by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
To Jesus of Nazareth, who so longed for our trust He died for love of it. ~ Brennan Manning
I am supposed to be writing a series about marriage right now, but in light of recent events, I just can’t. One of our beloved therapists, Tina Porter, just lost her 19-year-old son, Aaron Porter Jr. in a car accident. He was a track star from Marion High attending Indian Tech. As a community, we grieve with the Porters. As a friend, sister in Christ, and colleague, I just can’t wrap my mind around this.
I remember at the close of 2017 my cherished mentor and President of the Caring Counseling Ministries Board, Cheryl Smillie, looked at me and said, “2018 is going to be the greatest year we have ever had.” Less than 4 months later she was gone in a senseless tragedy.
You know folks, sometimes life just sucks. I wish I could say we Christians are immune to this stuff, or that we hold some secret answer that makes the pain go away, but we don’t, and we aren’t. This world is hard on its inhabitants. Today, I feel ground up and spit out as an onlooker of such suffering.
Truth be told, when Cheryl passed, I came close to hanging up my Christian counseling spurs. I was mad at God and didn’t want to represent Him anymore. Scandalous but true. I began questioning if He was even there. Last night, in the aftershock of the Porters loss, I started to jump down that rabbit hole again. The rabbit hole of “why, God, why.”
But here are the things that grounded me when I lost Cheryl, and they hold me fast today. I know God exists and I know Jesus is Lord. I know that because I know Him. He found me and saved me when I was a strung out drug addict suffering from withdrawal in a jail cell. He is real, and His power is real. I can’t get past that.
Here is what else I know about my very real God. I know He is good. He has to be good, He sent us Jesus. This is the scripture that anchors my faith when I want to jump down the rabbit hole: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
On days like this, I want a gospel that says “God demonstrates His love for us by not letting us suffer.” But that is not what it says. On this side, we suffer. And like it or not, bad things happen to good people. I don’t believe this is God’s will, I think it’s part of living in a broken, fallen world. For some reason beyond me, Jesus is God’s answer to our suffering. How strange it is to have a God who personally knows what it feels like to lose a son. I know He grieves with the Porters, as do the rest of us. I ask you to join with Caring Counseling Ministries as we pray for the Porters.