(This article was published first on January, 2017 edition of the Light of Life)
Unfortunate events in life make us wonder what is going on around us without our knowledge. Often, in life, we wish we knew the answer to the questions starting with “Why”. Unfortunately, the answers never come and we never get to know the reasons behind the painful happenings of life. Though we console ourselves with ‘there must be a good reason’ or ‘I have learnt so much out of it’, we always speculate in vacuum. We are frustrated by the limitations of our human mind. In fact, we are blind to many things which are happening behind us. We are not privy to the hidden drama played out somewhere else.
Job and all that happened in Heaven:
We come to know about this hidden drama first in the life of Job. Job suffered in his life. His suffering was the bitterest written in the Bible. He lost everything except his fragile and broken life. While he suffered without having a clue of what was going on behind the scene, the readers are given a glimpse of the happenings in the presence of God. A war of words goes on between God and Satan about the integrity and faithfulness of Job (1:6–12). In order to prove the uprightness of Job, God allows all the tragedies which happened in Job’s life to transpire (1:13–19).
If Job had known this hidden drama – the drama that went on in the heaven – he would have proudly held on to his faith. At least, he would have had a purpose in bearing the pain of loss. But alas, he did not know. He was clueless. He was assailed by doubts and questions. Though he got the reward for his patience and suffering, written of at the end of the Book of Job, he never knew the reason for his sufferings.
We are sometimes in the position of Job, though not in the same magnitude. We wish we know the reason. We pray hard and try to remain firm in Him but slowly we grow faint. In such a situation, we need to comfort ourselves in the knowledge that God knows and he has a purpose in even the bitterest of events.
David and Unfailing Love of God:
David had a peaceful existence when he was tending the sheep. His fight with Goliath made him famous. He defeated Goliath and soon became one of the able commanders of King Saul and also his son-in-law. Then all hell broke loose. He was blocked at every step of his life. Finally, after many disturbing events, he was running for his life. His own father in law is hunting for him. One day he was one of the powerful men in Israel and the next day he was a fugitive. David was pushed into a hopeless situation. When he went to Nob and got bread for himself and his companions from Ahimelech, Saul destroyed the whole town of Nob including eighty five priests (1 Samuel 21 and 22). Whomever David was associated with were killed. Whichever place he put his foot on was destroyed. The beloved warrior became an outcast overnight.
Even in this situation, David was strong. He wrote, in Psalm 52:8, “I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” This statement is in complete contrast to what David was going through in his life. His pathetic life was not reflecting that God is there and that he also has unfailing love towards this fugitive, David. How was David able to weather all the storms of his life and stay tall spiritually? It is a real mystery. But we know one thing that David was a very mature man with a profound understanding of God.
Life is a Jigsaw Puzzle:
Our human life, and specially the events of life, could be compared with a Jigsaw Puzzle. We are clueless as to how a situation will turn out or how our life would turn out to be. As we move forward, each piece of the puzzle is put together. Each step forward brings the next step into view. Yet, it becomes difficult for anyone to understand the full picture of life or an event.
Life is a puzzle which cannot be fully solved in this lifetime. We as human beings cannot possibly understand everything. If we were given the ability to know everything, we wouldn’t need God. Because we don’t have complete knowledge, we need God. We need to acknowledge that there is a bigger picture which only God knows and we need to trust Him to make it beautiful when everything is complete.
Air Traffic Controller:
Our life could also be compared to the movements of an aeroplane which is controlled by Air Traffic Control Centre. When we are passengers, we would be happy if our flight is on time and we would be annoyed to see delays. But we see the situation only from our eyes. There is a larger perspective in the Air Traffic Control Centre. The officers there manage the whole air space. They know how many aircrafts are flying at that time and they instruct the pilots of each aircraft to do what would be appropriate life-saving instructions. If they delay a flight to land, it is not because of any malicious reason. It is because they do not want any collusion on the run way. The tower will know why a flight is not given clearance to land or take off. From a passenger’s perspective it would not be understood fully.
If we have this confidence that God is in control of the tower and he is guiding us according to the bigger picture or plan he has for our lives, we would definitely lead a faith-filled life.
When the going gets tough, it is the attitude that helps us to tide over the troubles. If we are in a positive frame of mind, we can rise above the bitterness during our darkest days.
There is a story told about a girl named Brenda. She was fond of mountain climbing. In one such adventure, while climbing, she lost her balance and hit the rope. This jerk made her lose her contact lens. With blurred vision she manages to climb up the cliff. She felt the breeze and could blurrily see the beauty of the valley, and prayed, “Lord, you watch everything in this world from heaven. You know where my contact lens is. Please let me have it.” When she and her team packed their equipment and got ready to move down through another way, another team reached the top of the cliff. One of the members of that team called out to their group asking if anyone had lost their contact lens. Brenda was so surprised by this. She took her lens and asked the person how he managed to find this small lens. He said that while climbing, he stopped to take his breath and in a small crevice he saw an ant carrying it. He was so surprised to see an ant carrying this lens, he picked it up. She praised God and left for her home.
That wasn’t the end of the story. On reaching home, she shared this incident with her father who was a cartoonist. The next day, he drew a beautiful picture of an ant carrying the contact lens with this caption: “Lord, I don’t know why you want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it and it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I’ll carry it for you”.
This is the attitude we need to have.
If every suffering Christian feels that God has a purpose for my hardest days also, they would proudly bear it. Our suffering could be the answer to someone else’s prayer. Our Father in heaven knows what we are going through; we need to remember that there is a hidden drama played out without our knowledge.