“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” — Deuteronomy 29:29
As believers, we’re called not only expect the unexpected, but to embrace it. (Easy, right?) True faith is embracing life’s uncertainties — trusting that no matter the circumstance, it will shape you into the person God has called you to be.
This works out nicely for life’s pleasant surprises, but what about the surprises that shake us to our core? The painful ones that leave us looking to Heaven with a raised eyebrow screaming, “Seriously, God?”
Before we dig in, let me be clear. I don’t believe God causes pain and suffering in our lives. It’s not in His nature. But I do believe He allows pain into our lives — and when He does, He always has a bigger plan in mind.
I know. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair. But God has a proven track record of using our suffering to impact the lives of others and bring His Kingdom in a tangible way.
“Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.” — John H. Sammis
We all have questions.
Some are small — my daughter, Bella wants to know why God made mosquitos (reasonable question, right?!).
Then there are the big ones — the ones that keep us awake at night with no option but to cry out…
“Why did God let my spouse leave me?”
“Why cancer? Why me, God?”
“Why did I lose my job? I thought God would provide?”
“Why won’t anyone rescue me from this abuse?”
It’s human nature to question — to seek or even demand a logical, rational reason to anything and everything. It’s how we’re wired.
And unfortunately, that inquisitive spark goes in stark contrast to the “expect the unexpected” mandate of our faith. When we don’t understand, we believe God owes us an answer.
I’ve been known to be intensely bratty and demanding with God. Like a child, I beat my fists against His chest in a fit of anger. And as my loving Abba Father, He waits patiently. He endures my icy laments and lets me melt into Him when I’m ready to hear the truth.
Like a good parent, He always has a reason.
As the parent of a five-year-old, I know the irritation that goes along with “Why?”
I try to be patient. I am happy to explain to my daughter why she can’t climb on top of daddy’s F-250 Super-Crew cab. (It’s not safe.) I will go into detail about why she can’t run naked through a houseful of guests. (It’s rude.) Or perhaps why her room needs to be cleaned for the third time today. (It’s still a disaster.)
But in the face of imminent danger, I demand her trust and obedience — no questions asked. I might even have to yell. She might even need to cry. But I do it all for her, because I care more about her well-being and future than explaining why.
Perhaps this is why God doesn’t always give us the answers we seek. He is orchestrating the fabric of the universe in ways we can’t begin to understand. Yes, He could give us all the answers. But is that what’s best for us? Maybe he wants us to seek His truth as a revelation journey, not a destination.
All our “why” answers will unfold when we’re ready for them — when we’re ready to hear the real truth. The kicker is, it may not be this side of Heaven.
But rest assured, God is strategically connecting the dots in ways we can’t possibly understand. Slowly, I’m learning to be humble enough to let God call the shots — and brave enough to follow Him wherever He leads.