Commonplace: Timothy Keller (Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering)

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“Because God is both sovereign and suffering, we know our suffering always has meaning even though we cannot see it. We can trust him without understanding it all. When one of my sons was about eight years old, he began to exert his will and resist his parents’ directions. One time I told him to do something and he said, ‘Dad, I’ll obey you and do this– but only if first you explain to me why I should do it.’  I responded something like this: ‘If you obey me only because it makes sense to you, then it’s not obedience, it’s just agreement. The problem is that you are too young to understand most of the reasons why I want you to do this. Do it because you are eight and I’m thirty-eight–because you are a child and I am an adult and your father.’

“We can easily see why children need to trust their parents even when they do not understand them. How much more, then, should we trust God even though we do not understand him. It is not just that the differential in wisdom between him and us is infinitely greater than a difference between a child and a parent. It is not just that he is sovereign and all-powerful. We should also trust him because he earned our trust on the cross. So we can trust him even when he hasn’t shown us yet the reason why. He’s good for it.” (154)


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