Source: Christianity Today
By Rob James
The tragic deaths of the A Rocha leaders in South Africa last week have reminded me of one of my most valued books. Written by Dr James Dobson, the title seems to say it all: “When God Doesn’t Make Sense”.
There are times when most of us find it hard to understand what God is up to. Why does He allow things to happen which seem to be against my good and my family’s best interest? Why he doesn’t intervene and do something to help me when I feel I simply can’t go on. It’s a book every Christian would do well to read.
The prophet Habakkuk has something to teach us too, not least because he was prepared to ask the sort of questions we often don’t especially when it comes to prayer. He certainly didn’t pull any punches. To put it bluntly, he said: “God, why have you let this happen? I can’t understand what you’re doing. What on earth are you up to? Why don’t you answer my prayers?”
And yet in spite of his confusion and pain, Habakkuk ends up voicing some of the most profound and moving words found in Scripture. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Saviour.”
The Book of Habakkuk is the record of a man’s painful spiritual journey. It begins with pain and questions, and it ends with pain too. But by the end the questions have gone; they’ve been replaced by faith.
Now faith does not mean we understand what is happening. It’s human to think that God will always work in ways that make sense to us, of course, but the Scriptures teach us something rather different. None of us want to walk this way. When we are well and everything is “hunky dory” we say “God is blessing” and we praise him. But the Bible shows us that God’s people are often be called to go a very different way. Time and time again, people have asked me “Why has God allowed this to happen?” and time after time I have had to reply, “I can’t tell you.”