Back in the 1960’s my missionary grandfather, J.D. Clark, gave this message in a radio broadcast in Ecuador.
Children learn quite early in life to use the word “why,” and they ask the question time after time.
We as Christians are often inclined to use the same expression in our relationship with God. Usually we are not really looking for information; we are only voicing our doubts.
“Why does God let me suffer like this?” we ask.
“Why did He take away the person I love?
God does not always immediately chose to let us understand how He purposes the things He allows for our good, but we may be sure that He DOES HAVE a wise and holy design purpose for everything He allows to come our way. All is shaped by His providential hand of love.
An anonymous author has written, “I promised to give a doll to my dear baby girl; I had pictured one with exquisite features, teeth of pure pearl, moving eyes, walking limbs and real hair.! We entered the shop and my sweet little girl clasped a cheap tawdry doll to her chest. I was really afraid to make the exchange, though I wanted to give her the very best doll in the shop.
Anyway, I took the cheaper doll away from her, as tears filled her eyes, but as I gave her instead the one I had chosen, the dear little face glowed in joyous surprise that a treasure so grand existed and was to be her’s.”
O Savior, I too am a child in Your sight, and I choose the first things that I see; I struggle to keep them, and do not quite know why You, my Heavenly Father, should take them away from me. But when I look back through the wisdom of years, when my faith and spiritual perception is more mature, I know that I shall see through a rainbow of tears that You, my Father, had planned the best all the time.
Each faithless “why?” finds its sufficient answer in the comforting words of our text, “…He knows!”
But He knows the way I take…(Job 23:10)
They say even negative attention is better than no attention. Is that what God does? He permits bad things to take their course so a motivating opportunity is allowed for humans to turn to Him (in that crises) and say a bewildered, “why me?”
From the Bible I see evidence that God is looking for our attention. He doesn’t need our attention to BE God. He chooses to want attention from us.
Maybe… in God’s Olympic-sized, “follow-me-I’m-you’re-God-and-I-want-to-show-you-mighty-things” training program, a situation that requires faith and trust in Him is really His preferred strategy to achieve that goal. After all, situations that test faith are much more likely to create “heart-turnings” toward God than an “everything-is-hunky-dory” exercise.
Communication 101 with God is probably your basic, “Why me?” stuff. (I seem to have stayed in this course for years instead of moving on as He anticipated.) However, recently I find I want to progress. I want to get into the advanced “communicating with God” classes that I know exist.
For a different perspective on my life trials, I try to consider the “prosperity” found in Jeremiah 29:11 as ETERNAL prosperity. When I do this, I get a larger verse and a new point of view. It may well be God’s plan at the moment is for my earthly prosperity, BUT HOW MUCH MORE IMPORTANT IS MY ETERNAL PROSPERITY???
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
God builds us… (the “better doll”) for an immortal inheritance. This is not necessarily earthly hopes and dreams.
“And now I entrust you to God and the message of his grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance with all those he has set apart for himself.” Acts 20:32
“For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.” 1 Corinthians 15:53
“For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23