“The secret things belong to the Lord our God,
the things that are revealed belong to us and our children…”
A Christian attended the office of his medical doctor for another of many visits. He had gone through numerous trials in his life, including family issues, health concerns, and other sorrows. The doctor was also a Christian and well aware of the difficult life of his patient.
One day the doctor’s curiosity got the best of him and he asked the inevitable question, “Do you ever ask God ‘Why?'” The patient thought for a moment and then responded that he did not spend much time on that matter.
I have also spoken to this person and talked about why some people, like him, are made to suffer more than others. His honest reflection came up with several thoughts about the matter of suffering and the child of God.
First he did not believe himself to be an especially deserving soul that God ought to give him an easy ride to heaven. Instead he quoted the lines I have used in these devotionals before. The words penned by John Wesley say,
Other title I disclaim; this, only this, is all my plea:
I the chief of sinners am, But Jesus died for me.
Then he went on to tell me that he had learned never to consider this world to be something that he ought to cling to as if there were no tomorrow. Those whose only hope is in this life, can be destroyed by personal disaster. He said he has worked to be patient with today’s problems knowing that eternity is his real heaven.
Finally, he spoke of how much he had learned about the Lord during his difficult times. He spoke of the intimacy he knew with the Lord in the lonely hours of rejection by others, the days before another critical surgery, and the loss of family members. I quoted to him Psalm 27:10 where it reads, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (NIV) He agreed that was true in his situation.
He said, in conclusion, that he would never have sought the grief that came his way but on the other hand he would not trade off the experience of God’s presence that came with the trials. He then quoted Psalm 119:71 which reads, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” (NIV)
This man is another one of life’s unknown but faithful hero’s, who look for that city whose Maker and Builder is God (Hebrews 11:10).
Finally the day came when all of the sorrows of this life came to an end for him and he saw the angels who had been sent from heaven to escort him to that glorious city of God. He heard the words from Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter the joy of the Lord.” And so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:15) (KJV)