Now, you reading this can’t understand how that came across to me because you didn't hear His voice and experience His touch. We know how we humans talk when we say such things like that to each other. (With the head snap and attitude.) But, it was not like that at all. The feeling was like when you watch a child stumbling with his newly found feet and the watchful father lunges, arms spread long and wide for him as he is teetering toward a nasty fall. It was the words of a loving Father, who very tenderly lifted up a child’s tear-streaked face to look into His earnest and loving eyes. What He was giving me opportunity for was, “Come up here, child.” “Let Me show you life, and death, from My perspective.” And in an instant I understood and I felt His outstretched arms toward me. His ways are not my ways. He doesn't need to defend His actions to anyone. He knows it all and sees the ultimate end. He doesn't need to justify Himself to me or anyone else. So, needless to say, I don’t have many answers to the ‘why’ of it all. But, I am grateful to say He is revealing Himself to me in ways that ease the fire in my head and the burning in my heart.
From the beginning I have struggled with viewing Grace’s death as a defeat and failure. She’s gone. My faith didn't work. My prayers didn't avail. SHE IS GONE! But, slowly, with His finger under my chin, my head and sight have been lifted upward, to see life, and death, from His perspective. His provocation to me is, “What was the point?” Was the point of it all (my prayers, fasting and faith) to get Grace healed? If it was, then her death can only be seen as defeat and failure. Or was the point of our prayers and faith to see Grace strong in the middle of her storm and to see God move on her behalf and on our behalf? To see His will accomplished through our lives no matter the outcome? If that was the ultimate point, then, yes, the only thing you can see in the end is victory.
But I still question. "Should her death equal failure?" “Laura, is death ever a part of My kingdom?” “No, Father, You are only about life and light.” “Laura, would you like for me to bring My Son, the One who died on the cross, into this conversation?” And I gasp with the realization of how much He wills for me to understand, not about the ins and outs of Grace’s outcome. But, rather, He wants me to understand Him and His ways.
The input of a dear friend upon hearing all this from my heart was this observation. “Our destinies are not wrought for this time and dimension only, but rather, for eternity. Grace is still fulfilling her destiny!” How much of my sight and understanding is earthly bound! Death does not equal failure. Death does not mean the end. There is no way I would ever see the death of Christ as a failure!! Christ’s destiny did not begin on this earth and it did not end when He ascended into heaven! There is so much more to come! And I have so much more to learn.
Victory or Failure can only be defined from the position from which I stand. Earthly understanding will always lead me astray and cause me to live less than. And Heavenly understanding can never be gained from looking downward. Victory or failure? That really is the question isn't it? Grace finished her race victoriously. She finished her race with a heart full of strength, peace, faith and love. Her faith endured to the end. Grace’s life and her death can only be seen as victory as long as I’m looking through eyes that have been lifted upward by the love and grace of God.