People are angry. We are angry. Some of it is righteous anger (I hope) and some of it is anger that is quite easily fueled by the enemy..and that anger is what we're trying to get rid of. The healthy anger deals more with the desire to see justice and redemption..but still, this cannot be what drives us.

One thing that God has been showing me is that it's much too easy to get caught up in a false idea of redemption here on this earth. Believing in redemption that will certainly be seen in this lifetime is sort of like believing in karma. Essentially what we're saying is that when bad things happen like this to seemingly undeserving people, there MUST be good things ahead. When I say "good things," I'm talking about good life circumstances rather than the goodness of God. And THAT is where the distinction needs to be made.

The goodness of God does not equal good life circumstances, although all good life circumstances ARE a gift from God.

It's easy to look at our life and see what happened with Ellie and think "surely this baby will be fine because look at what they've been through already." But in reading scripture..that is just not true. We were never promised a healthy baby after Ellie. We hoped for it and we do still believe that we will raise children in our home one day, but it is not promised to us, and it is not God's fault.

This desire for redemption and justice is not a bad thing in and of itself, but it cannot be a desire from which we operate out of and consequently feel that God should operate out of. This is exactly the reason God rebukes Job's well-meaning friends in the midst of their desire to comfort Job.

Eliphaz: "Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed?" (Job 4:7).
Bildad: "Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?" (Job 8:3).
Zophar: "Yet if you devote your heart to [the LORD] and stretch out your hands to him, if you will put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame … But the eyes of the wicked will fail … Their hope will become a dying gasp" (Job 11: 13-20).
Their thinking is well-meaning, but skewed. Job's friends reduced all evil to "retributive suffering," caused by disobedience and sin...and on the flip side, believed that surely because Job is righteous God will deliver him from all suffering. God ends up telling them, "You have not spoken of me what is right like my servant Job has." If we actually thought the way of Job's friends, avoiding tragedies in life would be so simple. We could live righteously and fully devoted to God and be able to expect a life full of blessing and good circumstances. Easy.

It's also important to remember that God did not cause Job's suffering, but the enemy did. You may think, "Well, God still allowed it." And that is true. And I don't fully understand that part, but I do know that what is clear is that redemption has been promised to us through the means of everlasting life, not through happy endings and a life of ease (although Job was indeed blessed in his latter years.)

We aren't pessimistic--we do have HOPE that we will experience blessings in this life...and we already ARE so blessed. So so blessed. I mean..just turn on the news, you guys. We are so blessed to live in this country where I will not expect violence and death to come knocking on my door because I have written this post. But the key is that we do not demand these things of God and we do not expect him to operate out of our boxes of desired retributive suffering and/or retributive blessing.

As I write this post, Elsie is kicking me hard..which reminds me that she is surely still alive in the most intimate and attached way that she could ever be to me. She literally is alive because she is attached to me. I can be so grateful for that. She is alive. She is still alive.

It's not over, you guys, but let's not give satan any any ANY victory by believing the lie that God is not just for this. He is the most just of all for sending Jesus to die for our redemption. Not redemption in this lifetime per say, but for all eternity....and that is not to say that He doesn't want his Kingdom of life to break in here. We want that. We pray for that. It is why we write these posts for Elsie. He is the creator of LIFE, as our sweet friends have recently reminded us.

Is this still painful? Absolutely. We can be sad. We can be angry. That's totally allowed (I think.) But we choose not to make demands of God, and certainly not demands that do not align with scripture.

He does not create disease. He does not create suffering. He does not create death. Anddddd repeat.