I just finished reading A Grief Observed by C.S. (Jack) Lewis, the journal he kept just after his beloved wife Joy died. In the beginning he rails against God, questioning His goodness. He is like a wounded, growling beast. And it makes me wonder: why is my grief so quiet in comparison? Surely I didn’t love my son any less than Jack Lewis loved his wife. And Mr. Lewis was certainly my superior in Biblical knowledge and an understanding of theology. But I still don’t feel angry at God (He is so good! He has redeemed me!).
I have no doubt the prayers of my friends—prayers for my peace and comfort—have had an effect. But didn’t Jack Lewis have friends praying for him, too? I have no answers to these questions.
Joe wasn’t sure about God’s goodness for a while. During his teen years, he questioned his faith and “wrestled with God.” He later told us that late one night, he had a strong sense of God speaking to him, convicting him of a certain sinful behavior, saying something along the lines of: “You cannot continue this behavior and still call yourself a Christian. Make up your mind. Are you with Me or against Me?” Later that night Joe surrendered and told God, “I am Yours.” He made a conscious decision to trust in God and in His goodness. The last few years of his life he seemed to possess a remarkable peace in spite of his declining health.
(The statement “I’m Yours” later made it into his song “Forward in the Darkness”).
Likewise, by the end of Jack Lewis’ journal, he had made a decision to trust in the goodness of God. And he experienced renewed peace.
Isn’t that what it all comes down to for each of us? Whatever our circumstances, whatever our feelings at the moment, we simply have to decide: do I trust Him? Or do I not?