• Steve McAtee

Why have you forgotten me?


Why have you forgotten me?

Sometimes, I wonder about God’s using a child’s death to cut open the hearts of parents, to lacerate our whole beings. How could God have just stood by, watching, as Jack stumbled up Peak One to his demise? You may be wondering the same about the death of your loved one – perhaps you lost a spouse to cancer; a child in an automobile accident; a parent cut off in his/her prime; a close friend to breast cancer; a premature baby to complications; or, a loyal friend on the field of combat. Maybe Alzheimer’s. The list goes on adinfinitum. Did God forget about us? Are we receiving the due punishment for our sin? I cannot fit it together, so I think, so I feel sadness and emptiness and loneliness in my heart placed on the operating table to be probed by the thought of my son’s death……Why didn’t God allow me to get to Colorado in time, I think, to meet Jack at the mental health clinic before he was released? Why? I arrived just hours after Jack was released from the back door of Summit County Medical Center into the Colorado wilderness at the foot of Peak One. If I go on living without the answer, my life equates to grey existence and I am leading to feeling despair, as if God is hiding his face, tormenting me like a windblown leaf, watching me waste way like something rotten. Is it possible to escape this darkness? Will the flames of depression wither us? Have you endured such feelings? Our eyes grown dim with grief, our hearts lack the nourishment to feel even a spec of hope, if these questions go unanswered. We feel the pity from our friends and the hand of God that struck us. When we cry out to God, we hear no answer. We are ripe for change. The master now stokes the Forge and picks up his hammer as tears stream down his face onto the anvil where our heart lies exposed.


Why do I complain that God answers none of my questions? I am wrong about this. Who am I to correct God? Where was I when God laid the earth’s foundation? Who laid its cornerstones while the morning stars sang together, and all the angels shouted for joy? Perhaps you will see a bit of this in yourself. God can do all things and no plan of His can be thwarted. I think about all the things I do not understand. These things are just too wonderful for me to know. His eyes have seen me. He continues to reach out to you. Story after story, generation after generation, the Lord uses the unfathomable terror of death to speak a deep peace into our bones. He uses our stories, because our stories are His stories. For His glory. I review Jack’s life, the story of our search, the years of thought and contemplation – with good cheer that a day of peace is coming. I hope you can join me in this when you think of yours.


Help me understand this one Jesus. Help me. I see that Jesus weeps too. Remember when Jesus put his arms around Mary and Martha when he showed up at Lazarus’s house post mortem? He wept. He sat on a pew between Mary and Martha and put his arms around them and wept. He sobbed. Like we do sometimes. He weeps with them and for them. He weeps with you, and for you. He weeps for us to know that weeping is not disbelieving. By his tears, we have permission to shed our own. He weeps to show us our flooded eyes are not indicative of a faithless heart and so we can be certain of life after death, even though we have a crater in the heart. He wept, even though he knew he was only a few minutes away from seeing a living Lazarus.


Picture heaven’s great reunion, life eternal, where there are no tears. Till then, we may grieve, but not as ones who have no hope. Listen for his voice. He has the final say about death. As Jesus wipes the tears dry, he chooses a chisel to inscribe your name in the Book of Life. His love is like no other. He will never forget you.


For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 THESALONIANS 4: 16-17


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© 2020 by Steve McAtee