Toward the end of last week I had some sort of unexplained pain in my left foot that nearly had me confined to a chair or sofa. That thing hurt ... and for no apparent reason! I tried and tried to remember what I had done to cause such pain - did I step on something and bruise it? did I strain it doing some odd job? had I worn different shoes? did I sleep with my foot in some weird position? I kept asking myself such questions because the pain was both so severe and so strange and I couldn't understand what was going on.
But thanks to Google my search for an answer continued. Perhaps it was one of these problems - plantar fasciitis, arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendinitis, muscular dystrophy, or fractured bone. But the symptoms didn't match any of these possibilities so I remained confused, hurting, and searching for answers while I strapped ice packs to the bottom of my foot, took ibuprofen, and tried to keep it elevated.
As you might suspect, after a few days the pain subsided and I was able to once again freely move around. While there's still a bit of soreness in that foot it doesn't limit my mobility at all. But I still have no idea what caused this pain and may never know ... unless the pain returns and a doctor can figure it out.
This is just a very small glimpse of the reality of living in a fallen world. Things happen all around us every day for which we simply have no explanation. Why would my loved one suffer with cancer? Why did my family member abuse me as a child? Why was my friend involved in that accident? Why would my child be born with this disease? Why would my employer betray me? How did my child get involved in that behavior? Why was that person innocently murdered? Why did that family get devastated by the tornado? Why are we infertile? Why doesn't that father take responsibility for raising his children? How did my spouse get involved in that affair? Why was my child the victim of that molester? Why was that family left homeless by a house fire? How did he get the promotion at work when I was more qualified? These and a million other questions remained largely unanswered as we trudge through our daily lives. And maybe the biggest unanswered question of all - "Why won't God answer my questions?"
Maybe you're reading this thinking I'm going to offer an answer to all the unanswered questions. Ain't gonna happen! If I had answers I'd surely give them, but the reality is that I wrestle with this stuff just like everyone else. But here's what I do ... I try to focus on those things that I do know. I know God is good, that He is in control, that He never changes, that not a hair falls from my head without His knowledge and involvement, that He is my Father, that He cares for me and my family far more than I'm even capable of, that His covenant promises never fail, that He is faithful, that He has more invested in my life than I do. I know because of the cross that whatever horrible thing is happening in my life is not because He doesn't love me. I know because of the cross where Jesus suffered far more than I could ever possibly imagine that He is not indifferent to or detached from my hurt, pain, and suffering. I know because of the resurrection that my present suffering is not in vain. I know because of the resurrection and Christ's second coming that all things will one day be made right and the glory of that day will somehow be greater because of the brokenness and suffering I presently experience.
So what questions are you struggling with today? What pain and sorrow in your life is simply unanswerable? Let me suggest this: strap on the ice-pack of the fellowship of other believers, regularly ingest God's Word, and keep your thoughts elevated and clinging to the many certain promises of God's covenant love and faithfulness. You may not get a quick answer, but you'll get much grace for daily living!