As we all know, suffering and heartache are a part of our world. In our fallen race as humans, we live a world where evil has been allowed in and as a result our daily lives are filled with anguish and trauma. It’s inevitable in our world until Christ returns. When something bad does happen, say you are someone you know and love becomes ill, a sudden death comes, a bad accident, someone falls to addition of any kind, and many other things, what is one question that so many of us ask of God? We ask, why. Why do these things happen? Why did he have to die? It’s a part of what we live with and something we all struggle with.
Do you know something, though? Asking God why is such a selfish question? It really is. It is our attempt to interrogate God like he is the one that caused those things. No, God didn’t cause my Dad to die. He didn’t cause that young girl to get raped. He didn’t cause that dear friend to develop cancer. He didn’t cause alcohol, drug, or sexual addition. Satan was gained dominion over this world and therefore chaos happens. Suffering happens. We can’t ask God why, because these are things we will never understand. God didn’t cause those things, but I tell you what, He is still there, and He wants to use those circumstances to bring us back. Not to understand, but to just trust in Him.
What does that famous Proverb say, Proverb 3:5. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” I’ve heard this recited many times over the years, yet still people easily forget about it. They may trust for a short while, but then it’s right back to life as usual or the life of blaming God for circumstances or suffering. Again, God didn’t cause it, but He wants to use what did happen to bring us back to Him.
C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” When we experience suffering God is right there trying to pull us to Him. Those sufferings can be used glorious ways, if we are willing to get out of His way, stop leaning to ourselves, stop asking why, and just fall on God
Do not lean on your own understanding. This is a key part of this Proverb. We have to remember that we will never fully grasp why suffering happens or why anything happens for that matter. There are so many glorious mysteries of God that are to remain mysteries to our human self. We just lean to fall on Him. Paul Claudel said, “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with His Presence.”
Many of you know the story of my Dad and how we lost him suddenly in a car accident over 5 years ago. It was suffering like I had never experience before. To have him ripped away so suddenly was traumatic and then the void left was immense. I wondered why to myself quite often. Tried to make sense of it all. Even through time in Scripture and when I began to find my faith again, I still struggled with this. I was still too caught up in self and not falling to God.
When God finally got me to let go and just lean to Him in this suffering, it was so amazing. This was about a year and half ago or so about 4 years after his death. My heart was not fully open, yet God never gave up on me during this time. Since then, God has continually transformed my life and my family with each day that passes. Yes, suffering and struggles still come our way and when I sit and think of my Dad’s death, a tear will sometimes fall, but I no longer try to understand for myself and rather fall on God. Trust Him with it all. God has put this on my heart repeatedly, to just trust Him. Let go and let God.
With all of this said, I am in no way diminishing the pain and anguish that comes with traumatic situations that come in our lives. However, it is a part of our life because of the world we live. The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us and our hearts and in these tragedies and struggles, that’s what he tries to do. On the other hand, we have the power and glory of Jesus Christ to lean towards. We have the armor of God, should we choose to put it on and then when we fully let God and trust in the Lord, we can deal with our sufferings so differently.