In his book, See You at the House, Bob Benson tells a story about a friend who had a heart attack. For a while it seemed his friend wouldn’t make it, but he ultimately recovered. Months later Benson asked him a curious question:
“Well, how did you like your heart attack?”
“It scared me to death, almost,” his friend replied.
“Would you do it again?” Bob asked.
“No!” was the quick reply.
“Would you recommend it?” Bob continued.
“Definitely not,” he answered.
“Does your life mean more to you now that it did before?” Bob asked.
“Well, yes,” his friend responded.
“You and your wife always had a beautiful marriage, but are you closer now than ever?” Bob continued.
“Yes,” his friend said.
“Do you have a new compassion for people—a deeper understanding and sympathy?” Bob inquired.
“Yes I do,” he responded.
“Do you know the Lord in a richer fellowship than you’d ever realized?” Bob asked.
“Yes,” again was the response.
Then, Bob asked his friend again: “So, how’d you like your heart attack?”
When life caves in around you, you do not need reasons, you need comfort. You do not need some answers; you need someone. And Jesus does not come to us with answers or an explanation. He comes to us with his presence.
We always want to know the reason. We want to know why. Like Job, we want God to let us in on just what is going on. But God does not reveal his plan. He reveals himself. As Benson says, “he comes to us as warmth when we are cold, fellowship when we are alone, strength when we are weak, peace when we are troubled, courage when we are afraid, songs when we are sad, and bread when we are hungry.
“He is with us on our journeys. He is there when we are at home. He sits with us at our table. He knows about funerals and weddings and commencements and hospitals and jails and unemployment and labor and laughter and rest and tears. He knows because he is with us. He comes to us again and again.”
Deuteronomy 11:2 says, “Remember what you’ve learned about the Lord through your experience with Him.” When you do this, pastor Max Lucado says, “your mess will become your message!”
Prayer: Lord, so often when we suffer we want to know the reasons why. Instead of questions, remind us that you come to us again and again, in every storm, and that you are using those storms to draw us into a deeper relationship with you. Amen.