May 29, 2018
When Your World Falls Apart
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts(Isaiah 55:9, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Sometimes I just don't get it. I have been a Christ follower for over 50 years, written books and devotions, and spoken for women's conferences and events across the world. I founded Journey Ministry and serve with Sharon Jaynes and Gwen Smith as part of a ministry to women, Girlfriends in God. Over the years, God has brought me out of more pits than I can count, and I’ve been attending church since the day I was born. My faith in God should be unwavering, and I should never doubt or question Him or His plan.
But sometimes I do.
Several years ago, I received a phone call telling me that a young mother (whom we will call Sally) in our church was admitted to the hospital to have her baby after nine months of a very normal pregnancy with no complications. Sally and her husband should have been celebrating the birth of their little girl but instead, they were planning her memorial service. The baby died in the birth process and the mother was in ICU after having lost so much blood due to a torn uterus.
Sally is an extraordinary young woman. She and her husband are life group leaders and are constantly ministering to others. Sally has become a good friend and is one of the sweetest and most gentle spirits I have ever known.
I don't get it!
Why would God let this happen to them?
You may be offended at my next statement, but if I am brutally honest, my faulty human mind and sin-tainted heart can almost - almost come to grips with such a horrific circumstance happening to someone who is evil and has turned their back on God. Bad things should happen to bad people and good things should happen to good people. Sounds logical and fair to me. Right?
You and I both know that life is not fair and that our human logic is a shallow substitute for God's sovereignty.
We are broken people living in a broken world. Bad things do happen to good people while those who mock God seem to prosper. And it's been that way for a long time. Take Job for example. Job was a faithful follower of God. In fact, God said of Job, "There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
Job 1:6-12 "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ Satan answered the LORD, ‘From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.’ Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’ ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man, himself do not lay a finger.’"
Notice the important fact that God not only allowed Satan to test Job but dictated how Satan could test him. Job went from having vast wealth to great poverty, losing everything he and his wife had, including their ten children. Job's wife urged her husband to turn away from God, curse Him, and forsake the very faith that had blessed her and Job for so long - but Job stood firm.
Job 1:21 "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
Job was an extraordinary man, husband, father, and leader who served God faithfully. His faithfulness to God in prosperity was a powerful testimony, but His faithfulness to God in the face of death, pain, and despair was even more powerful.
Did Job doubt and question God? Absolutely!
Did Job openly and honestly grieve his loss and weep in his pain? Yes, but he remained faithful to God - even when he didn’t understand why God would let him endure such suffering - even when his heart and body was broken.
God monitored every step Job took and was with him. God was pleased with Job and rewarded him for his faithfulness. Job 42:11 "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first."
We may not always understand God's process, but we can trust His heart. One day, all of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points. When your world falls apart, walk by faith and trust God.
Father, I am so sorry for doubting You when life is hard or questioning Your plan when it seems to make no sense. I want to be a woman of faith, Lord. Help me cultivate the kind of faith Job had. Today, I choose faith over fear and trust over doubt. I choose You through it all.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Think back to a time when God did something you simply couldn’t understand. His plan seemed illogical and undoable. You asked, "Why did this happen to me?"
Look at where you are now. What good things have come out of that painful experience? What lessons did you learn in that difficult time?
More from the Girlfriends
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Originally published Tuesday, 29 May 2018.