We all struggle with the “why” and “what if” questions of life. I’ve learned through life, however, that God seldom answers these questions, He instead uses them to draw us closer to Him.
Job never found out why he went through all the heart aches he did and eventually had to accept that God was sovereign and he’d have to simply trust God.
These questions are more us trying to control our pasts. For example, why didn’t we take Shaun to the ER to see why he was so ill from the sun? What if I hadn’t told Shaun 3 years earlier that this was the last time I was going to help him, would he have come to me for help with this problem? What if we never left Mississippi where Shaun was so happy and life so good? What if we never left Memphis; what if we insisted Shaun go away to college, what if, what if?
The conclusion I’ve reached which is the same conclusion Job and probably every other seeker has reached, is God is sovereign and we just have to trust him.
But what I’ve come to see through this process is that it’s far better to wrestle with God through the questions than simply accept it as a fact of life. God wants us to understand and rest in his sovereignty with every bit of our being and not to just accept it intellectually but not emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, etc.
I guess that is the way God deals with most of us because many times when Jesus was asked a question by someone, He answered with a question of His own for them to consider or a parable that required them to think through. Jesus didn’t give out pat answers but rather challenged people to think through and search for the answers to their questions themselves. In the very good book “Jesus the Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived” we learn that Jesus knew He wasn’t going to change people’s lives by them remembering what He said, but rather by having a personal relationship with Him. That’s why He said “follow me” rather than “follow My spiritual principles”. Jesus wants us to eat His flesh and drink His blood (John 6: 53-56); to devour Him, to be totally consumed with and by Him.
We meet God during life’s journey and it’s during the journey itself that we come to realize who God is and who we are. Perhaps this is a lesson that can only be experienced and not learned through a textbook.
I remember years ago praying that God would break me expecting it to be me wrestling with some scriptural issue/question. Instead, God answered with 10+ years of pure ****. But how else do we learn to trust God and believe He is using the circumstances of life for our good without going through some trying, challenging circumstances. It’s like watching a man push a small cart on a tight rope stretched over Niagara Falls. It’s easy to think he can push the cart over the falls but trusting him requires that we get in the cart. We all have that choice to make. Do we get in the cart trusting God to push it or withdraw into our safe, but insipid, lives and only think that He loves us and will walk with us through the challenges of life.
I read somewhere years ago that God doesn’t want our lives to be easy or hard, He wants them to be impossible. We encounter the true, living and loving God in the impossible’s of life. The challenge for all of us is to get in the cart.
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes-
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning