This sounds like a Sunday School answer to me.
A Sunday School answer is an answer that, on the surface, is correct, but completely fails to connect with the human experience.
Sure, "Everything happens for a reason."
Sure, "It'll all work out in the end."
But I have a hard time thinking that the Stephen Curtis Chapman family doesn't continue to experience depression, anger and loneliness with every little reminder of the loss of their daughter. Sure they love and trust God. But there's still anger and hurt and unanswerable questions.
Why has a movement (and book) like Anne Jackson's Mad Church Disease struck such a chord with so many ministers and church workers who are admitting they are burned out, ill and depressed? Sure they love and trust God. But there's still loneliness.
As Christians, we face a dilemma.
We have faith in God. We know "that everything that happens is part of our way to the house of the Father." But we still feel lonely. We still get depressed. We still harbor resentment. And, as "good Christians," we're led to believe we're not supposed to feel these things. Sentences like Nouwen's can feed this belief.
So we have to take a big risk in sharing our struggles. And are typically met with Sunday School answers. Or, we must hide what we really feel and pretend everything is okay. Which means we offer Sunday School answers to those taking a risk with us.
As I understand it, a key freedom in a functional family is the ability to feel whatever you feel and honestly express it. No "supposed to." No "should." Let whatever it is be what it is.
Why is this so hard to do within the Church (i.e. Christian body, not MFUMC)? Are we a dysfunctional family whose members continue to play out assigned roles?
How did today's piece resonate with you? Do you sense this struggle within the Church or did I completely miss the point?
No Sunday School answers, please.