Why in the world did that happen? Or, why did this happen to me? Or, how could this have happened?
We all ask some such question from time to time. Even when we don’t mean to bring up our doubtful questioning in conversation, our comments betray us when we say something like, I don’t know how that could have happened, or some similar statement.
I think we all seem as though we’re surprised when things happen — as if we’d missed something in our vigilant attempts to prevent all problems. Truth is, we cannot prevent things from happening any more than we can make things happen.
When we’re going through hard times, it’s especially common for us to question why the thing is happening — not because we can’t believe it, but because we can’t believe it’s happening to us!
The Word tell us in 1Peter 4.12-13
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
In recent years when hard things have happened, I’ve been quicker to consider that the trial or the hard thing has been allowed of the Lord for my good. This is just one of the great blessings of a long walk with the Lord and it’s one of the great blessings of age and experience. The longer we live and the longer we walk with the LORD, the more we tap into the reservoir of His ways in our lives — it doesn’t mean that God is going to answer us the same way twice — for we know that God is not obligated to repeat Himself — but that we have a bounty of ways He did answer and it bolsters our faith that He *will* answer.
God allows “stuff to happen” in our lives so that we will depend on Him, so that we will yield to Him and so that we will have something to give to others who find themselves in situations similar to what we’ve experienced.
You know how that goes… someone’s going through a trial and they confide in you because they know you know what they’re going through. They wouldn’t be able to lean on you, confide in you or glean from you if you hadn’t first gone through the trial or experience or “all that stuff.”
Many times in recent years, when facing difficulties — or hard stuff, I’ve consciously thought: Omy, this is so hard, God must be in it… I’m going to need this!
I’ve been keenly aware that He only allows things for my good and His glory — and so He’s taught me that when I’m going through hard stuff, He’s at work. Sometimes for my strengthening. Sometimes for my chastening. Sometimes for my lack. Sometimes for wisdom. Sometimes for identifying with Christ. Sometimes for pride. Sometimes for my worship… but always for my good and His glory.
Last year, the most sorrowful year of my whole life, I was keenly aware, time after time, that God was allowing all these things for my good and His great glory. They were hard things. Very hard things. Why did they happen? They happened so that I would *know* that I can trust God in *all* things. He is only good. All the time.