I recently read this story by the late J. Vernon McGee, that wonderful Bible teacher from years ago, that addresses our doubt that God desires everything for our good. This is in his introduction to his commentary on the book of Zephaniah. 

“It was late at night in a suburban area of one of our great cities in America. A child lay restless in her bed. A man, with a very severe and stern look, stealthily entered her bedroom and softly approached her bed. The moment the little girl saw him, a terrified look came over her face, and she began to scream. Her mother rushed into the room and went over to her. The trembling child threw her arms about her mother.

“The man withdrew to the telephone, called someone, who was evidently an accomplice, and in a very soft voice made some sort of an arrangement. Hastily the man reentered the room, tore the child from the mother’s arms, and rushed out to a waiting car. The child was sobbing, and he attempted to stifle her cries. He drove madly down street after street until he finally pulled up before a large, sinister, and foreboding-looking building. All was quiet, the building was partially dark, but there was one room upstairs ablaze with light.

“The child was hurriedly taken inside, up to the lighted room, and put into the hands of the man with whom the conversation had been held over the telephone in the hallway. In turn, the child was handed over to another accomplice—this time a woman—and these two took her into an inner room. The man who had brought her was left outside in the hallway. Inside the room, the man plunged a gleaming, sharp knife into the vitals of that little child, and she lay as if she were dead.

“Your reaction at this point may be, ‘I certainly hope they will catch the criminal who abducted the little girl and is responsible for such an awful crime.’

“However, I have not described to you the depraved and degraded action of a debased mind.

“You see, the little girl had awakened in the night with severe abdominal pain. She had been subject to such attacks before, and the doctor had told her parents to watch her very carefully. It was her father who had hurried into the room. When he saw the suffering of his little girl, he went to the telephone, called the family physician, and arranged to meet him at the hospital. He then rushed the little girl down to the hospital and handed her over to the family physician who took her to the operating room and performed emergency surgery.

“Through it all, every move and every act of that father was of tender love, anxious care, and wise decision. I have described to you the dark side of love—but love, nevertheless. Tweet This! The father loved the child just as much on that dark night when he took her to the hospital and delivered her to the surgeon’s knife as he did the next week when he brought her flowers and candy. It was just as much a demonstration of deep affection when he delivered her into the hands of the surgeon as it was the next week when he brought her home and delivered her into the arms of her mother. My friend, love places the eternal security and permanent welfare of the object of love above any transitory or temporary comfort, or present pleasure down here upon this earth. Love seeks the best interests of the beloved. That is what this little book of Zephaniah is all about—the dark side of love.”

As I read that story, I thought, “But wait, Dr. McGee. You misled us. You didn’t give us all the facts in the beginning of the story. No wonder we concluded a sinister motive.”

But then I realized that in this life when we see bad things happen that God has allowed, we don’t have all the facts. Tweet This! We think of God as having a sinister motive. It’s only with a heavenly, eternal perspective that we can know all the facts and see God’s loving hand. And we don’t always know all the facts on this earth. Therefore, we must walk by faith knowing that our great God is as loving as that father who seemingly allowed something “bad” to happen to his beloved child.

What is your reaction to Dr. McGee’s story? Is it easy or hard (or you disagree) that God allows hard things for our good?
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