Two months ago, I wrote about my dear friend and prayer partner Phyllis, who died unexpectedly (possibly from a brain aneurysm). A few days ago, her sister Suzanne went home to be with Jesus after a 3-year battle with cancer. The sisters were 58 and 46, respectively. Their mother Patsy lost her two daughters in two months. In addition to those tragedies, Patsy lost her dear husband Jesse to cancer, and her granddaughter Julie (Phyllis’ daughter) in a car accident when Julie was only 28 years old. Life can be so hard, and sometimes, it doesn’t make sense. In thinking and praying about these recent events, I just have to go back to what I know:
God loves us.
We are told in Psalm 100:5, NASB, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” The Hebrew word for lovingkindness is checed, which means covenant love, steadfast and merciful. In other words, the Lord made a covenant of love with us, and He will never break it. He cares about us deeply, so much so that “He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB). He allowed His own Son, whom He loved, to suffer horribly and to pay the price for our sins (death) in our place. When we admit our sins, believe in what Jesus did, and accept Him into our hearts to rule there, we are granted forgiveness of our sins and eternal life with Him.
Whatever we are experiencing needs to held up against the backdrop of the cross. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? . . . For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:32, 38-39, NASB).
Years ago, I asked Phyllis to share with our Sunday School class how she was able to survive the loss of her precious daughter. She stood in front of all of us with tears in her eyes and said, “I know Jesus loves me.” We can stand on that same truth in whatever we are facing.
God is infinitely wise.
I have been visiting Patsy the past several weeks. Her faith blesses me greatly and encourages me to keep walking with Jesus. On one of our visits, she told me, “I don’t understand why any of this is happening, and God has not answered my prayers the way I wanted . . . but He is God. He does not have to explain Himself to me. I will still praise Him.”
Over the years of walking with her Savior, Patsy has discovered, “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!” (Romans 11:33, NLT). He is so wise and so mighty (Job 9:4, NLT). We have to decide on our own if we will trust His wisdom and His sovereignty like Patsy did, even though we might not understand everything this side of heaven.
God is trustworthy.
If God loves us, and if He is infinitely wise and powerful, then we can trust Him with the details of our lives. Psalm 100:5, NASB, says it this way: “His faithfulness [is] to all generations.” That word faithfulness means loyalty, steadfastness, steadiness. In others words, we can trust and rely on Him, even when the circumstances around us don’t make sense. We can look away from those things and look at Him. He never changes (James 1:17).
Many of us are grieving the recent deaths of Phyllis and Suzanne, especially their precious family. Yet, in the midst of our grief, we have hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). We have hope because God loves us, because He is infinitely wise, and because He is trustworthy.
“This I recall to mind; therefore, I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:21-26, NASB).
That’s what we can remember when things don’t make sense.
Question: How can we pray for you about circumstances in your life that don’t make sense? Comment at the link below.
Psalm 100:5; John 3:16; Romans 8:32, 38-39; 11:33; Job 9:4; James 1:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:13; Lamentations 3:21-26