Jul 10, 2007


I'm sure you've had that scary question hiding in the shadows if you haven't already fought with it. Why did God allow Alivia to die? Why did God allow Ian to experience this terrible ordeal? Why would He allow such heartache for the families and close friends? It's a scary question, because the answer could be that God is either not in control or not kind by nature or not caring enough to notice. I've had to do battle with that question by reminding myself of the truth of who God is.

This mushroom grew up in my yard almost overnight, and within a couple of days it was gone again. We're just as temporary as that mushroom. The right question, then, is the one the Psalmist asks (Psalm 8:4): "what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?" Why do you care for such a temporary creature when you are eternal and so full of glory that we can't even comprehend it? Why do you care for creatures who have rebelled against you and gone their own way? Why do you let any of us live at all?

Still, to be honest, the question won't die. I have to walk away from it with a brash confidence that it won't take me down and remind myself that I don't have all the answers. My protection is the truth that God reveals about Himself in His Word. It's my only hope.

Ian continues to take very small steps toward recovery. It's good to come home from work, sit down next to him in his wheelchair, and have him turn his head toward me and look right at me. When I think about where he was, it really is amazing to see his progress.

Pray for Ian.



mythreesons said...

Ask again. I was going to read back over all of Ian's blog to my kids that were gathered around. We got to the blog...ASK AGAIN....and stopped for the night with that thought....ask again...it's so hard to understand why some people have to go through such trials....one kid thinks it's because they are Christians....
Oct. 8 blog wrote"So let me encourage you guys, "ask again". Ask again for great, bold, exciting, impossible things! Let's not ask small things of our great, almighty God!"
So, I do not know Ian....but, I beg everyone that reads this blog to remember to "ask again"

Anonymous said...


Through Ian's situation, God has given you a platform for preaching God's sovereign goodness that no one can challenge. Thank you for standing strong and preaching this message with your life, your words and with your thoughts (where it all begins).

As your remind yourself to be satisfied in Him, He is glorified in you.

Each post shows Ian's continued progress. And we continue to pray for more.

John Q

Anonymous said...

"Why?" is the question that is as big as the universe...and it takes the God of the universe to know the answer.
Thank you for pointing us to His answer in His Word.

Still praying!

Mary Ann K.

Roberto said...

Oh my --- thank you, Steve, this is an EXCELLENT post!

Anonymous said...

praying for Ian
Lolly DiMaio

Anonymous said...

Thanks once again for sharing your heart. You very accurately conveyed the struggle that we all face with the question, "why?" I am thankful that we have God's Spirit and Word to turn to to hem us in. He is an ever present help in trouble. I am also thankful for all of Ian's progress and for knowing that the Lord is more than able to comfort and bring healing to the Haughery's and Allen's hearts in their time of loss.
Praying for them, for Ian and for your whole family as well.
Chris P.

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful truth. Thank you.
I'm praying still.

Duke - Walker

Anonymous said...

We may never know WHY, but we do know that God is at work in all of this. He has ALLOWED (not caused) this event in Ian's life and I believe that this blog, and all the encouraging words, from the family and others, have been a blessing to a lot of people - myself included. May God continue to bless your family, and in HIS GOOD TIME give you - what we are ALL praying for -healing for Ian.
My continued prayers, Rene from Latrobe

Tom Kurtz said...

well said Steve. thanks for pointing us once more to our Creator, Savior and Sustainer.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Mary, Larissa.... all other Murphy's

Thank you all so much for your care for us. In this trial, you have all taken the time to keep us informed about Ian and his progress and even your own personal struggles. It is such a blessing to read daily how God is working. The Lord is using this trial in mighty ways. Hang in there, run to our Saviour's arms for rest and comfort. He is daily using you to do a good work in all of us who are reading and praying.

Thank you again! You are such a blessing and inspiration.

Chris and Audra

Anonymous said...


One of the many things that I appreciate about your posts (and those of Larissa and others as well) is how candidly you're able to be REAL. Some people believe that a Christian should never, ever allow anything to show in his/her life unless it's positive, wonderful, happy, etc. But the truth of the matter is--as Jesus so lovingly told us--in this life, we will have tribulations. But He went on to encourage us to "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world!"

Yes, Steve, I asked that question silently, not allowing myself to utter it aloud. But we do wonder sometimes. We do have these thoughts, these feelings. Yet deep in our hearts, the Holy Spirit reminds us that truly God is in control, and that we can always depend on Him.

Thank you for allowing God's power to shine through your lives even in the midst of challenging times. And truly, as you always say--God is to be praised, for He is Sovereign and in control of all things.

We continue to pray for Ian and all of you,


Anonymous said...

Steve,Eph. 3:16-20 "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!" Amen. Eileen

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for that clear and articulate blog. I am learning so much from your insightful words and truths. I needed to hear that.
Continuing to pray that Ian can talk and for strength and wisdom for you all!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve,

Thank you. After fervently praying for Livi for a year or so now, it is so hard to believe that she is actually with the Lord now. It's not so much doubt, as it is a wondering ... why didn't You heal her, Lord? Your thoughts helped. and spurred me onto a greater confidence in the One who holds life and death in the palm of His hands. And, yes, I will continue to pray for Ian. :) Love In Christ Jesus, Janet Shilling

Steph B. said...

I went through a time of loss and grief last March (06') I had a miscarriage. The question "why?" came up a lot while I was talking to my husband. I never got angry with God. I knew that what had happened was in God's plan from the beginning. I know that He is Sovergin over all that happens.
I asked Gabe ( my husband) If it was okay to ask why. He assured me that it was okay. He also reassured me that my attitude through the whole thing was great. I am not saying it wasn't hard, oh my it was, but I know that through that trail, my relationship with My Lord and Savior has become oh so much more.
I continue to pray for Ian and the rest of the family!!!

Stephanie Bowman
Living Faith Church, WV

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve...........

Thank you for your honesty. Since I've taught philosophy at Covenant College and other colleges, I've naturally thought about this question both for teaching purposes, but much more importantly, for personal reasons. Actually, I think about your question every day of my life and have for 35 years or longer. Our granddaughter Tori is just one more prompting to think about this ongoing question.
But I have also answered your question every day of my life. And my "answer" is fully satisfactory. It's not the usual answer one hears in the church. If I ever have a chance to talk with you I'll be glad to share with you what the Lord has taught me on this matter.
Dora and I pray for your family every day.

Love in Jesus,
Bob DeMoss
"Are not two sparrows sold for one cent? And yet not one of them shall fall to the ground without the permission of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt 10:29-31)

Anonymous said...

Steve I cannot say it any better than you did. You are walking in what I am living. I don't feel God's comfort, but I know His WORD is Him and true. Fear not For I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you my victorious right hand." I have carried that verse with me since Livi was diagnosed on 4/8/06. I taped it on my phone at work, so I would have to look at it hundreds of times a day. The paper it is written on is dirty, wrinkled and faded. But His truth is not wrinkled and faded. My hope is that some day I will FEEL this verse, not just know it. I must begin to pray again for Ian, he has been off my radar since 7/06/07. I feel jealousy you still have him, I repent because that is contending with the Almighty...as Mary said to me at Livi's visitation, when I asked her if she questioned God her wise reply was ...."I can't go down that road, I am too desperate!" I love you for pastoring my heart through your pain....Gretchen, Livi's grandmother now and forever.