August 27, 2014 - Serious Struggles

As I was listening to the radio the announcer said, “You know, I think a lot of people have doubts about God—where does He stand on the issues that face society today, and more importantly, don’t we have the right to have our doubts addressed?”


Placing these comments in context, the discussion centered on the assumption that God doesn’t mind when we ask questions. In fact the statement was made, “He (God) can handle it (our doubts).”

Although that may be the case, do we want to live our lives questioning God, taking our doubts to Him daily and asking Him to explain Himself—or at least make some sense out of the difficulty we are forced to endure? Today some face uncertainties and fears that only make sense in the light of God’s sovereignty. We never know if this is the day when we pray for the healing of a spouse, for the relief from  suffering, or for an infant fighting for its life from the time it enters our world.

God is not insensitive, but He is God. Perhaps the question is, do we believe that? I know we do, of course—but have we truly recognized Him for who He is? The second question is, if we have—do we trust Him? How do we know that the path we are on is the path we are supposed to be on, especially when it’s a lonely or dark one?

In the midst of overwhelming trials, how are we to make sense of what’s happening? And how are we to respond, especially since we desire to trust God? We all want to do the right thing—we want to be the people He has called us to be. But from firsthand experience I have learned—this is tough. If you are faced with such trauma in your life, it will be a time of suffering.

When I sat down with Gwen’s surgeon, Dr. Brennan, I had already been telling everyone that we had gone to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City for their treatment expertise, not for the hope they could offer. I explained that our hope was in the Lord and in Him only.

I believed that, understood what it meant, but didn’t realize until I sat across the desk from Dr. Brennan that I needed to hear a message of hope from him. Unfortunately, he was unable to offer any—and my faith struck a boulder.

I was surprised that I was questioning God, and that I was angry with Him for not rescuing Gwen the way I wanted Him to. I loved her dearly and wanted to protect her—deliver her from the illness and pain.

For a brief moment, I forgot that God’s love for each of us is greater than anything we can comprehend. Jesus died on the cross for each one of us individually—how could I doubt Him to do what is right? I remembered that His love for Gwen is eternal, a father’s love for his daughter—I could understand that.

Only then did my heart settle into the understanding that He truly is in charge—nothing takes Him by surprise. My very best is insignificant compared to God. Why then should I feel I have the right to question Him because what I am going through is painful or doesn’t make sense to me?

As A.W. Tozer stated in The Knowledge of the Holy, “Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”

The last thing I want to do is trivialize the pain of others. When we are called upon to endure great hardship, it is difficult even to breathe. But our comfort, our strength, even our ability to survive comes from Christ. There is no doubt about that.

Question: Is God taking you through a period of suffering? Please share below.