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When Life Doesn't Make Sense
May 5, 2014 by Larry Lazarus 0 comments
One of the most challenging aspects of living a life of faith in Jesus is how to make sense of the innumerable pains and heartaches we experience in this fallen world. No matter how many times we quote Romans 8:28, it’s just hard to believe sometimes that an infinitely good, all-powerful God is governing even the tiniest details of our lives.
“If God is totally in control of everything, and if He’s full of compassion towards me as a beloved child, then why…?” You’ve asked that question before, haven’t you? Those of us who are parents cannot conceive of watching one of our children go through some form of extreme pain and doing nothing about it, though we had the power to stop it in an instant. And yet our heavenly Father governs a world where horrifying calamities befall His beloved children day after day.
There are many times when life simply doesn’t make sense. Richard Wurmbrand (who spent several years in a Romanian prison because of his faith in Christ, and later founded the organization Voice of the Martyrs, to raise awareness for persecuted Christians around the world) tells a parable that illustrates the necessity of believing God for good, unseen purposes, when all we can see is evil and frustration:
A legend says that Moses once sat near a well in meditation. A wayfarer stopped to drink from the well and when he did so his purse fell from his girdle into the sand. The man departed. Shortly afterwards another man passed near the well, saw the purse and picked it up. Later a third man stopped to assuage his thirst and went to sleep in the shadow of the well. Meanwhile, the first man had discovered that his purse was missing and assuming that he must have lost it at the well, returned, awoke the sleeper (who of course knew nothing) and demanded his money back. An argument followed, and irate, the first man slew the latter.
Where upon Moses said to God, “You see, therefore men do not believe you. There is too much evil and injustice in the world. Why should the first man have lost his purse and then become a murderer? Why should the second have gotten a purse full of gold without having worked for it? The third was completely innocent. Why was he slain?”
God answered, “For once and only once, I will give you an explanation. I cannot do it at every step. The first man was a thief’s son. The purse contained money stolen by his father from the father of the second man, who finding the purse only found what was due him. The third was a murderer whose crime had never been revealed and who received from the first the punishment he deserved. In the future believe that there is sense and righteousness in what transpires, even when you do not understand.” (100 Prison Meditations, 6-7)
In this story, Moses’ doubts surely would have been alleviated had he embraced that God’s infinite, inscrutable wisdom demands that there will be many occasions in which His ways just don’t seem to make sense to our finite minds (see Isaiah 55:8, Romans 11:33ff). A key element of human wisdom is having the humility to embrace that God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than ours, and that He therefore may well have purposes for our good and His glory that we just can’t fathom right now (Proverbs 11:2).
If you find yourself in the midst of some maddening detour or inexplicable delay, keep trusting in the immeasurable goodness, awesome power, and matchless wisdom that we see demonstrated most clearly and beautifully in the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Don’t judge God’s wisdom or His plans until you get all of the information. Instead, embrace by faith that when Jesus returns, and faith becomes sight, and all things are made new, then surely you will say, “He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37).
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