It’s Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be!

“It’s not the way it’s supposed to be” – the cry of the mother whose child has been shot in a kindergarten class on a seemingly normal Friday in December, presents already purchased, hidden in a closet in anticipation of a Christmas morning. The “hurry up! we’re going to be late” already a memory of the day. The “make sure you tie your shoe laces, don’t forget your lunch, honey you can’t wear that shirt, it’s dirty” now poignant reminders of a life that was, that is no longer.

It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

The cry of the husband burying his wife and little one – deaths from a complicated childbirth; the cry of the husband who buried his 28-year old wife, dead from a brain tumor; the cry of the young woman who watched her husband die on their honeymoon; the cry of the mother of a soldier – killed during the war on terror; the cry of thousands of mothers in Afghanistan and Syria – all of whom have watched a child die.

It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

And the cries echo toward the Heavens, in agony, in fear, in anger, in the deepest grief imaginable to man. And the throat catches, and the grief is wordless and boundless and rips the soul, the Whys and the Hows echoing all around. Hearts broken with grief, words of “how can we go one? how will we heal?” whispered through sleepless nights.

And on this third Sunday in Advent I look up and shout toward Heaven “It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.” And in the quiet, still of the morning, He whispers in my heart “I know child, I know.”

IMG_2129And so “I lay my ‘whys’ before your cross — In worship kneeling. My mind too numb for thought. My heart beyond all feeling. And worshiping realize that I – in knowing You, don’t need a ‘why’. “*

poem by Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Billy Graham.

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Third Culture Kid - Grew up in Pakistan, lived and worked in Pakistan and Egypt as an adult. Moved to the United States and learning to live away from curry, Urdu, Arabic and the Pyramids.

21 thoughts on “It’s Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be!

  1. No, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but the outpouring of love and compassion that I have seen gives me hope and reminds me that, even in the midst of all this grief and suffering and inexplicable evil – He is there.

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  2. Poignant and beautifully written. Yes, we all know deep in our hearts that the way things are is not how they’re supposed to be and none of us can accept suffering as a fact of life, because we know it shouldn’t be this way. But as Christians we also know that God gave up his own Son in order to make things right and we know that in the future, things will be made exactly how they’re supposed to be, and all the suffering of the current world will pass away, because God gave his only Son so that things could be as they should be.

    Thanks very much for the post.

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    1. Jonathan – so glad you stopped by to read and then spent more time to offer these words. And they are full of truth – “things will be made exactly how they’re supposed to be” are words to live for and by.

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  3. Oh. I have tears in my eyes and needed to stop and catch my breath after reading this. The constant battle of reconciling a faith in a higher power up against a world so full of tragedy and evil – sometimes it’s just too much for me.

    And, yet.

    When I read pieces like this and I really sit back and listen, it’s not hard to find goodness in those who respond so compassionately to others’ needs.
    Your words here are so poignant, so on-target. And they remind me that yes, there is hope. I’ve seen and felt a loss so deep and indescribable, and we continue to see such heartbreak occur around us every day. But the hope and love we offer each other – it is so real and palpable and I can only attribute it to God working through us to help one another, all of us whom He loves so much.
    Thank you for expressing this so very beautifully.

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    1. Dawn – I told you yesterday but will say it again. Your comment had me crying. Thank you for these words. I have been so grateful that we have connected through blogging and look forward to your excellent and challenging feedback and comments as I go forward.

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  4. Tears in my eyes. No it’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I think it’s beautiful, though, that Christ is the Savior we need because he died for us, and the Father watched his son in true agony and true pain die on the cross. Christ died because it’s not the way it’s supposed to be, he wants to carry the weight for us.

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  5. After Steven Curtis Chapman and his family lost their daughter through tragic circumstances, he wrote the most amazing album of his career. (in my humble opinion!) It’s called “Beauty Will Rise” and this particular song – “God is in control” – expresses your blog post in music :) He does a fabulous job of holding together the pain of tragedy and the hope we have… this album has kept me going for a couple of years now :)

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    1. Melanie – I’m so glad you shared this – never heard it before. I remember that tragedy and thinking “how can you go on after that kind of event, that kind of pain?” But that mystery of pain and joy all tied up together in this walk of faith is all about recognizing that God is in control. Thank you thank you!

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