The title of the book is Why? Trusting God When You Don't Understand, and it is written by Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz with a foreword by Joni Earickson Tada, the quadriplegic Christian artist, writer, and founder of Joni and Friends International Disability Center in Agoura Hills, California.
The topic of the book is obvious and it's a question that I've feared someone will ask me when I speak about children living with life challenges. I fear it because I am doubtful that I can answer it in a way that will be satisfying to someone who is in the depths of pain, anger and fear. The answers are plentiful and are backed by scripture, but they are not always what we want to hear and I've even heard them called "irritating platitudes". However, I did once find myself in a dark place, asking "Why?". And I did find the answers through friends who taught me about a God whose love and comfort provide peace in all circumstance. So although my fear sometimes rares its ugly head, I am trusting God to help me through it by studying material about this subject and by studying scripture. My hope is that one day I can introduce God's love to someone who is also trying to understand "WHY?".
I found that this book gave an abundance of great information about this age-old question and I want to share it with all of you. Here are some of the best take-aways:
1) God is bigger than our suffering. We can have hope as we place our trust in Him- in His faithfulness and in His ability to work out in our lives His purposes that will be for our ultimate good and His eternal glory.
2) Faith that triumphantly soars is possible only when the winds of life are contrary to personal comfort. That kind of faith is His ultimate purpose in allowing us to encounter storms of suffering. Trust Him!
3) Pain and suffering is so immediate and can seem so permanent that we can easily lose sight of the big picture. The pain can be so crushing and our hearts can be so broken that we just don't understand why! Why me? Whenever that question tends to fill my mind, I hear Him whisper to my heart, "Why not you? Just trust Me!"
4) If God were small enough for us to understand, He would not be big enough to save us.
5) While God doesn't always protect those He loves from suffering or answer our prayers the way we ask Him to, He does promise in His word that He will be present with us in the midst of our suffering and pain.
6) And finally...the quote that spoke very loudly to me as I travel through this journey:
Joy also in this-
that your sufferings, your losses and your persecutions
shall make you a platform from which
the more vigorously and with greater power
you shall witness to Christ Jesus.
- C.H. Spurgeon
Morning and Evening
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling or feeling persecuted. Finding God in our circumstances, understanding His love for us and how He desires to develop a trusting relationship with us transcends us from the question of "Why?" to the answer of "WHO."
God loves us. To Him we give all the glory!