Why Is This Happening?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

These verses have been my meditation for several weeks as we watch some of our family, church family and friends go through some difficult times. I've cried with them, listened to them and prayed for them as they endure by the grace of God.

But why? Why are there so many things going wrong in people's lives all at once? Why are they being made to go through these trying times while others are living a life of ease?

I return to the Scripture for comfort.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. Psalm 73:26-28

I don't have to know the answer to all of life's whys. I don't know exactly what I'd do with that information if I had it. But everything the Lord does is to draw us closer to Him. Without Him, we wither up and blow away. But with Him, we are rooted and grounded in a foundation that will withstand whatever storm comes our way.

But it's quite alright to ask God why. There are so many instances in the Scriptures when He was asked why, and He responded with a perfectly wonderful answer. It may not have been the answer they expected, but it was the perfect will of God at that moment in their lives.

One of my favorite examples of God answering a why is in the book of Genesis. Joseph has just revealed his identity to his brothers and finally understands why he went through all of the trials he faced.

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be wearing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. Genesis 45:5-8

While we may never single-handedly save a nation from demise, there is one thing we can rest assured of. God has been down the path before us and has our best journey already planned. He didn't promise blue skies and sunshine every day - but He did promise that He would be beside us each step of the way.

The answer to Joseph's why was "I have a plan for you." God wanted to use him in a mighty way, but he needed to be strong enough (a strength that came after enduring with patience) before he could be used completely.

This is the same answer God has for us today: "I have a plan for you." Do we have the faith it takes to see what particular situation He might be preparing us for?

I can't help but think there might be someone, some day, who says, "Because of you, I didn't give up."  Wouldn't that be the perfect testimony to give God the glory? Sounds like a pretty great answer to me.

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