Take your son, your only son, whom you love – Isaac – and go to the region of Moriah. Genesis 22:2
They say losing a child is the hardest thing to experience. One day your hopes and dreams for your son or daughter live and breathe; the next they seem quashed. Your world has changed inexorably, and how God fits into the questions of why can lead to a lifetime of questing. (I write from empathy, not experience.)
The Lord God didn’t require of Abraham something he wasn’t willing to do himself – sacrifice his only beloved son. We see in the Lord’s instructions that he knows what he asks of Abraham – this is Abraham’s only son; the one who will fulfill God’s promises. It seems unthinkable.
Yet Abraham obeys, setting off on the three-day journey to Moriah. Consider what Abraham must have been thinking and feeling. Every step closer to Moriah marked less time with Isaac. Did he battle internally, questioning God? We don’t know, but as we see in Hebrews 11:19, he came to a point of acceptance, for he “reasoned that God could even raise the dead.”
Wrestling with the questions of “why” can eventually be a means of strengthening our faith, as we work through with God the issues that we don’t understand. This side of heaven, we won’t fully comprehend, but I hope the character of God – His goodness, faithfulness and love – will frame our questions and answers.
Prayer: Triune God, there’s so much we can’t fathom; at times our grief feels too much. Show us your great love. Amen.