Sometimes, things just do not work out the way that we had planned. Sometimes, it seems like our best laid plans, our hopes, and dreams, just go up in smoke. You look forward to retirement, only to find yourself laid up in the hospital, struggling through chemotherapy and endless doctors’ appointments. The child you prayed for, is now dealing with high fever and an undiagnosed respiratory illness and you just wish the doctors could find a cause, and quickly. Your wife is having “minor surgery” to remove a benign mass, but during the pre-surgery blood tests, doctors discover “something suspicious.” We wonder where God is in all of this? Why doesn’t He do something? After all, we have prayed and prayed, yet nothing seems to help. I am reminded of the prophet who had like sentiments, but continued to trust when he wrote:
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 Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights…” —Habakkuk 3:17-19
This is one of my favorite all-time verses. Habbakuk, the prophet, had been asking God lots of questions. He asked why evil people seem to get away with everything while the good people suffer. God’s answer was basically, “they don’t, in the long run.” Habbakuk, as well as us, are limited in what we can see. God is working in the world and we can be assured that nothing goes on without His notice. We, like the prophet, can rejoice in God, even when things do not seem to be working out the way we had hoped. Today is not eternity and we must not confuse the two. If God is in control of my life and the universe, I can learn to trust Him in matters of life and health, even in the tough times. And that is all that matters.