I was caring for my terminally ill parents when someone queried, “Why are your parents sick when they have served Yahweh so faithfully all their lives?” I paused, considering, astonished to discover that I had never asked that question. Eventually, I replied, “I don’t really ask the ‘why’ question, since, frequently, there are no answers.” Later that evening I was musing over the incident and wondering when I had stopped asking; when had I become so wise?
The need to know motivates us to learn, to investigate, to discover things. Because of this need, our generation has access to the kind of lifestyle that, just a hundred years ago, would have seemed like science fiction. But there are still many questions!
Why Yahweh Who, the Bible tells us, has chosen us, loves us, and has power beyond our comprehension, should allow us to have trouble and pain, is one of those unanswerable questions. And yet, “…we know [with great confidence]” writes the apostle Paul, “that [Elohim] [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love [Yahweh], to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” [Romans 8:28 AMP]
Over the years, I have learned that our Father doesn’t throw bad ‘stuff’ at us, but He does sometimes allow life to do so. Why He does that I never could work out, so I stopped trying. I also stopped thinking that He allowed ‘it’ merely for the good that I could see with hindsight; He’s so much bigger than that. Hindsight vision is merely us noticing the outworking of the Romans 8:28 principle.
Mercy and compassion are hallmarks of Yahweh’s generosity, given by His own choice. He said, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” [Romans 9:15 NIV] I am eternally grateful that He chose to be merciful to me, I did nothing to deserve it, I simply enjoy it and try never to take it for granted. In the same way, Yahweh reserves the right to answer my questions or not; nothing I do, say, give or surrender buys me the right to answers. When we have settled that, we can begin to build up our trust.
Image by Anand KZ