AN ENCOURAGING WORD: When We Don’t Know the Whys

Sometimes the situations we find ourselves in, or the things that happen to us, no matter how big or small, can be real discouragements. Yet, we must always remember that though we may not always understand, God is always purposeful in them. I think the following story illustrates this truth quite well.

“A young woman by the name Brenda was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the equipment, tied into the safety rope and began to climb the face of the rock. When she got to a ledge where she could take a breather, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.

Here she was on a rock ledge with hundreds of feet above her. She looked and looked hoping that it had landed on the ledge, but it was nowhere to be found. She was far from home, her sight now blurry. Desperate and upset, she prayed to the Lord to help her find it.

When she reached the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent as she waited for the rest of the climbing party to make it up the face of the cliff. As she waited, she looked out at range after range of mountains, thinking of the Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.”  – 2 Chronicles 16:9.  She thought, “Lord you can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom where there was a new party of climbers getting ready to climb. One shouted out, “Hey you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” If that wasn’t startling enough, what was even more startling was where the climber found it. An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it.

Brenda’s father was a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and it’s awfully heavy, but if this is what you want me to do, I will carry it for You.”

It would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why You want me to carry this load, but…”

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