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Devotional Archives
(October 20, 2005)

Big Questions with No Answers

      By Fern Horst

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places." (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Recently a little girl asked me a difficult question: "Why did God allow my Daddy to get cancer?"

Indeed, why? Why does God allow innocent children to go through difficult times? Why does He allow hurricanes and tornadoes to devastate people's homes and livelihoods? Why does He allow people who serve Him faithfully to struggle? Why does God answer some people's prayers with a "yes" and others' with a "no"?

As I silently asked God for wisdom to answer her, I thought of how many times I'd asked similar questions, all starting with the same four words that her question did: "Why did God allow ?"

My mind went to the story of Job, and how he also asked God this question after losing all his children, his livestock, and his health. We have the luxury of knowing why God allowed it, because we have the Bible that explains how God gave Satan permission to test Job's faithfulness to Him. But God didn't tell Job what we know of what went on between Him and Satan. God's answer to Job boiled down to this: "I am God and only I understand how everything in this universe works. Your job is to trust me." Job finally came to a place of full surrender to the Lord, and in the end he declared, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

And really, it all boils down to this simple concept: God is good, He knows what He's doing, and we can trust Him no matter what.

There will be times in each person's life where we will have reason to ask, "Why did God allow ?" Sometimes we will be able to easily see the whys, or perhaps some of them. But there will be other times when nothing makes sense to us.

It is at those times where seemingly blind faith comes in. We choose to trust Him, even though we don't understand. But that trust is not based on wishful thinking. It's based on previous experiences of His faithfulness to us, and it's based on His Word. Stories in the Bible such as Job's can help us to understand that on this side of heaven not all of our questions will be answered, but that God is still trustworthy.

They also help us to answer those who come to us with similar questions about the events unfolding in their lives. It's important that not only do we learn for ourselves to trust in the Lord in the darkness, but that we pass on that faith so that He can be their strength during those times when their big questions have no clear answers.

© 2005 Fern Horst

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