Read (from the New Living Translation)

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Go Deep

WBSGbio_ZachWe’ve talked about how God can make something good out of any situation, but sometimes, we just don’t see it. What happens then? Zach from The Wally Show wrestled with this very question when he came face-to-face with suffering. 

I had lived a pretty pain-free life. Not many funerals to attend, no divorce or cancer in my family.

I only knew suffering by watching people from a distance, and I assumed what God wanted most from us during hard times was our personal stamp of approval for His plan.

In the middle of the storm, you had to able to declare, “God works everything together for good,” and sing, “It is well with my soul.” Faced with calamity, mature believers both understood God’s plan and joyfully embraced it.

In 2013, we lost our son 36 hours after he was born, and my views on suffering changed.

I quickly realized that I would never approve of any plan that involved the loss of my son. I would never understand it, and I would never call his death, good.

My wife and I heard stories of how God used our journey to help others. I felt like people expected that if we heard enough stories of good, it would balance out some equation and we’d finally be able to rationalize his death and comprehend how a loving God would sit by and let our son die.

Those stories were nice to hear, but if it were up to me, I would never choose those stories over my son living. Did that make me a selfish Christian? Deep down, was my faith a fraud?

As I wrestled with those questions, the turning point came when I realized…

God didn’t need me to approve of His plan, just to accept it.

I wasn’t expected to figure it all out and give Him my thumbs-up; He didn’t need or ask for my approval. All I could do was focus on the next step of obedience.

It became ok to grieve, to be sad, to want God to fix things. God wasn’t disappointed in me for wishing there was another way.

Check out Jesus’ prayer in Luke 22:42 (NLT), right before Judas betrayed him:

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me…”

He prayed this repeatedly with agony so great he sweat blood. If Jesus, who was sinless, could beg God to remove suffering, then maybe I could too.

What is crucial, though, is what Jesus prayed next:

“…Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

Faith isn’t the absence of grief and uncertainty. Faith is obedience and trust in the midst of grief and uncertainty.

I may never know why God didn’t intervene to save my son. Even if God audibly tried to explain it to me, I probably lack the capacity to comprehend it. Letting go of the need to know and to approve released the weight of the world.

I have a toddler now, and she loves to help unload the dishwasher. Somehow the first thing she always reaches for is a knife.

From her point of view, I’m sure the only conclusion she can reach is that I’m being mean to her when I don’t let her play with knives. She doesn’t have the ability to understand why her mean father would not let her have what she most wants.

As her father, I don’t really care if she understands the reason right now. I’m only concerned with her obedience. I don’t need her to approve of the rules, I just need her to trust that I have her best in mind, and to obey.

I think God’s the same way. He doesn’t need us to always understand and approve His plan. He just wants us to accept it and act in trust and obedience.

I can accept. I can trust. Your will be done.

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

–Lauren Daigle, Trust in You

 

Notes from the Beyond Suffering Bible

Understanding the Times – Solomon reminds us that God appoints the time for every event of our lives. From times of joy and celebration to times of trial and affliction, God is sovereign—even if we don’t understand his plan. We cannot let our disappointment or desire for control keep us from enjoying life. We can find comfort in trusting that God always has our best in mind according to his purposes (Rom 8:28-29).

 

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94 Comments on "Day 11: What If I Can’t Find Something Good in My Suffering?"

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kpj5521
Member
My best friend and her mother passed away in a horrific house fire. I could not understand why He could let such a thing happen. I became so angry with Him. I know the Lord doesn’t give us challenges we cannot over come, but I could not understand and I could not see the good in my suffering. Two and a half years later I am now slowly discovering the lessons I am supposed to learn. Sometimes we can’t see the good in our sufferings at first because we havent accepted it yet. Once we do, it will change us… Read more »
Unathi
Member
I’ll add something to this that I feel is also important. I don’t believe that God appoints all the evil that happens to us. I believe that He allows it, and there’s a huge difference. His plans for us are good, and His plans are for us to prosper and to be in health, His plans are not for our harm. But how do we respond to these evil things that happen to us? Do we blame God, and assume He’s bad for letting us suffer? Or do we turn to Him for hope and healing, letting Him work something… Read more »
RandyFL
Member

Amen!

Lora Byrnside
Member

oh wholeheartedly agree! The book of Job shows us plainly this example. 🙂

Terri
Member
Amen! We are going to face hardships, the Bible tells us this fact. The rain falls on the good and the bad. BUT we have Jesus in our corner intervening for us,praying for us,conversing with our Father on our behalf. And like Paul said he counted it all gain for the sake of partially knowing Jesus with the anxious anticipation of fully knowing him in glory. Yes, we will grieve. We will hurt. We will face trials of every kind, but ” praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great Mercy he has… Read more »
Zach
WAY-FM

Great point! I agree there’s a huge difference between appointing and allowing bad things to happen.

Gloria
Member

Thank you Zach for sharing your story. I use to think something was wrong with me because I could not be joyful during times of suffering. That part of Jesus prayer has helped me as well, ” however not my will but thy will ” I see now that my faith has increased during those times. Blessings to you and your family.

Paul Mavrakos
Guest

Thank you for sharing. I am going through a very rough spot in my marriage and family. I feel as though my marriage and family are in spiritual warfare. My decisions in addiction and self seeking have caused consequences that are very painful. I am asking God to intervene and heal my marriage and family. It is so difficult to give up control and also as difficult to know what to do and not to do. Prayer is the only thing I KNOW to do.

Sue
Guest

I am grateful for these words. I’m grateful for the reminder that God, my Father knows what He is doing in allowing the suffering.i will embrace His will, work at acceptance and understanding, reaffirm trust, practice patience. I know he wants me, for today, living to praise, bless and thank Him.

AmberLaRue
Member
First I am terribly sorry for the loss of your son. I cannot imagine how you even begin to wrap your mind around this loss as being part of Gids plan. Your ability to view it in light of life today is wonderful.I love your comparison of your toddler trying to help unload and not understand how the knife could hurt her. It’s a beautiful way to view how often we do not understand how God is tryjnf to keep us from pain and all we see is shiney fun we want. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us… Read more »
Eileyn
Member
Just what I needed to be reminded todsy. I don’t believe that God plans these things. No wonder people have a hard time with Christianity if that is what people believe. Think about it how can we explain it got that is all loving and kind and offers eternal life if we also see if he is The God Who planned the World Trade Center attacks. Are planned for children to die. Or planned for any type of tragedy that we face. What I believe is that we were to remain faithful when these sad things happen and God cries… Read more »
T Swift
Member

Zach, I am one of the many listeners who has followed your journey through this. Thank you for sharing your struggles in such a real way… I think that is key to a strong faith. When we deny our feelings and “trust Jesus anyway,” we tend to fall away or distance ourselves from God. We can grieve and get angry at God, and in the end say, “Thy will be done,” and truly mean it, rather than saying it as a platitude.

Zach
WAY-FM

Thanks for walking with us on the journey.

…And Bekah would be jealous to see I got a comment from T. Swift. 😉

tpike3862
Member
I think the hardest thing to do is to trust when you don’t know the why. But God does “Got your back” in all your matters. I don’t know why a young person would leave God to “Find their way in life” and go through so much depression and roller coaster emotions and not see their need to come back. My daughter grew up knowing God took care of us and met all our needs but still she thinks she’s got this thing called life. She constantly says she is having a Bad day, well get back in church and… Read more »
Member

I can relate to this post by Zach as I too had my child called home. I am grateful he is home, but the questions surface daily. Thank you for the courage to be transparent.

RandyFL
Member

Zach, You did go deep here… Thank you very much for this intimate and inspiring testimony my friend. God is working through your painful experiences and the love in your heart that allows you to share… to help heal others in the faith!! May God continue to bless you and your family.

Erica
Member

My Bible does not have 13 chapters in Ecclesiastes

vsroberts41
Member

Thank you for sharing. Really needed this today.

Rachel Wright
Member

Thank you, Zach. I lost a newborn daughter 19 years ago. Learning to accept and trust God again was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I appreciate your candor and honesty!

Member

This resinated with me so much. 17 surgeries and my body is still broken and in severe pain. I am constantly repeating, Thy will be done. Sometimes out loud over and over till my heart begins to accept any outcome that is part of His plan and His glory. Ps..this song today was perfect and one I sing at the top of my voice till I start to feel the release and begin to accept God’s plan right where I am.

