During the Civil War, a 13-year-old boy was a bugler for a band of soldiers. They found themselves in the midst of a bloody battle and it seemed that they would all die. In the midst of the fighting, the commander yelled, “Tell the bugler to sound the retreat!” Nothing happened. Then in a few moments the orderly reported, “The bugler said he doesn’t know how to sound the retreat.” I’m not interested in sounding the retreat. I am interested in sounding the charge. We are to be on the offensive. We are to attack. The only thing that limits what we can do is our faith.
Once we buried a young lady who was only 21 years old. She was killed in a head-on collision while on her way to church. The night before the funeral, my daughter asked why God allows things like this to happen.
I wish I knew. Things like this have puzzled saints, wise men, and philosophers since the world began.
There is simply no one easy answer as to why tragedies like this happen. The answer may lie in the fact that God made us free. He created us with the ability to make our own choices, and choices always involve consequences. If we are careless or foolish in our choices, or if others are, we may suffer because of them. If God did not allow us freedom, we’d be less than people. We’d be robots.
This may be the only explanation we will ever have for some suffering. However, we do not have to know why things happen in order to be victorious over them. On the cross Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) But the heavens were as brass. God was silent. He didn’t even answer his own Son. Jesus might have despaired and become bitter against God. But instead he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend [entrust, hand over] my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
This kind of faith is far more important than any answer we might receive. In our lives, as in the life of Jesus, it is faith that makes the difference between victory and defeat.
So keep believing in God no matter what. Commit your life to him and regardless of what happens, God will help you.