Over the past few months I've been asking myself the question, "Why do we trust a God who allows bad things to happen?" It's the kind of question that must have begun subconsciously a few months ago but eventually became a conscious thought and prayer. It is a question I've been thinking through as I train to be a biblical counselor but also as I walk the path of faith myself.
The question hit even more deeply yesterday when my 8 week old daughter, Frances, was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. When she was struggling to breathe, when we drove to the hospital, when they put in the IV (in her head, of all places), the inevitable question was, "Why trust God when he doesn't ensure me of my daughter's health and life?"
As I was heading out of the hospital Thursday evening to pick up some food, I ducked into the little chapel, needing to vent some emotions in prayer. In the chapel there is a picture of Jesus on the wall that says, "Jesus, I trust you." I said those words to God, but then asked my question, "But why should I trust you?" I felt akin to the man in the Gospels who sought Jesus on behalf of his seizing son saying, "I believe, help my unbelief!" I wasn't in the chapel long before the good Lord answered in the way that only the Holy Spirit can, driving to heart the truth of Romans 8:32: "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"
In other words, as John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, said, "How unspeakably wonderful to know that all our concerns are held in hands that bled for us." God says, "You can trust me because I've bled for you. And if I bled for you, do you think I would ever harm you? You can trust my love because it was my love that gave up my Son. And if I gave him up freely, do you think I would withhold any other good from you?" If the Father's love is so vast that it motivated him to deliver up his Pride and Joy to be crushed for sin, will that same love not motivate everything else he does and allows to happen to his people?
Human logic says, "I will trust God if he promises me my daughter's health." God's logic says, "You can trust me with your daughter's health because I've bled for you." Human logic says, "I will trust God if he promises me to keep my daughter alive." God's logic says, "You can trust me because I gave my Son to die for you." When irreversible bad things happen, human logic says, "God can no longer be trusted." But God's logic says with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him," because those operating by divine logic know that no matter what, the God of the Cross is worthy of our trust. And those operating by divine logic also know that God's version of good and bad is different than man's version of good and bad - case in point, what seemed liked the very worst news of all - the crucifixion of the Son of God - turned out to be the very best news, the "good news" of Jesus Christ.
I don't say this is as if it is easy to live by the logic of the cross. I don't say this as if I wouldn't struggle with bitterness and anger and doubt if God chose not to heal my sweet Frances. I know I would. But I also know that no matter what happens, what God spoke to me last night in that little chapel is truth. Not just "true-for-me" truth but capital T, "Truth."
For now, as I get ready to sleep next to my little girl, I will absolutely pray for her health and her life (and I am thankful that she is improving). And I would ask that you do so as well. But as I get ready for bed I don't put my trust in a God who assures me of her health, but in a God who bled for her.
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This blog is written by the authors of Cypress Press, meant for the creative illustration and application of God's Word.