He Chose Not To
Around this time last year, right before the pandemic wrecked travel plans, I took a trip to New Jersey to visit the gravesite where my mother was laid to rest when I was just a child. It was springtime there and the weather was absolutely beautiful. I got there early and spent the whole day reading, writing, reflecting, and praying. I know it might sound creepy, but I enjoyed my day there at the cemetery remembering my mother. I went for a walk around lunchtime because my legs needed stretching. I paused as I passed the engravement on a child’s tiny headstone who never lived past one day old. The words were simply read, “He Chose not to.”
I went back to my seat near where my mother’s headstone is located and I began to ponder that phrase. “He chose not to.” As I was thinking about it, a small group of people assembled together for the burial of a loved one. As I watched the process from afar, I thought back to some of my own burial experiences when it came to loved ones I had lost. The goodbyes are said but more often than not, there are still questions. Why God? Why did my loved one have to die? We often pray fervently for Him to rescue that person from tasting death, but sometimes, He chooses not to. Sometimes, His answers are different than what we would plan.
Yesterday was Easter and one of the cycling questions in my head was “Why did Jesus have to die that way?” He could have taken Himself down from that cross, but He chose not to. He could have chosen a different form of forgiveness or even made us take on the punishment for our sins, but He chose not to. He knew the agony He would face, but He chose not to deny it for the sake of all mankind. He chose not to walk away from the pain of the cross because of His love for you and for me.
This “He chose not to” mindset can fit into other areas of our lives as well. Maybe you have prayed to get into the college of your dreams, but He chose not to let that happen because He has bigger and better plans for your life. Maybe He chose not to give you that job or relationship you so desperately wanted because He knew it would lead you down a path of destruction. Whatever the situation is in which you feel like God has not answered you or has forgotten you, perhaps He has just chosen not to do it the way you planned. The truth is, He always knows best. His plans are perfect in what He chooses to do, or ever what He chooses not to.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and human services with an emphasis in trauma and crisis and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida