Two families prayed.
One got a miracle. The other family didn’t.
Peter was imprisoned and was miraculously delivered by an angel (Acts 12:1-10)
James, the brother of John was put to death with the sword (Acts 12:1-2)
All in the same chapter of the Book of Acts.
Some would say that it was because the church earnestly prayed for Peter. And it’s possible. They did. (Acts 12:5)
Others would say that Peter had more faith. Not so sure on this one.
I think it takes greater faith to pray and not see the miracle, yet keep on trusting the Lord.
Where are the Answers?
In our minds we want to know the why. If we know “why” something happened or didn’t happen, it makes it a lot more palatable. Why does one person get help in the nick of time and I didn’t? Why did Joni Erikson Tada never get healed of quadriplegia but yet Art Sanborn did? Why did my loved one die while another person was miraculously healed?
It feels like God is either not up there, not listening or doesn’t care. Feels like, anyway. And even if feelings are not always true to the situation, they are still felt. The questions persist.
Where is God? Why does one person get a miracle and I don’t? Is He listening? Does he care for me and my heart? My situation?
The Uncomfortable Place
The truth is God doesn’t always give us the why. Just as Job who for 37 chapters asked God, “why?’ in regards to his suffering and only received direct questions back from the Lord:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand.” (Job 38:4)
“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?” (39:1)
“Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” (39:19)
On and on. Instead of the comfort Job was seeking, he was drilled with question after question after question.
Is God insensitive? No. Not at all. He’s the God of All Comfort (2 Cor 1:3-5).
He let Job have his time for grief. He gave him a season of the soul to think and ponder.
But there was a time to call Job to something greater. The life of faith. It was an excruciating crisis point. Would Job become bitter? Or would he get the breakthrough of faith?
Job’s questions were never answered. In essence all God said was, “I am the Maker of the Universe. Trust me.”
And Job did.
Sometimes God helps us understand at a later date. Sometime he doesn’t. Sometimes the hardest things ever in life is that we have to place situations in the box that says, “I Don’t Understand But I Will Trust You.”
It comes down to trust.
For some we see a redemption that takes place on earth after the suffering. Job was returned 7x for all that he lost (Job 42:12).
And sometimes that redemption is not apparent on this earth. People continue to have tough times all the days of their life.
But we do know that eternity is the redemption of all things. ALL things.
The Question of Suffering
The book of Job is considered the oldest book in the Bible. It is literally thousands of years old and yet thousands of years later our hearts are asking the same questions. Our hearts still want to know why. Why?! Why one gets the miracle and the next one doesn’t.
One of the hardest things is to continue to trust when we don’t have those answers. To believe that God is good and that he cares about us. Cares about Me. Not just others. But me. And those I love. That takes faith. More faith than those who received the miraculous healing and deliverance.
We cannot find our rest in getting all our questions answered. We do not have God’s perspective. But we can rest in Him. And in His proven character and ways.
When we choose to do this, it pleases Him. And it ultimately helps us.
Even when it hurts.