THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
As I write this, a few hours earlier, we just buried our dear brother, Yoyong. Next week is to be his 31st wedding anniversary but now there is to be no wedding anniversary. God decided to end his earthly life so he could begin his heavenly life. Why now, and not 25 years later—after he had grandchildren—we have no answer.
In his book, Enjoying Intimacy with God, J. Oswald Sanders, talks about the part that God’s discipline plays in deepening intimacy with Him. One of them is the discipline of disappointment. From time to time God does something that catches us by surprise. Not only does He not grant prayers, at times He also stops us from doing or having something that we are sure is good and would bring glory to His Name. As a result, we get disappointed—sometimes deeply.
The discipline of disappointment hurts but in the end it deepens our relationship with God. We become closer to Him because in the end we’ll understand that God disappointed us so He could appoint His perfect plan in our lives. Sanders reminds us that “for every disappointing ‘you will not,’ there is a compensating ‘you will.’ ”
We certainly want to know what the “you will” part is. We want to make sure that it is really good. But, God rarely reveals that to us immediately; He usually withholds that information from us. And, that’s what drives us impatient and frustrated. But, that’s what could potentially drive us closer to Him and more trusting in Him.
In times like these once again I am reminded of the words of Corrie ten Boom, “God has no problems; He only has plans.” If I may add to her sage insight, “God does not give us problems; He only gives us His plans.” Yes, problem, pain, is merely His plan.