Monday was June 25th.
To most, that date is just another date on the calendar. Nothing special. Nothing noteworthy. Just another day.
But not to me.
June 25th is my son’s birthday, and this year he would have been 17.
If he would have lived.
But he didn’t.
So for 16 years now, June 25th is a reminder of the reality of death and loss and pain and suffering.
And, Lord, I know that this is not your will.
It is not your will that innocent little children suffer and die.
It is not your will to have a world filled with death and loss and pain.
It is not your will to see your creation in turmoil.
It is ours.
It was the will of humans that rejected you in the Garden and ushered in the consequences that the separation from your perfect will brings, including death.
It is not your will that creates war.
It is not your will that produces greed.
It is not your will that builds a secular society that tears down the building block of the family, that enhances isolation, that trades in authentic relationships for surface-level connections.
It is not your will that distorts sexuality or brings about the sexual behavior that is so destructive and corrosive in our culture.
It is not your will that people prosper through lying, deceit, and manipulation.
It is not your will that drives people apart into the polarization we are experiencing now.
No, it is not your will.
It is ours.
We have done this to ourselves.
Our sin brought death into the world.
Death is an enemy of your purposes.
And death is an enemy of mine.
It was not your will that my son die.
But it is your will to bring healing in the midst of hurt and peace in the midst of pain.
It is your will to bring light to the darkness.
It is your will to bring reconciliation to the separation.
And you have.
You have restored my joy.
You have healed my wounds.
You have filled my life with light.
You have overwhelmed my distress with your hope.
And so June 25th is also a reminder of what I have in you.
A reminder that, in you, I have found something that is greater than any loss.
A reminder that your will is so awesome, perfect, and powerful that it overcomes the damage our wills have done and restores your original intent for your creation.
A reminder that it is your will to be with me through all my experiences.
And you have been with me.
You are still with me.
My son is with you.
And I will be too one day.
That day is what gets me through the rest of my days.
Days like June 25th.