I know there are things that happen here on earth that, hard as we try, we just cannot understand. This morning, as I was lying in my bed, reflecting on the time spent with a friend yesterday, I was praying. Wrestling with this very topic. She is facing cancer yet again. This beautiful soul, desperate to reflect the love of Jesus, keeps running into this formidable enemy.
My mind and heart were grappling with understanding all over again. Why does God allow suffering in those individuals who live steadfastly for Him? And maybe a more accurate question would be ‘Why doesn’t He provide them with miraculous healing? A sign of His favor?”
Outside of faith, I cannot even begin to make sense of any of it. And yet, as I allow my faith to seep into my questioning, I am reminded that we have more grace than we deserve in simply being His children. I remember that God does allow things, but that He doesn’t necessarily cause them. We have sorrow and disease and death because we live in a world cursed by sin. And so, in the midst of these afflictions, God chooses to manifest his grace, but not necessarily healing. Humanly speaking, it seems unfair. But it helps perhaps to view it as being chosen to endure a hardship because He knows that person will bring Him glory in spite of the pain. I can only grasp at the fringes of how that works.
And as I lay there, praying and thinking, my radio came on to wake me with music. Songs of praise, songs of blessing. Then the announcer shared this quote:
When before the throne we stand in Him complete, all the riddles that puzzle us here will fall into place and we shall know in fulfillment what we now believe in faith—that all things work together for good in His eternal purpose. No longer will we cry “My God, why?” Instead, “alas” will become “Alleluia,” all questions marks will be straightened into exclamation points, sorrow will change to singing, and pain will be lost in praise. – --Vance Havner
I’ve got lots of question marks that need straightening out into exclamation points. I’m sure you do as well. So even as I pray for my friend-- for wisdom, for peace, for comfort, for relief—I choose to believe that even this will be used for God’s glory. And for today, I’m thankful for the promise that one day, we will understand.