By Pastor Anthony L. Scott
“Why is light given to him who suffers, And life to the bitter of soul,” Job 3:20 (NASB)
Significant dates mark significant events in our memory. (May 31st-June 1st, 1921-Black Wall Street massacre; December 7, 1941-Pear Harbor; November 22, 1963-John F. Kennedy assassination; April 4, 1968-Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination; January 20, 1986-Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; September 11, 2001-World Trade Center bombing; August 29, 2005-Hurricane Katrina; October 1, 2017-Las Vegas shooting; and February 14, 2018-Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.) The sudden turn of global, national, and local events leave us with unfortunate dates etched into your collective psyche.
Tragedies such as these along with many others too numerous to name move us to ask the perplexing question-Why? George Barna, a leading researcher conducted a national study on spiritual trends. One survey question read, “if you could ask God one question, what would it be?’ Overwhelmingly, the response was why? Why is there pain and suffering in the world?
Why? Why? Why? This is not just a question but an accusation. The Hebrew word for why is not only a cry of sorrow, it is a cry of protest. Job begged this same question during his personal ordeal, “Why is light given to him who suffers, and life to the bitter of soul?”
Today, however with our rapid response teams, advances in technology, and prevalence of social media we expect not only answers to our questions but quick solutions. We neither expect to suffer nor to suffer long if the unthinkable happens. Thus, we are ill-equipped to deal with life’s tragedies and perplexities.
In order to Live with the Incomprehensible there are three realities we must embrace. First, we are living in an imperfect world made up of imperfect people. Second, the path of life (at times) leads down rough paths. Third, we have a Caring God. It was Oswald Chambers who said, “Deeper and deeper grows the conviction that tragedy is the basis of things and redemption is the way out.”
The nature of faith is such that we gather ourselves unto God in troubles and tragedy, rather than be drawn away. This is how faith responds in the experiences of life. The Christian life is a life of submission to God in the face of struggle.
C.S. Lewis remarked, “God whispers to us in our pleasure, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pains, it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” What should the believer do when faced with incomprehensible events? “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a)