By Drew Zuverink
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things."
People spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out why God allows certain things to happen. Every Christian, at some point in their life, has gone through something difficult that caused them to cry out, "Why God?!"
Romans 8:28 says that, "God works all things for the good of those who love him." Most Christian's believe that God works everything for our good, but when we go through really difficult times, we often want to know exactly how God is doing that. In other words; it isn't enough for us to know that God is working for our good, we want to know how God is working for our good.
The reason for this is probably because, when we go through something really difficult, it becomes very hard to see how any good could possibly come from this, and so we start to doubt God's promise to work only for our good. This in turn causes us to want proof. We reason; "If God can show me why he's allowing me to go through this, then I will trust him."
Our desire for the reason behind our suffering is only natural, and praise God that, in hind sight, we can often see the reason. But there is danger in thinking this way as well. The danger in thinking this way is that we will not always know why God allows us to go through certain things. Ecclesiastes 11:5 compares our knowledge of the wind, or of a baby in the womb, to our inability to understand the works of God. God also says in Isaiah 55, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
To put that verse into perspective, there are estimated to be over 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone. A mind boggling fact. The average distance between 2 of those stars is 30 trillion miles. When the space shuttle was in orbit it traveled at about 18,000mph (or 5mps). How long do you think it would take you to travel from one star to the next if you were traveling at 5 miles per second? 200,000 years. In other words, if you got into the space shuttle at the time of Christ, and started traveling from the sun to another star in our galaxy, you would be 100th of the way there right now. The vastness of space is so incredible that our little human brains cannot even imagine it, and that is true when it comes to our ability to understand what God is doing in our lives as well.
By God's grace, sometimes we are able to see how God works for our good, and those times are precious - they even build experiential trust in God. But as we age in our relationship with Christ, there ought to be a maturing process within our hearts that releases our need to know why God allows certain things. Once that happens, we will be free to simply trust that God knows best and that he will work for our good.
Brothers and sisters, doesn't our experience show us how a young child is consumed with a need to ask why their father must do certain things? Why can't I stay up late on a school night? Why must you discipline me? Tell me why you are doing this, dad! But as that child grows up, they learn to trust their father who has proven, time and time again, to be looking out for their best interests. As a child matures they learn to trust good parents without needing to ask, "why," all of the time. It would be wise for us to learn to do the same with our Heavenly Father, who loves his children, and who promises to only do good things for them.
By God's grace we will be able to go through the most difficult of circumstances without needing to know why God is allowing it, or how he is working it together for our good - we will simply be content to know that he is.