Time to give myself permission.  Feel the fear, accept that loss and devastation may come again. “Trust me.”  It all makes me tired, so very tired.  Life should not and is not meant to be lived waiting for the ‘hammer to fall’.  The days and the years go by and the hole remains.  You laugh and love again.  The moments of joy you so desperately longed for returns, but often failing to be fully present and to live in that moment because of the fear.  Juxtaposing the past, present and the future. “Trust me” whispers through my mind while I feel a –

  • Fear of God
  • Fear of loss
  • Fear of happiness
  • Fear of succeeding
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of guilt
  • Fear of forgetting
  • Fear of hurting
  • Fear of love

Trust me”, time to give myself permission to fully live, to be happy and fully love again.  Permission to enjoy, to delight, to cherish, to feel everything and accept.

“Trust me”, you are permitted to love God, to accept your destiny, your life, your fate, “I have come so that they (you) may have life and have it more abundantly”. 

(This was originally written in October 2008, updated in October 2010 and then again recently in October 2013 as I contemplate the journey of the previous twenty years of my life and I am still learning to believe. ~M)

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  1. I think that we all have these fears. You explained them very well because sometimes we can’t even put it into words that make sense. I think that my way of pushing through these fears is in knowing that Christ felt the exact same abandonment and fear on Cavalry. This post was very thought provoking!

  2. I agree with Charlene, Christ did have those thoughts and fears, that is why He cried out to God asking why He had forsaken Him. Odd to think of Christ feeling like us isn’t it. Mark you are an amazing man and with all you have gone through I am so proud of who you are. I am thankful I get to share your life with you and am honored to call you husband. Thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your thoughts!

  3. I like this post just for the simple fact you update it periodically. We are all on a journey and at times our faith is tested. During the lows, it is important to dig deep and hang on, pray hard and surround yourself with loving others. Speaking only for myself, I have discovered that it was during those lonely periods that I grew more whole. It was almost as if I was sloughing away the negativity even when it fell like I was surrounded by it. Music (dark stuff at times) really helped. One of my favorite songs of hope during that time was Dave Matthews “Diggin a Ditch”. I may have to give it another listen!

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