Why? – May 1, 2020

big question markI am frequently asked for my opinion on what God is doing.  Why a world-wide pandemic?  Truth is, we may never get a satisfying answer to the big why, remember how He answered Job?  God is God and God only answers to Himself.  That said, because He is God, He is the Master multi-tasker; and I imagine we can each find some little (personal) whys if we just take a minute and quiet our hearts.   I would also ask us each to pray that God would use this crisis to draw people everywhere closer to Himself and that He might use you and me in that process.

I really like what J.I. Packer said about how God uses these hardships:

Grace is God drawing sinners closer and closer to him. How does God in grace prosecute this purpose? Not by shielding us from assault by the work, the flesh, and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstance, not yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology, but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely.

This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another — it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak is that God spends so much of his time showing us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find or follow the right road. When we walk along a clear road feeling fine, and someone takes our arm to help us, likely we would impatiently shake him off; but when we are caught in rough country in the dark, with a storm brewing and our strength spent, and someone takes our arm to help us, we would thankfully lean on him. And God wants us to feel that our way through life is rough and perplexing, so that we may learn to lean on him thankfully. Therefore he takes steps to drive us out of self-confidence to trust in himself, to — in the classic scriptural phrase for the secret of the godly man’s life — “wait on the Lord.”

James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.

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