"My life is but a weaving between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors, He works so steadily.
Oft' times He weaves in sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I see the underside.
Not until the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas, and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
by Corrie ten Boom
Before becoming a believer and a student of the Bible, I often asked this type of question. When I looked at so much heartache in the world, it was difficult for me to want to know God who was said to be loving and merciful, but allowed so much suffering.
I realize it can be very difficult to understand Bible verses and Biblical principles that appear to be out of sync from what we observe in the 'real' world. Most of all, I believe we are interested in relating Biblical truth to our personal lives. We need God to give us the gift of faith so we can trust Him. Slowly but surely, as we step back from our own struggle, we'll see God accomplish in our life what could never have happened without Him.
The more you come to know the sovereignty of God, the more tolerant you are of what you judge to be tragedies in this world. You begin to understand that God doesn't perceive the world, or our lives, in the same way we do. He has a total and complete plan. He knows the beginning and the end. We need to see through eyes of faith. He has woven together a beautiful tapestry, with every stitch in place. So often what we see is the underside side of the tapestry which is a tangle of threads and no clear picture of something beautiful.
The process of seeing the Bible as a complete picture of God and fitting the words together to make something meaningful is what gives us hope. This is also what intrigues those of us who love to study the Word and are called to share it with others. One of the most valuable truths I've learned from Scripture is that we, in a human body, are not able to recall spiritual truth at will. I will always know that ‘c-a-t’ spells cat, but on a day to day basis, I can't always recall that "God works everything for good..." This is a spiritual truth.
Marriages dissolve, children are left without a parent, a friend is diagnosed with cancer, someone you love has heart disease or a child you loved and nurtured has become an alcoholic and has great difficulty functioning in life. Globally, you see people killing one another, a tsunami wipes out towns and villages, fires destroy homes, earthquakes crush people. . .how does God work this for good you ask.
When the Lord causes me to see by faith, I'm immediately aware that He has a perfect plan and knows what He's doing. We often stumble through the darkness looking for what seems right. God knows what is right. For some reason that I can't understand with my human mind, God has made stress, fear, anxiety, anger and depression a part of our human condition.
The Bible defines faith this way. . .
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see - Hebrews 11:1
'Walking by faith' isn't something we can do on our own. The Lord needs to produce this faith in us. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the "author and perfecter" of our faith. The Lord wants us to come to Him. He desires to have a relationship with us. If we could see everything as 'perfect', we'd never be drawn to God, and we wouldn't need the power of His Holy Spirit in us; we'd be our own God.
we judge this world with a human eye. God looks through a different lens. Do you ever wonder why Adam and Eve were told not to eat from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"? Why wouldn't God want us to know what is evil and what is good? Possibly, because we'd judge His plan. . .this is good, and that is bad. And of course this was the immediate result of eating the fruit. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves. They had never worn any clothes and now, after having their eyes opened, they judged this to be bad. There is a metaphor in play here - their nakedness represents sin, and they wanted to hide it from the Lord - Genesis, chapter three.
If I were God - a bit presumptuous of me, excuse the illustration, we'd all be living in a perfect world. I would be a terrible God. The Bible says we grow spiritually when faced with adversity. During time of trouble is when we most often seek the Lord.
Even though there are people in the world who are starving and brutalized by war, I can have a sense of peace knowing that the Lord has not lost control.
". . .according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. . ." Ephesians 1:11.
"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16
"Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." Job 14:5
If this is a difficult concept for you, ask the Lord to show you in His Word how you can have peace in a world that is never at peace. If we can view our time here on earth through the lens of faith we will be able to trust the Lord in all circumstances.
Thank you Lord that you are able to work all things for good. Help us to come to trust You and praise you for everything in our lives.