When God Doesn’t Fix It
No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Over the course of reading my blog, in reference to my own story, you might get the idea that I believe in happy endings for all those who follow God’s way instead of their own. My disaster was self-inflicted and in doing what it took to abandon my addiction and seek recovery, God turned my life around. My story is far from over though, and there are a lot of people who’ve lived far better lives than me, who’ve experienced far more painful trials. Not every story has what we would call a happy ending.
I know good people who’ve had loved ones die from an addiction. I know others who’ve recently either been given a devastating diagnosis or else had loved ones die from a terrible illness. Bad things happen. Sickness and suffering are part of our existence and we all, at one time or another, must decide what to do with our grief and sorrow.
In today’s passage, Paul shares what he refers to as a secret, hidden wisdom from God regarding our condition. The secret is that, despite our suffering, we can still know the wonderful, blessed life for which God has made us. It would be convenient to say that today’s verse refers only to the afterlife, where all pain and suffering will end, but verse 10 seems to suggest that the blessing of a loving relationship with God is something we’re meant to experience here and now.
This then, really is the secret – that our contentment does not, and cannot, lie in our circumstance. Our happiness, purpose, and meaning come from what then? Our joy lies only in a loving relationship with the one who created us, which is something that no illness or tragedy can ever take away.
This contentment and joy though, honestly, can be terribly difficult to find. In fact, suffering has turned many away from God completely. In the midst of the trial, it requires tremendous faith to decide that daily, our joy comes, not from our circumstances, but from the father. What choice do we have though? In wallowing in the misery, we cannot change what we cannot change. In the end, the only thing we can control is whether or not we trust in God, choosing to find peace and joy in him, no matter what happens. And that, said Paul, makes all the difference in the world.