Brutal Faith

God has His reasons.

Christians say that a lot when life doesn’t go according to plan.  I’ve said it myself.  But I’m rethinking how much I say it lately.  Because implied in God has His reasons is the comfort that one day we’ll know what those reasons are and they will be justifiable to us – if not soon, on earth, then when we finally get to Heaven and talk to Him at last.

Whew, we’ll say, I was really wondering what you were thinking when you allowed that unforeseen health crisis to happen and I was uninsured.  At the time it seemed like the worst thing imaginable, but I know You had Your reasons, so…

And God will say, “Oh, right.  Well, see, I knew that you’d have that inheritance coming down the pike and it would all work out in the end, so, no harm no foul.” 

Or not.

Because sometimes God does choose to explain Himself.  And sometimes He doesn’t.  Certainly God does have reasons, but what if we never find out what those reasons are?  What if those reasons are unfathomable to us?  What if He chooses not to share them?  What if they seem insufficient?

What then?

Right now, in my professional life, I can look back to a slew of different events that I simply don’t understand.  I’m not sure why God permitted one thing to happen and not another; I don’t know why He opened one door and shut another.  My heart wants to assume that God’s reason is that something better must be around the bend, but I don’t really know that.  I don’t know what God is thinking, or what His plan might be.

Can I be fine with that?

Yes, because that’s what faith is.  Faith is not the blind assumption that it’ll all be okay in the end (although, for us, it eventually will be).  It’s not the blind belief that God will fix it all for us (because sometimes, down here, He won’t). It’s not the understanding that God will sit down and show us the story of our lives so that we can see exactly what He was doing and find it justifiable (although who knows, He might).  Faith is not the belief that one day God will validate and explain everything that has ever happened to us.

Faith is trusting that God is who He says He is, and that He knows what He is doing, and that He acts toward us in love.  That’s it.  That’s all.

It’s why Job says in 19:25 “I know that my Redeemer lives” and yet blurts out in 42:5-6 that “my ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  This prior to the restoration of his losses: a recognition of God’s absolute authority and ability over all things.

Faith can be brutal and hard and demanding.  It isn’t always pretty flowers and sunbeams.  It demands a lot of us, and not least the subjugation of our desire to have it all explained, to have the events of our lives justified, to have God painstakingly detail, as though we were the authority here, why He’s done what He’s done.

God has His reasons.  I’m sure He does.  But faith says that whether we discover them or not, it doesn’t really matter.  He knows what He’s doing.

 

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