In Romans 11:33 we read, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”
I’ve thought about that verse a lot. A good friend was killed instantly in a head-on car crash. He left behind a wife who suffers from a severe physical disability, and two children. He was a wonderful husband. An incredible Christian. A loyal friend.
And I ask God the age-old question:
Why did this happen? What purpose did it serve? Wouldn’t more glory have been brought to Jesus through my friend’s life and service on this earth? What of his family? Don’t you see their pain?
I don’t believe we will ever know “Why?” to many of the questions we ask. Especially when we are talking about deep things … the loss of a job, a spouse, a child, a friend, a ministry, a dream. We cry out in agony, “Why?” but heaven does not answer.
Why this divine silence? First, because of this simple truth: God’s ways, wisdom, and knowledge are unsearchable – unfathomable. He is God. We are not. I doubt we could understand the answers even if he were to tell us.
Second, because we are then presented with an important decision: will we choose to trust, love, obey, and praise God, even when we never know the “Why?” behind the tragedies we experience? Will we place our faith in his character?
Or, will we make our love for God conditional upon our understanding of him? If the latter, then aren’t we actually making ourselves equal with God – demanding that we know all that he does, and perhaps even requiring him to submit his decisions to us for our approval?
We can harbor bitterness and resentment against God when he does not answer our agonized “Why?” Or, we can by faith turn his very silence into a reason for praise, even though that praise may be mixed with tears:
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”