The world is a crazy place. Everyday we hear reports of wars, natural disasters, acts of terror and unspeakable crimes against humanity. We need only to open our browsers or turn on the television to be barraged with an onslaught of heartbreaking stories.
Sometimes, however….sometimes we need only open our eyes in the morning to be faced with unspeakable pain and suffering. Sometimes it is we who are wrestling with the universal question of Why me? and Why do bad things happen to good people?
A close friend received healing from that devastating disease; yet your diagnosis remains unchanged.
A friend announces she is expecting surprise baby number 3 and you’re still trying to keep a pregnancy viable through to delivery – and the cramps come anyway.
You pray with all your might and faith during the company downsizing, yet somehow the guy in H.R. that fibs on his monthly reports gets promoted and your husband gets handed a pink slip.
Things happen in this world – and in our own lives, in our homes – that just don’t make sense. It can be easy to wonder if we’ve done something wrong to deserve all of this. Does God love them more? Is He more pleased with their faith? Am I being punished? Has God forgotten about me?
I’ve realized something as I’ve walked through my own times of unexplainable chaos – and as I’ve walked alongside other friends and family through their chaos. I’ve found that at these times, in the real thick of it, in the fog of grief and anger, asking why often only serves to bring nothing but more doubt and frustration.
Rather than speculating about the reason, we need to be looking at what we know to be TRUE.
1. God is good and sovereign. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 It is not easy to understand (or perhaps even possible to understand) why God allows the things He allows. He has given mankind free will; and man in his heart is corrupt. But God will never corrupt or change.
2. God works for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28 What we often stumble over here is that His definition of good and our definition of good are often very different. This takes us back to point number 1. He is sovereign, He holds the blueprints. Your pain, your tears, your confusion will not be wasted.
3. He will never ever leave or abandon any of his children. Hebrews 13:5-6 We often feel abandoned by God, but he promises us here in Hebrews (and in other places in Scripture) He will never, never, never, never, never leave us or abandon us. We do not have to fear over our ultimate fate because He is in control, working for our good, and with us the whole way.
4. He loves you as though you were the only human he created. There is no gradient to his love. Colossians 3:12, 1 John 4:10, John 3:16-17 It can be so easy to feel like God loves others so much more than He loves us. When they get the healing, the new job, the sweet baby, the perfect family…Yes, God gives good gifts to His children, but the presence of good gifts in the life of another does not reflect an absence or decrease of His love for us. Not only does he love us, but He IS Love. Just like water is H2O, God is love. Nothing we could do could make Him love us more, or less. If you need a reminder of what true, real love is like, check out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a and instead of the word “love”, insert the word God. Then remind yourself of points 1-3.
5. His thoughts and ways are not our ways. They are not always easy or comfortable, but they are in the end best. Isaiah 55:8-9 Enough said.
These things, and more, are truth whether we feel or believe it or not. He never promised us we will understand. He never promises physical healing and comfort (Paul’s thorn was never removed).
But He is CAPABLE.
Do not doubt his love for you, or your family. He is not going to give you a snake when you need bread. When things get dark and hard and scary, hold fast to these Truths – and to God’s hand – and you will weather this storm with a sweeter, deeper relationship with, and faith in, Him than you ever thought possible. A perfect, trouble free life? No. But a sweet, strengthening, hope-filled relationship with Him? Oh, yes.