I Can’t Answer That
‘AWord from the Pastor’ By Clayton Adams
In my calling to serve people as a pastor (Shepherding people to follow Christ), I have been to every hospital in and around the Memphis, Little Rock and the Jonesboro and many more beyond our region.
During many of my visits, I have been asked why God allowed such a terrible accident to occur. My simple and honest answer to most of these questions is; “I don’t know” or “I can’t answer that.” At some point in life every person asks these types of questions, it is the human thing to do.
I have learned that although we each face very common problems each one reacts differently and there is no right or wrong way to react. Everyone is different.
Every person is different and even though the procedure may be common in the medical profession it is never common to the individual who is to experience the procedure. Some grow extremely quiet, some don’t stop talking, others become animated and yet others become very solemn, some get extremely angry, some are filled with regret, remorse or harden their feelings. The point is every one reacts differently.
When my brother passed away under very unpleasant circumstances, I learned a valuable lesson. No matter what I said or did for my parents to try and alleviate their hurt or their broken hearts for their son, my brother, I couldn’t even come close to easing their pain. The best I could do, was simply be there, love them, to hug them. A parent’s loss of a child is untouchable by other people. It is the “valley of the shadow of death” they are walking and it’s a long and lonely walk. No matter how many well intentioned answers are offered they never fully satisfy the WHY questions.
I do know for a certainty that God loves His Creation! There are three scriptures that may help our understanding of the many difficulties of life, Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28 and Ecclesiastes 3.
Genesis 50:20 states; “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
Romans 8:28 states; “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
For me, these two scriptures form and reinforce the foundation for my faith in God the Father, who sent His Son Jesus to die on the Cross for my sin and then sent His Holy Spirit who leads me into all righteousness and is my comforter in times of testing and trouble. I know He has a plan, purpose and reason for my life. When Joseph speaks to his brothers in Genesis 50:20 it came after many years of slavery, prison, being falsely accused, forgotten and used by others. Joseph had to experience the worst of life to understand that God used him to save his own family. Joseph saved his brothers their families from certain starvation – the very brothers who sold him into slavery because they were extremely jealous of him. God sent Joseph ahead of his family to be in the right spot at the right time to do the right thing – save his family.
We each know that not everything that happens to us is good. Divorce isn’t good, death isn’t good; cancer, heart issues, diseases, financial ruin, racism, none of these things are good, so how can anything good come out of these bad things? How can Romans 8:28 be true? How can God take something bad and bring something good out from the ashes, rubble or our broken hearts? I can’t answer that but I know He does.
In 1969 the rock group The Birds had a hit with their song, Turn! Turn! Turn! This song, arranged by Pete Seeger and George Aber is a word for word quote of Ecclesiastes chapter 3, which tells of the rhythm of life that our western culture has forgotten.
Through out the Hebrew Scripture (The Old Testament) we read of the ebb and flow of life, one life dies to bring another life into being. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 describes this natural and organic process and helps us understand that there is an ordained order to life. God has “appointed” a day for each life to end in this physical world and to begin eternity in the spirit world.
For those who follow Christ there is a race set before us to run and we must “run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:2) I can’t run your race and you can’t run my race but we each can encourage the other. No one is an accident, no one is born at the wrong time or wrong place, no one is born to the wrong parents, being the wrong shading or wrong nationality – no we were each created by a loving God, each has a plan and purpose and a very individual race to run.
Having questions and doubts is not sin. Your faith will be tested, you will have questions, life is unfair, God does allow very difficult circumstances and seemingly “unfair” events into our lives and most often we will fail to understand His reasoning and misunderstand His purposes.
But it is through these very difficult circumstances and events that God works in our lives to bring about His plans, His purposes and His glory. He uses these things to develop and strengthen our faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) It is while we are in these dark and difficult times in our lives we may learn to yield ourselves to His Will and bring glory to Christ by enduring these great difficulties. God has reason, purpose and a plan for you and everything about you. Why God? I can’t answer that but I do know He has a plan, a purpose and reason for your life.
Clayton Adams is pastor at Earle First Assembly of God. You can e- mail him at cpalaa@ yahoo. com, or find Earle First Assembly on Facebook.