Waiting with Faith

Have you ever bitten into a green tomato? Have you ever sunk your teeth into a fall apple during the heat of summer or into a summer strawberry during the cool of spring? Have you ever listened to a choir’s first rehearsal, read a book’s first draft, gazed at an artist’s initial sketches? Have you ever tasted a chef’s half-baked dish, watched a choreographer’s first dance, listened to a song’s initial lyrics? If you’ve eaten that apple or read that …

Would It Be Okay For Me To Be Angry With God?

It felt like a test—a test of my faith, a test of my convictions, a test of my love for God. Soon, very soon, after I learned that my son had died, I received a message from an old acquaintance. Her intentions were good—she wanted to offer consolation. But her instructions were suspect—she wanted me to rage against God. Paraphrasing one of her favorite authors she said “It’s okay to be angry with God about this. It’s okay to tell …

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Grief Should Always Make Us Better

Death is the great interrupter. Death is the great interrupter because, far more often than not, it strikes when it’s least expected. When death comes it invariably interrupts plans, dreams, projects, goals. One author observes how very sad, how very pathetic it is, when a man dies suddenly and we go into his home or his place of business “and see the unfinished things he has left—a letter half written, a book half read, a picture begun but not completed. …

When All Seems To Be Gain, Plan For Loss

A friend of mine was part of a rapid deployment unit in the military. The task of his division was to be in a perpetual state of readiness, able to be deployed at a moment’s notice. When a need for their services arose, those soldiers were to be geared up, loaded up, and wheels up within hours. Because they could not know when a conflict would arise or what manner of conflict it might be, they had to be prepared …

The Funeral for My Son, Nick Challies

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, we will be holding the funeral service for my dear son, Nick. Because the entirety of my family and the majority of Nick’s friends are in America, and because the borders between our two countries are functionally closed, we will be live-streaming the service. Those who did not know him are welcome to watch as well. I have created a page you can bookmark and visit at the time of the funeral to find the …

If God Did It, It Must Be Good. Right?

“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.” So said the inimitable Charles Spurgeon. Or did he? He might have said, “When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” Or maybe he said both, or maybe he said something halfway between. Either way, it’s clear that in Spurgeon’s dark hours he found comfort in a particular …

The Cruelty of Quarantine: A Lament

Today was to be a day of great rejoicing. On August 14 I dropped my son and daughter at their college in Louisville, Kentucky, knowing that with all the border restrictions and quarantine requirements it was unlikely I would see them again before the close of the semester. We booked their return flights for today, Friday, November 13. This was to be the day of our reunion. And, to add joy upon joy, my son’s new fiancée was going to …

On Running a Short Race Well

Each of us is given a race to run. Some are called to run a long race. Some are called to run a short race. What matters is not how long our race is, but how well we run it. It’s God’s business to determine how long we run; it’s our business to determine how well we run. It is so much better to run a short race well than a long race poorly. God called my son Nick to …

My Son, My Dear Son, Has Gone To Be With the Lord

In all the years I’ve been writing I have never had to type words more difficult, more devastating than these: Yesterday the Lord called my son to himself—my dear son, my sweet son, my kind son, my godly son, my only son. Nick was playing a game with his sister and fiancée and many other students when he suddenly collapsed, never regaining consciousness. Students, paramedics, and doctors battled valiantly, but could not save him. He’s with the Lord he loved, …

A Side Of Perfect Beauty in Every Providence

Corrie Ten Boom famously compared God’s providence to a tapestry which, as it is being woven, seems to be little more than a mess of threads and knots. But when finished it is turned over to reveal its beauty. You can read this in a poem she popularized titled “Life Is But a Weaving.” But she was not the only one who has made such a comparison. Long before Ten Boom the abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote “The Pressed Gentian.” …