You’re 13-14 years old and lose not one but both parents within three years. Your older brother has no choice but to shoulder the burden and take care of you, only to him, it’s no big deal. To you, you can’t stop asking God, “Why?” No answer arrives out of the blue, in your dreams, or from any counselor. Silence. Until one day, a teacher shares a little bit of his soul, and while the pain is still raw, you’re closer to the truth. I’ve been there, and here are some of the lessons I learned:
Nobody can escape the rain. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a storm for it to spoil a moment, change your plans, and make a mess of things. “Rejoice in your suffering” sounds great on paper, but it’s not easy to dance between the raindrops. Yet, that’s what we’re called to do.
Losing loved ones feels like the end of the world, as if the sun will never come out tomorrow. Even if you “bet your bottom dollar.” All cliches aside, the Son does come out, and when you’re ready, He shines brighter than before. You’re less likely to take friendships, blessings, or simple miracles for granted. Each day’s important because not one breath is promised to you. Even if God answered your why, would anything change?
“I needed to build character in you. This will prepare you for struggles later on in life. Because of your suffering, you will be able to help others. I had greater things for Mom and Dad to do up here.” Fill in the blank, but you’re still empty, right? Fear not. Emptiness can be filled. Not with things, not with chemicals, not with inspirational words that will never satisfy. Who better to fill that void than Christ himself? He, above anyone else, understands your heartache. “Did you know this man?” Peter’s words, “I swear, I never knew Him!” The ultimate rejection.
God didn’t lose His parents; He lost his one and only Son. He lost humanity, some of his dearest friends, His very creation to sin. The good news? He never leaves us lostlike we often leave Him. You’re an unfinished painting, and while His brush strokes mar and hurt sometimes, if you trust Him, a masterpiece will emerge.
You say you have or had no real father in your life? Whether he’s dead, left, or was never there, here’s some hope. There’s someone in your life who cared when you felt helpless, prayed when you felt damaged, and taught when you rebelled. Maybe it’s a brother, an uncle, a grandfather, a coach, or a teacher. Isn’t it time you thanked him?
Isn’t it time you thanked HIM for placing a father-like figure in your life who loves you beyond any biological or mortal love? A God who caught your tears in His enormous hand and will one day turn them all into joy. Will you let Him teach you to laugh again, love unconditionally, and show the world that storms don’t have to define you…only there to remind you… and you’re stronger than you believe…braver than you can conceive…when you let Christ lead?
Happy Father’s Day.