I have today received the most critical, (even demonic), email to date, and I was led to respond to the author. I am posting it here in hopes that it may encourage at least one who needs to read my defense of my faith. Join with me in praying for the author of the email that he would experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Thanks.
I’m not sure if you anticipated a response to the email you sent me yesterday, but I couldn’t ignore the condescending tone oozing from your fingers as you typed and I want you to know that I care enough to spend time and energy on formulating a “rebuttal,“ if you will. Here is my response; I hope you will read it through to the end.
John 14:14 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].”
Greek translation (from the Greek-Interlinear Bible): (If ever) (any) (ye-should-be-requesting) (in) (the) (name) (of-me) (I) (shall-be-doing).
Now, when you read the passage from John 14 that you referenced (actually incorrectly referenced as chapter 12) you read that Jesus/God promised to answer any request we have of Him. So, say a person asks for a specific kind of car. Bam, in Jesus name it should be his. Or, another person asks God for a spouse that treats them well. Bam, in Jesus name he should have a good spouse. Right?
That’s not what I see here. When we make a request of the Lord, in prayer, IN HIS [JESUS] NAME, that request comes under the sovereign authority and will of God. The name of Jesus isn’t a magic spell that will grant us all whatever we desire, because God knows not all of us desire righteousness. That is why when I pray, I make my requests of God, in Jesus’ name, and I end that prayer with, “but not my will but Your will be done, Lord.” Jesus modeled this prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane when His humanity wanted to live and not die, He didn‘t want to be separated from His Father in death (Luke 22:42). Though Jesus knew God’s will (that Christ would be the atonement for all sin of mankind), He desired in the end for “this cup to pass from me.” Can you blame him? But Jesus still submitted to the authority and sovereign will of God the Father, because His sovereign will glorifies Himself…and much to the dismay of many Christians today, that’s all this life on earth is about. God desires to glorify Himself through His people, whatever that may look like.
“But that’s not a good God! A good God wouldn’t kill innocent people or let His people be plagued with disease and starvation! How can God be good if such horrible things happen in this world??” I have heard similar statements and questions many times, and since I‘m being honest, I’ve thought them myself. Here is my best answer to those statements: I know God is good from experience, and I know this world has evil from experience. There is something of God’s nature that I don’t understand called His “permissive will.” God in all of His sovereignty permits really bad stuff to occur, not just in human history but today as well. I get that…totally. My son is no longer with me. I watched him suffer from a disease that took his childhood, his life, and my joy. I prayed, a lot. A lot of people prayed with me for Noah to be healed. I prayed for medical science to develop a cure that would take away Noah’s cancer. I prayed for a miracle, to see Noah spontaneously made well with no medical explanation. I had faith that God in all of His sovereignty and omniscience could do that. But He didn’t, and I don’t understand why. But I do understand that I only see a minute glimpse into the character of God through the Bible (you have referenced that as the “buybull”), and through my personal experiences in life. What I do understand is that I am like a child in my knowledge of who God is, and I trust in His will and purpose for my life just as my son trusted in me to care for him when he was here.
Do I feel as if God has failed me? Honestly, I am tempted to sometimes. One of my main purposes in life was to care for my child. Do you have children? Maybe not, but it’s a big deal, caring for a child. When you feel you have failed your child because they suffered and died, you want to blame someone else. It’s a natural human tendency, to deflect…but I soon realized that God allowed all these horrible things to happen to my family by His permissive will. Though He could have stopped it I am choosing not to blame God, but to trust God, that in the end (whenever that is) He will be glorified through my life, through Noah’s life, etc. If you think that I am naïve for this belief, or if you think that I am ignorant to the ways of this world, if you think that I don’t live in reality, that’s ok because your opinion doesn’t shape who I am in Christ.
I discern your anger and pain in the letter you’ve sent me, and I’m so sorry for the reason behind your aggression. I don’t know what you have experienced in your life that has caused you to react in such a way to my writings about my son’s life with cancer and his death. (Side note: Yes, my son did die, in my husband’s arms and by my side. His body died. He quit breathing and his heart stopped beating. It was horrific, agonizing, and something that torments me to this day. I will with grace choose overlook the irreverent and accusatory statements you’ve made about his death because you have made it clear in your email that you don’t believe in God the Father or Jesus Christ His Son, or His promise for eternal life beyond this earth. I know in my heart that though his body died, Noah’s spirit lives on in eternity. You can tell me that’s not true, but I will not be so easily swayed in my faith.) Back to your pain: we all have it in some form or another. If we are going to compare, some will have it worse than others. But we all have pain that has hardened our hearts, or threatened to steal the joy that we are meant to have in life. Once again, I’m sorry for yours and the people/person who caused it. Or maybe you are just tired of hearing about people who have faith in God, despite what circumstance they have been through. Maybe you have read scripture and you find error and contradiction within those 66 books that were written by man, and you can’t see how it could be inspired by God. Whatever your anger originates from, I’m sorry for it. I realize nothing I could say (or write) can convince you that my faith is real and alive, and inspires me every day. Until you allow the Holy Spirit to speak life into your own spirit, you won’t be able to see what I experience, and I’m sorry for that as well.
I will not share the email you sent me or your name with my readers because I respect your privacy, but I am posting my response in hopes that maybe someone else would find encouragement in my words. That is after all the reason I lay out my thoughts and beliefs for the world to see and potentially criticize, so that at least one may read and remember that, “in this world you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world!” - Jesus.
Praying you experience His grace and mercy, and doing my best to live my life for His glory,
These posts are written by Noah's parents Jessica & John David Crowe. The default author is Jess, and those written by John David will be noted.