Sometimes we wonder why people of God go through some harsh situations, especially after they have prayed and expressed strong faith in God. While some are sincerely confused, some feel disappointed, while some are just mad at God. Is it the nature of God to allow His children to go through pains while He simply looks away? No! If God permits some situations, He has a reason for it. God looking away from the suffering of His only begotten Son paved the way for our salvation. Our debts were paid in full and access to the throne of grace was granted. Before I learned this lesson, as a young convert in Christ some years back, I struggled with God, especially after losing a dear one.
When I gave my life to Christ as a teenager, my family could not understand what I was looking for in religion and why my lifestyle had to change drastically. Every effort to talk me out of my decision failed and resulted in very harsh treatment. I knew they loved me so much and wanted the best for me, but the path I had found, which brought me much peace and hope, they had found strange. As a result of my decision for Christ, I became a lone ranger with no one to turn to in my family. However, I had an uncle who I admired and who was the only one that seemed to understand my newfound faith in Christ. I looked up to him for quite a number of things and always felt comfortable around him and his family.
One day, we got the news that there was an accident, and he did not make it. My heart was ripped apart. Thousands of questions rushed to my head about God. I was almost starting to feel insecure. With my heavily confused mind saddled with unresolved questions, I traveled down to our hometown for his burial.
There was no doubt that God saw through my crowded mind. He must have seen my inner struggles and confusion as a young convert. He was waiting for me to answer some of those questions. As we sat quietly under the canopy that temporarily housed the remains of my uncle, and the heads of those in attendance stooped in sadness and sorrow, the minister climbed the pulpit to start his preaching. He shared a story that enlightened my heart to date, which I will try to paraphrase. So, he began…
There was a man who was desperate to know the way of God. He went on this quest while fasting and praying, saying, “Lord, I want to know your way of operation”. One night, the man got tapped on his shoulder by someone who said to him “You have been praying to know the way of God and how God works?” The man replied, “Yes”. Then said the stranger, “I am the Angel of God sent to attend to your request.” We would be visiting some places, and I would need you to come with me.
Without wasting time, they embarked on a journey. Their first stop was at the house of a man known to be very wicked in that community. Both the Angel and the man following him (whom I will call “Mr. Trust”) appeared to have lost their way and needed direction. They sought help from this man, but he would not give them any attention. After much pressure, the man asked his little son to show them the way. As they were crossing a bridge, the Angel pushed the little boy into the river and allowed him to drown. Mr. Trust was taken aback and confronted the Angel vehemently on that atrocity. The Angel simply said to him, you want to know the way of God? Follow me. So, they kept going.
They arrived in another man’s place, a good man and a child of God. He was so happy to see them and welcomed them warmly. In his excitement, he went into his bed chamber, came out with a golden cup that was gifted to him to show them. He loved and cherished the cup so much that he could not stop talking about it. When his visitors were leaving, the Angel stole the cup. “How could you be an angel of God and be a thief at the same time?” Said Mr. Trust. The Angel answered once again, “You want to know the way of God? Follow me.”
They arrived at the home of another man who was not only bad but also evil. He did not give them any audience at all. Instead, he treated them wickedly. When they were leaving, the Angel gave the man the golden cup he stole from the good man. Right away, Mr. Trust stopped and said to the Angel, “This is not right. I don’t think you are the Angel of God. My mind must be deceiving me taking you by your introduction.” The Angel said to him again, “You want to know the way of God? Follow me.” So off they went until they arrived at the house of an elderly man.
The aged man had a good reputation in his community and attracted the love and affection of the people around him. But he was a poor man. What he had left was a dilapidated house with leaking roofs everywhere, excluding a little corner where he usually squeezed himself in. Immediately he saw his visitors, his spirit was lifted, as he joyfully received them. He started discussing his predicament with his visitors and shared with them how he had been praying to God for provision. Although, he did not hesitated to tell them that he was tired of staying in that tiny little corner, he told them that regardless of his situation he still thank God for the safe little corner he had left. They encouraged him to keep praying, believing that God would certainly answer his prayers at the right time. However, while they were leaving, the Angel turned back and burnt down the little corner left for the man.
At this point, Mr. Trust said to the Angel, “I am done. I need no other proof to confirm that you aren’t the Angel of God. You have not done anything right since we embarked on the journey. I am going back.” And he was serious about his decision. When the Angel could not persuade him to keep following, he then asked him for a chance to explain every situation. The man obliged, and the Angel began.
You see, the way of God, no one can fully comprehend. God works in diverse ways, and He remains a just God. Let’s review the reality behind each scene. The first man we met was such a wicked man that he had done a lot of evil to the people in that town. He was so deep in occultism that people could do nothing to him. The people in that community were only waiting for the day the man would die so they could retaliate against his only son. That was the reason the boy was pushed into his death. The man would have to face the repercussion of his wickedness to the full.
On the second man, that good and godly man with the golden cup, if he ever drank from the cup would die because the cup had been poisoned. He deserved to live and see the glory of God. Thus, the reason the cup was taken away from him and given to the wicked man to drink. The unrepentant wicked soul must drink from the wrath of the judgment of God.
Isaiah 51: 22-23: “Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:
23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.”
Wao! exclaimed the man. How about the poor godly old man? Angel replied, underneath the house of that man were minerals and gold. Because the man was a good man with good records in the community, people would come together to raise a small dwelling place for him on his land. While they are doing that, they would hit the minerals and gold that would change the life of the man forever, which is the answer to his prayers.
So, the Angel told the man, that the way of God is past finding out (Roman 11:33). Remember God’s words in the book of Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”.
There are many things we would never comprehend about God because that is why He is God. We must live by faith according to what is revealed unto us through His words. Walking with God requires absolute faith in Him. If we walk with him with human reasoning, we will never walk far. Many situations in life may appear to have crushed us or cause us to doubt the goodness of God. But those that know their God will be strong in their faith. We must know that without faith, it is impossible to please God. If we have come to Him, we must believe in his faithfulness. Job said, “Though He slays me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (Job 13:15).
In any situation, our God is still good. Whenever he allows us to pass through fire like the three Hebrew children, we must know that He will never leave us alone in it. When we find ourselves at any crossroads of life, we must trust God to make a way where there seems to be no way. Whenever we are at a standstill in front of a red sea or river Jordan like the children of Israel, we must believe in God to part Sea. Whenever the gates of Jericho seem to be strictly shot against us and its walls are standing firmly tall between us and the fulfillment of our God’s given promises, we must remember that at the shout of hallelujah, the walls of Jericho were brought down flat without a single weapon. When we are dying of thirst, and the only available water is the bitter water of Marah, we must remember the God that made bitterness turns sweet. He is still God. We can always trust the everlasting Light amid our darkness, for no darkness ever comprehended Him.
God has our interest in mind and desires our peace, victory, and salvation. We can always trust His wisdom and plans for every stage of our life, even if we do not understand Him in that situation.