|A miscarriage ends the hope for a baby you had hoped for
An economic downturn wipes out the business you sacrificed and saved for
Addictions destroy the life of someone you love
Unfaithfulness devastates your marriage leaving you hurt and alone
Unexpected illness take the life of your husband your wife, your child.
Last year in our little town 5 young men were involved in a horrible accident. Only one survived. They were an influence for good in their schools, their churches, their community. Not out drinking or partying, but visiting an elderly man they had befriended on that night before Thanksgiving. When we read Romans 8:28 “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful”, It is hard to understand how anything good can come from situations like these.
We can make the mistake of assuming because we do not know the answer there isn’t one. We can blame God. But the questions are still left unanswered. Consider this statement by J.I. Packer in his classic “Knowing God”
“Not many of us ever naturally say that in the light of the knowledge of God, that past disappointments and present heart breaks (as the world counts heart breaks) don’t matter. For the plain fact is that for most of us they do matter.
We cannot say the loss of a child, the end of a marriage, the loss of a friend, financial setbacks, illness and death do not matter. Certainly they do. But can we come to a place where even though the questions are not answered we have confidence that God can provide something good? J.I. Packer goes on to write this
But those who really know God never brood on might-have-beens; they never think of the things they have missed, only of that they have gained
As I write this I remember a song I first heard many years ago by Andre Crouch called “Through It All” the verses speak to these times in our life.
I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do
Through it all,
through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus,
I’ve learned to trust in God.
What is the something good that God provides in these difficult times?
I believe that even though we may never fully understand or know the answers this side of heaven, these trails and painful experiences will draw us closer to God and provide a deeper knowledge of who He is we allow them to. And then we can say as Paul did
I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8
©Brown, Victor Harvey
© J.I. Packer 1973