The news was very difficult to read, much less understand. Why would God ordain such a thing? It all seemed such a waste from a Kingdom perspective.
We, who are committed to biblical orthodoxy and thus know that the Sovereign Lord governs His universe with His almighty arm, cannot countenance the possibility that tragedies occur outside of His determined will. Yet, sometimes, we are utterly at a loss to explain the divine rationale.
Over thirty years ago Dr. James Dobson published a book titled, When God Doesn’t Make Sense. As Christians, if we are honest, we will admit that at times God’s ways utterly mystify us.
God declared through His prophet Isaiah, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways … for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (55:9-10). This truth was on bold display recently in Nebraska.
Just over a week ago the Pals family of five was killed in a car accident as they were on their way to train for missionary service in Japan. Jamison and Kathryn, both 29, died with their three children: Ezra 3, Violet, 23 months, and Calvin, 2 ½ months. An “inattentive and distracted” truck driver rammed “at a high rate of speed” into their minivan. He is charged with five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide.
Three years ago, Jamison wrote a letter to Kathryne, encouraging her to embrace his vision of serving as a missionary in Japan. He concluded, “It may costs us much, but would you have it any other way? Whatever we lose will be worth it if we gain more of Christ …” From an earthly perspective, the Pals lost everything. But they now enjoy the presence of Christ, their mission having been completed.
God is glorified when His saints lay it all on the line in serving Him. What may appear to be a setback is in reality another step forward. Sinful, human irresponsibility redounds to the glory of God when Christians are seen serving Him selflessly and faithfully. May God raise up, through their example, so many replacements for the Pals family that, in the end, much more will be accomplished to further the Kingdom than if the Pals had proceeded to Japan and served faithfully for decades.
God, give us faith to trust your plan … even when we "don’t get it."