Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
God works in strange ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Paul expresses well our lack of understanding of God’s ways in Romans 11:33-34. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” In 1993, James Dobson wrote a book entitled, When God Doesn’t Make Sense, in which he shares a number of tragic accounts of Christians who endured great trials. Dr. Dobson served for 17 years on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. It was while he was serving at this hospital that he encountered so many families going through difficult trials, and many of them were people who knew the Lord.
Why does God allow His children to endure such difficult trials? Often, it just doesn’t make sense.
If you are over 50, you will remember The Roy Rogers’ television show. Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans, were both committed Christians who went through their own very difficult trials. Shortly after the death of their daughter Robin, who died from complications associated with Down syndrome, Roy and Dale met a pale little boy who stuck out his hand and said, “Howdy, pahtnah!” He had been abandoned in a Kentucky motel, and was physically and mentally disabled. Roy and Dale adopted him, calling him Sandy in honor of his sandy-colored hair. He was bright-eyed and good-natured. During a Billy Graham crusade, Sandy became a Christian.
Roy and Dale enrolled him in military school and he loved it. At 17, he enlisted in the army, “to prove myself,” he said. Sandy worked hard and won respect. He was sent to Germany, and then he volunteered for Vietnam. “Put your faith in the Lord,” he wrote home to his Mom and Dad, “because (as I have found out) he’s always around when you need him. All he asks in return is your devotion.”
Then one day, Dale Evans, returning from a trip, was met at the airport by one of her children. “It’s Sandy, Mom. He’s dead.” Sandy had returned from 26 days of maneuvers, dog tired. His buddies had taken him out for the night, needling him to “prove you’re a man.” Sandy, who couldn’t tolerate alcohol, had given in. They fed him hard liquor until he collapsed. He was found the next morning dead in his bunk.
Dale said that she survived the sorrow of losing Robin and Sandy only by drawing strength from Scripture, particularly Job 13:15. In her journal she wrote, “Tragedy in a Christian’s life is a refiner. God has not promised an easy way, but peace at the center of the hard way. The clouds of sorrow have been heavy, but I have reached the point of no return in my Christian experience, and with Job I can cry, ‘Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.’”
Do you find yourself in a pit? It’s often hard to be in a spot of despair and lack of understanding during the holidays – a time that’s supposed to be full of much celebration. But remember there is no pit too deep for God. Turn to Jesus, the One who came as a humble babe to seek and save the sick. Seek Him while He may be found. Let Him be your anchor through the storms of life. He is our only hope and what a great hope He is. Hebrews 6:19 states, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”
The Son of God has entered the world, and He’s on His way back again, coming very soon.