What To Do When We Can’t Defend God

Posted on August 2, 2018 by America's Keswick in Victory Call

“How you respond at midnight-when things are the darkest-has everything to do with how you view God.” –  Tony Evans

Have you ever found yourself attempting to defend God?   Trying to justify God’s actions?  When people face tragic circumstances, we long to make sense of the tragedy.  We know that God is a good Father, but wonder, if faced with a similar situation, would we doubt His goodness? We read the Scripture that “our light afflictions are but for a moment” and produce for us an “eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison,” (II Corinthians 4:17), yet struggle to believe the eternal truth of the matter.

We focus on the current reality, eternity blurred by the tears of the temporal. We are completely void of answers and spilling over with questions, full of despair and empty of peace. In psychology this is called cognitive dissonance, that is, “ holding two or more contradictory beliefs, thoughts, or values at the same time.”

Recently, my son called to tell me that there had been a terrible car accident on the highway where I had driven just hours before.  An adult and four children from the same family died instantly. One adult family member lived. “Please God, don’t let the survivor be the mother,” I prayed.

The mother was alive with non-life threatening injuries.

All weekend, like Jacob in the book of Genesis, I wrestled with God, not for a blessing, but for an answer. WHY would He allow an entire family die, and leave this wife and mom of four beautiful daughters, completely alone?  How could a loving Father do this to His child?  It seemed more merciful to me, if it had to happen at all, for the mother to die with her family. It’s what I would want. But instead, God allowed her family to be wiped away, like markers on a white board, gone as if they never existed. And her “life” was “spared”?

I found myself doubting God, His character, His love, questioning even His existence. The stark reality of this struggle was frightening. It seemed to me that God was wrong, and I couldn’t find any defense for Him. And I wondered, if God didn’t protect this family, how could I ever trust Him to protect mine? Heaven seemed ominously silent.

A few days later, I was travelling home from NJ to NC, alone on the same stretch of highway where this woman’s life had been destroyed just days before.  I was still attempting to justify God, but my brain could not produce any reasonable explanation.  In my mind, I rehearsed the Scripture I had memorized as I sought to find any verse to defend God’s purpose in the death of those five innocent people. Every verse seemed trite. Then in my despair, I heard in my spirit, “Consider My servant Job.” It was not an audible voice, but certainly it was the Lord. I responded, “You took away all that Job had and all of his children, but he still had his wife. At least he had one person left – and ultimately you gave them more children! This is worse than Job’s suffering!”

Yet in Job’s response, I found God’s answer. When Job lost everything he “arose and tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell to the ground and WORSHIPPED.”

There are other examples in Scripture, as well. After the death of his infant son, King David got up, washed his face, and worshipped.  (II Samuel 12:20) When her husband of seven years died and left her alone, Anna went to the temple– continuing day and night in fastings  and prayers (praising God) for the remainder of her eighty four years. (Luke 2:36-38)

My husband often reminds the church in his sermons,

When we worship God for WHO HE IS,

then when HE DOES something we do not understand,

we can still worship Him for WHO HE IS.”

The piano played quietly on the CD player as I drove down the lonely, rural highway. The words of the hymn entered were seared in my memory, entering my mind, as worship filled my aching heart, healing my soul, like a medicine.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Early in the morning, I lift my song to You…

Only You are Holy, Merciful and Mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

And then silently, God’s peace overflowed – His “peace that passes all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

“When I pondered to understand… it was troublesome in my sight… until I came into the sanctuary of God… When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant… Nevertheless…You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel You will guide me, and afterward receive me to glory…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”  (From Psalm 73).

Written by Kim Olachea: Kim Olachea has been a pastor’s wife for 35 years. In 2017, she launched a new ministry for pastor’s wives, called Pastor’s Wives, EveryDay Lives, seeking to encourage pastor’s wives to stay on mission through regional conferences and local meetups. She is the founder of ProverbWise, a speaking and writing ministry, challenging the church to live out the two great commandments of Jesus.  Kim and her husband, Joe, recently stepped away from pastoral ministry in the local church, to serve pastors and churches with T-Net International, where Joe is the Director of DisciplePath for North America. They also serve with ABWE’s North American Leadership Team in the ministry of discipleship and soul care for pastors and NA missionaries, as well as leading teaching tours to Israel, and most recently to Greece. Joe and Kim live in New Bern, NC, where they open their home for pastors and wives, to get away for a time of rest and encouragement. The Olachea’s love living near the ocean, traveling, and  spending time with their five children and their spouses, and, of course, their seven (almost) perfect grandchildren.

The Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 20-21 |You can download our 2018 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Our sorrows are all, like ourselves, mortal. There are no immortal sorrows for immortal souls. They come, but blessed be God, they also go. Like birds of the air, they fly over our heads. But they cannot make their abode in our souls. We suffer today, but we shall rejoice tomorrow.”– Charles Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish, And the hope of the unjust perishes. Proverbs 11:7



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