God Doesn’t Make Mistakes

By Dave Almack

Abridged from https://faithlit.wordpress.com/ by permission.

I was sitting by my mom’s hospital bedside when she looked at me and said, “God doesn’t make mistakes”. Despite several days in the hospital and lack of sleep, this was her perspective. A few moments after that comment, she looked at me again and said, “Some days it’s harder to believe that than others.” This combination of truth and vulnerability is one of the reasons that I admire my mom so much.

Suffering is not a topic that I like to think about much, nor does the typical Christian. We have been brought up to focus on things like overcoming, victory, and abundance. Rarely do we hear about what Eugene Peterson called “a long obedience in the same direction”, especially if that obedience results in any level of personal discomfort.

For many Christians around the world, pain, suffering, crisis and persecution are their daily lot. Simply to identify as a follower of Christ can result in hostility, isolation and violence. While American Christians are still largely shielded from this, we are now beginning to face some jarring realities of our own. Christian values do not govern our nation and self-identifying believers often invite ridicule and disdain. More and more I have to face the question of whether I can trust God’s heart when I can’t trace his hand.

In the face of this, we have often reacted like wounded animals caught in a trap. Far too often we lash out similarly to those who mocked us in the first place. But my mom responded differently to her circumstances, reminding me why she is such a great example of faith in the face of fear. She remarked that during her stay in the hospital, she has had more opportunities to share the gospel than she had had in recent years. Every person she meets is likely to hear something about the Jesus she loves and how she is relying on him for the strength to deal with whatever comes next.

This seemed like such a good illustration of how I am might deal with a world that seems scarier by the day. Instead of hunkering down and bemoaning the direction of our culture, I can choose to see this as one of the greatest opportunities for gospel advance in my lifetime. History shows that the church has often experienced the most explosive growth in the places of deepest persecution. May this hope characterize our perspective.