We live in a world that is full of despair, pain and suffering. Every day, there are tragedies across the world that take the lives of loved ones. People die unexpectedly. Sometimes the day after a wedding, when the bride and groom are looking forward to their lives together, one is tragically taken. When a family seems stronger than ever, an unexpected flood overwhelms one’s home and somebody dies. The only remnants of their death is a report on the news that says, “One dead” and they are hastily forgotten. Family members, children, parents, and loved ones die. In this instance, somebody who one loves is taken from them by the forces of the universe. But sometimes, somebody who you love willingly walks away from you and decides that they no longer want you in their life. Why does that happen? Why do people who you love have to leave?
While this sort of pain does not always parallel the death of a loved one, it can often be unbearable. This deep commitment that you made to an individual has become ingrained in your DNA. It is part of who you are. They are part of you and you are part of them. When they leave, they take part of your identity with them. You are no longer you. You do not know who you are. After making a commitment to them, you never thought that it would come to this point. But this person who you loved felt that they needed to leave. Why does this happen?
We Live In A Fallen World
This is the nature of the world that we live in. There is suffering and misery. You make commitments to people, stronger commitments that you have ever made in your entire life, and they just leave. Vehicles break down. Machines malfunction. People leave.
Often the reason that they leave will come down to this world’s plague, namely, the problem of sin. That is not say that the person who leaves is behaving sinfully. Rather, it is to say that the plague of sin is ultimately what caused them to leave. Perhaps they have some emotional struggle that was formed by their past. The sin of others caused them to be in this state wherein they needed to leave. Perhaps your sin caused them to leave. The problem of sin contaminates everything in this world.
Sin often creates circumstances that are not ideal for the flourishing of human beings. The long history of sin throughout the generations has yielded a society, a world, and a state of being that often causes people to leave. That is why there are so many struggles in relationships. Even when people have a successful and long marriage, they often report that their relationship was not without its’ struggles. People leave because that is the nature of the world in which we inhabit. Leaving is more natural than staying. That is why it takes so much strength and courage for loved ones to stay together.
God Is In Control
The question of sovereignty is hotly debated among Christians. But most of us can agree with this fundamental and necessary principle: God is in control of human affairs. He governs what is going on and he has a plan for this world. When bad things happen, we can trust in God’s wisdom that it was not all for naught (Genesis 50:20, Isaiah 45:7). There is a purpose for the pain that is in this world. There is a purpose for this person who you love leaving.
That is not an attempt to lead you to some cliched answer, like, “God has a plan for your life,” or “He will use this pain to strengthen you.” While that may be the case, that is not the point that I am making. Rather, I am suggesting that God has an ultimate purpose for the pain that you are enduring. He has an ultimate purpose for this person who you love leaving you. God has ordered the world in such a way.
When somebody looks at the surface of this reality, it may cause them to throw up their fists in anger with God. While I understand this impulse, it is quite misguided, for God is the locus of all righteousness and truth. We cannot say that he has made a misstep or even that he has wronged us. It should be a comfort to us that no matter what happens, God reigns, enthroned, as King of The Universe. This means that, truly, everything is going to be okay.
God Created A Contrast With The Cross
Perhaps you made a mistake that is just irreconcilable. While you may have your love one’s forgiveness, they will never again be with you. You may not even regard that as a fault of theirs, as you can understand where they are coming from. People often leave because they cannot bear what you have done to them. Perhaps God allows for that because he has created this perfect contrast with the cross of Christ. While people who you love and are committed to will leave you, God’s forgiveness and mercy persist. He has granted believers the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Consider this for a moment as I establish this point. God saw our deep and constant betrayals. He saw how often we abused this world that he has given us. He saw that when he gave us a hammer to help our neighbor with their home, we turned around and used it to murder our neighbor. God would be just to leave this world, condemn it to Hell, and never look back. He could do that, and nobody could ask, “What have you done?” because it would be just punishment. But God did not do that. Take a breath, and you will know that God has not done that as he has not brought his wrath upon you.
Instead, he became a man, and his name was Jesus Christ. He departed from his eternal glory in heaven and took on the humiliation of being a man (Philippians 2:5-8). It is something like a king becoming a peasant, willingly, for the sake of his people. But this King is Lord of the universe. When he became a man, he taught how to live in true righteousness, from the inside out. His central message was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, strength, soul and mind” and “You should love your neighbor as yourself” and he was murdered by the state.
When he was murdered, all of the wrath that we deserve was poured out upon him (Romans 3:21). He suffered in our place. It was as though he committed our sins. Now, he asks that we put our trust in his promises (Romans 4:5), as he makes us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), literally new, born again, possessing the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16).
Here is the contrast. His promises never fail. He never grows weary of us. When we are faithless, he is faithful (2 Timothy 3:13). There is nothing in the created order, neither things present nor things to come, that can separate us from the love that God has in Christ (Romans 8:38-39). Why did God create a world in which those who we love leave us? Perhaps he wanted to create this perfect contrast – the cross of Jesus Christ, wherein we know that we can trust in him and he will never leave or forsake us.
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