Imagine taking your car to the mechanic. You want your car to be better. The mechanic asks: “Do you trust me?” You say, “Yes!” and give him your keys. Imagine going to a financial planner. You want an investment in the future. The broker asks: “Do you trust me?” You say, “Yes!” and give her your money to invest. Imagine taking your child to a doctor. You want him to feel better and be healthier. The doctor asks: “Do you trust me?” You say, “Yes!” and allow him to take your child back into surgery. You don’t know the outcome, but you are trusting another human with wisdom and knowledge about the future. You don’t know how to make things better, but someone else does, and so you trust them to do what is necessary.
Now, imagine going back to the mechanic’s shop. You go back into the garage, put the key in the ignition, and the car won’t start. The mechanic has your engine in a hundred unusable pieces. You get a basket and pile all of the engine pieces into it and push your car out of the garage, furious that he made things worse for you. Imagine looking at your investments, and seeing that instead of gaining money, or doubling your fortune, you have actually lost money. You call up your broker and demand she pull all of your money out of the account, furious about the loss. Imagine walking back into the operating room and finding that your child is unresponsive and that the doctor has made an incision in your child’s abdomen. You fight the nurses, grab hold of the bed, and wheel your son out of the room, furious that they would inflict harm on your precious child.
In every case, you could explain to someone else how angry you are at what damage the person inflicted to that which was important to you. You could show them how useless everything had become in what you had imagined to be capable hands. You could say, “I am never trusting people ever again! They have made my life worse!” Someone with limited knowledge of mechanics, finances, or medicine, and only hearing your side of the story, might agree with you.
But you would be wrong, wouldn’t you? The mechanic wasn’t destroying your car, but was dismantling it so that he could fix it and put it back together. Your financial planner knew that while a fund may lose money in the short term, it will gain in the long run if left alone. By taking your son from the surgeon, you may have done more harm, not less. If you knew what they knew, you would know that your trust was well-placed. You would know that the harm that they inflicted was not only temporary, but ultimately for your good. They needn’t explain every nuance of their plan to you; you need only trust that they were wise and had your best interest at heart.
Friend, the same is true for God, for those who belong to Him. He is a loving God who never allows or causes pain without some good end. For His children, that Good ends in His glory, which is ultimately good for us. We can trust that God is good, loving, and wise, even when He inflicts pain in our lives. It is for this reason that Romans 8:28 says: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Often we are tempted to angrily blame God for what He is doing to us. We swear that we will never trust Him or love Him again, because He has acted in unwise and unloving ways. We tear our lives, wills, and ambitions from Him because we think He means to do us harm. But in the process, we do more harm to ourselves than good. Yes, God allows hardship, but if we knew what He knows we would be able to say, “I trust You! I know you know what You are doing, and I will allow you to complete the process.” Will you trust Him?