Time and time again, we’ve heard people say (and perhaps we’ve said it ourselves), “God knows.” Although the words are simple enough, I believe there’s more to them than what we often think of.
Here’s something from Fred Butler.
A dear friend of ours just learned recently she has cancer. She goes in this week for a battery of tests to determine how bad the cancer is and if it is treatable. Her doctor says it looks to be in advance stages.
My wife and I have known her and her husband for years. We all attended the same singles group 10 years ago before any of us were married. Her and her husband have four young children. Our kids are in Awana together with their kids and she is an integral part of the pre-school program at our church.
A glum spirit of melancholy has descended upon her immediate friends because of the thought of what all this could mean for her and her family. She is young, a loving wife and mother of four small children, and a devoted Christian.
Yesterday while driving home after church, my wife recounted a conversation she had with another gal who is a mutual friend. My wife came out of the nursing room and saw this gal sitting alone on a bench weeping over the plight of their friend. they start talking about her situation, what will happen if she dies, who will raise the children, that sort of thing. However, during the course of the conversation, this gal says to my wife in passing, “God knows.”
My wife asked, “What do you mean when you say, ‘God knows?'” Her friend replied, “What do you mean?”
My wife continued, “Do you mean that God knows, like He knows about gas prices being too high, or that He knows, because He is intimately involved in her situation?”
This gal comes from a charismatic background where the idea is taught that any sin, suffering, sickness, and trial, is the doing of the devil. In this theology, God would never do anything bad to His children. Her and her husband have been at our church for a few years and they are slowly retraining their minds to think biblically in this area.
She responded to my wife’s question by asking, “Are you saying God gave her this cancer?”
My wife, who never ceases to amaze me with her ability to counsel theologically, replies,
“Yes, and not only that, it is good.”
I only wish I could capture the infection of her voice when she said this to me.
Her friend, taken aback just a bit, responds, “How is cancer good?”
“It is good,” my wife replied, “Just like when it pleased the Lord to crush His son for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:10). He was glorified in the crushing of Jesus.”
“But she could die and leave 4 children without a mother and a young man without a wife,” her friend stated.
“Of course we don’t know that; we have no idea what God will do,” My wife replied. “But we will see God’s character put on display, and your personal faith is already being stretched and forced to grow as you see God at work in her life.”
As my wife re-told her interchange with her friend, it caused me to think on practical terms, especially when we dialog with each other on matters of personal faith and the daily ins-and-outs of the Christian walk. There have been many times I have said in passing, “God knows,” as I contemplated a trial of a friend or some other serious situation. I am sure many of us have. We will say “God is in control,” “God is sovereign,” etc., but have we honestly thought through the theology of these oft repeated Christian platitudes?
There is a lot packed into those two words, “God knows.” The question is, do we genuinely believe and live out what those two words imply?
Chew, swallow, and digest!