April 13 "To him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are angry against him." Isaiah 45:24 Life is painful. There isn't a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ who wouldn't agree. Walking with the Lord could aptly be called boot camp and any soldier will tell you that many don't make it through boot camp. And many of those who do, make it through with scars to prove it. Why does it have to be this way? Of course man in his limited wisdom could never really give the right answer to this question because he simply has only a one-sided perspective; when we go through things, we do not see the work being done that is out of our range of vision. For many, God is a god made in their own image. They expect God to think the way they do. They feel they know what's right, what's fair, what's good, and they construct a god that will conform to their idea of what God SHOULD be. But it doesn't work that way. And when it doesn't, that's when many fall away. Let's take God out of the box and consider a few things about him that go beyond our ability to comprehend. First of all, he is the creator and sustainer of all that exists. He breathes out galaxies. He keeps the solar systems in right order, each in its correct orbit, defying what the most intelligent scientists could even come near to understanding. Indeed, doesn't the Word of God say exactly that? "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, AND OPPOSITIONS OF SCIENCE FALSELY SO CALLED which some professing have erred concerning the faith." 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (KJV) When science opposes the Word of God it becomes "science FALSELY so-called." That should tell you the worth of the sciences - which actually deny God as the creator. The Scriptures call them fools. " For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." 1 Corinthians 3:19 The creator has the intelligence, the wisdom, and the power to call every single star by name. I've never known of a scientist who can come close to doing that. They actually don't KNOW how many galaxies are out there, but God maintains each one. "He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name." Psalm 147:4 Anyone reading the book of Job would be astounded at the story, as it appears that God is being unfair in Job's life. But does anyone have the RIGHT to call God unfair? He who sent his only Son to die a torturous death hanging bloodied on a cross - so that we might be saved, this is the God who is unfair? He who receives every believer on the merits of his son's atonement - is unfair? Philosophers will argue this issue till the end, but the end of the matter is that if we could see what God sees, we would realize he is the God of love and mercy, and that there is no unfairness in him. When Job questioned God about the calamities that so seemingly unfair fell upon him - God did not answer the question. Many have wondered why God would refuse to answer such a seemingly reasonable question. The greatest explanation I have been able to even nearly approach and which may be sadly lacking, is the memory of my young child at age 5 asking me something that she had no way of being able to understand had I tried to answer her. In all truth, it would be closer to the impossibility of attempting to explain to your dog why he can't run free. Try it if you think you can. We just are too limited to understand the ways of an Almighty Creator. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,” says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9 When you can't answer your toddler who asks an unanswerable question, then you will understand that God's answers are unanswerable to us. It's not that he refuses to answer us, it's that he knows we'd not understand. We are incredibly distant from having any way to understand the wisdom of a God who creates and sustains all that exists, when that God seems to be doing something unfair in our lives. We can rest assured that the fault is in our arrogance, not in his wisdom. If you are going through something that makes absolutely no sense to you, the quickest way to get your difficulty resolved is to COOPERATE with God, not to resist him. The heart that is truly surrendered will see the power of God in a way that will be astounding. It will require the necessary pain of the waiting period, and the unshakable strength of trust, but when one's heart is truly surrendered he will see the wisdom of God carried out in his life, and the power, and most of all ...the love of an extremely loving Father.