I was going through Lee Strobel’s latest book The Case for Miracles last week. The final chapter in the book was a poignant discussion entitled: “When miracles don’t happen.”
In that chapter, Strobel interviews Douglas Groothuis who’s a professor at Denver Seminary. In the interview, they talk about the health of Groothuis’s wife Becky, a Mensa member and author who developed a rare form of dementia which impacts the brain’s ability to recall words.
In the interview, they talk of day to day challenges of seeing his wife taken from him. The interview talked about faith, spirituality, lament, and hope.
I was particularly struck by one of the answers Groothuis gave. Strobel asked “Do you feel like if you were God, you would definitely heal Becky?”
“God is perfect and he acts accordingly. If I were God, I’d be perfect – and therefore I’d act in the very same way he does. We might not understand why he does what he does, but it’s folly to think we’d do things better.”
I found that to be brilliant and insightful. It’s easy for us to look to things in God’s rule of creation and to think it could be done better or should be done differently. But God is righteous and eternal. At times, it can be very hard to see the good in the struggles of our lives. At times, it’s hard to see the goodness of God in the wrongs others afflict on us.
Groothuis saw a brilliant woman lose her mental faculties and pass away at just 59 years of age. But the faith to trust that God is still good in that. To trust that God is so good that his plan cannot be improved upon in spite of all of the bad, all of the evil, all of the suffering in our world. God still works that for good. God still weaves that into his plans and uses it for his own glory.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.