Debnick22
Guest

CarrieAnn, have you tried Juicing for healing? I just did the “fat, sick and nearly dead” program and in just 30 days my blood work results revealed the truth about the food that God has provided to us, his true food for us, fruits and vegetables. My blood work went from absolutely horrible, to perfect. God never does anything half way. God bless you and may your body be healed by the stripes of Jesus!

Rosland85
Member

Hi Carrie,

I just wanted to speak life into your pain and remind you that Gods love for you is so much more intense than the enemy’s intended pain. You are loved and grow stronger each day to prepare for your deliverance. I pray for your healing from the top of your head and down to the soles of your feet!

Terri
Member

Amen!

DEBBIE Scugoza
Guest

Thank you for this message today. I am gong to enjoy this small group. Thank you for the invite

Brenda Paryzek
Member

Life changing thanks for sharing. I love Trust in you

Sharon
Member

Oh my gosh, this is so incredibly power. Thank you, thank you!!

Lora Byrnside
Member
I have spent my life coping with a mild form of PTSD from an emotionally abusive parent. I have asked God many times during my life why He would allow such destructive behavior from someone who was supposed to be my safe haven. The answers seem to be continually “so you will seek me” and “the refiner’s fire.” I have to admit that without this turmoil, I may have just bumbled through life, never going deeper than a title-only claim to faith. It’s God’s tapestry. Threads are cut short, some torn out, colors are changed—— the masterpiece! All for His… Read more »
Rosland85
Member

Thank you Zach, Your story is healing those of us striving towards acceptance and obedience.

susieqgray
Member
I needed this so much today. I am going through some life altering changes right now, and all I can do is wake up each morning and trust God with today. Some days I get anxious,and I try to imagine what the future is going to hold for me, but I have today,and I must stay focused on getting through that. Lord Jesus, let me be in the center of your will! “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Terri
Member

Amen!

matthewthamm
Member

Thanks Zach. It is tough learning and understanding about Gods timing and plans.

Kelly
Member

thank you
that it all

Lysa
Member

What a great explanation to God’s will…hearing that we can grieve and be upset and question because we are human, is a relief! My prayer is always…Your will be done, but it would be awesome if it went my way:)

Terri
Member

Lol! I hear ya, but I sure am glad He is in control and not me. What a mess it would be!

Rachael
Guest

So good to see this today. I have a young couple friend whose husband has seemingly unending cancer. I was crying this morning because his cancer is their life and our church family, we don’t know how it will end for him. He has 2 young babies (3 and 1) and a precious wife. My father died when I was 5, so I totally get the WHY did got let this happen??? Why won’t he intervene? But Zac, this really helped. Thank you.

MarjieJ
Member
I lost my mom 5 years ago this July and I remember how hurt and angry about him taking her away from me. Selfish right? But I just couldn’t understand why her and not one of those mom’s that don’t care about their kids, who would rather give up their child or even kill them than deal with being “a mom”. I even broke down and yelled at God in anger asking why my mom,and I was angry for the first year after she passed. Then my children found a new church and begged me to come see their new… Read more »
Unhooked
Member

Thank you

DG
Member

Thanks Zach. One of the things I appreciate about listening to the Wally show is your honesty and willingness to share your grief process. As I find myself on a similar path, remembering God’s goodness makes all the difference.

Zach
WAY-FM

Thanks, DG. Sorry to hear you’re on a similar path. Sharing has definitely helped the process, for me anyway.

JennyChestnut
Member

It is easy to get mad at God in times of troubles, but it takes determination and faith to trust in Him. He is a good God and He will get us through everything we are going through.

Terri
Member

Thank you, Zac. May God continue to heal your hearts. On a side note, thanks for keeping Wally in line. That is a tremendous load the Lord has put on you!lol

Zach
WAY-FM

Ha that’s a struggle I’m not ready to write about yet.

RLynn79
Member

Such a good explanation. My 5 year old was happily riding his scooter 2.5 years ago when he was struck and killed on the sidewalk by a young man high on heroin. I have struggled with why God didn’t save my baby. Why did his siblings and father watch him get hit? Why couldn’t the doctors fix him? I think it’s nice to be reassured that I am not expected to approve of this plan.

Dloran
Member

I am so so so incredibly sorry for your loss! We have been praying for your family since we heard of this terrible tragedy! We live in Louisville and know friends that go to your church. When I read your comment, I immediately knew. I know this doesn’t lessen your suffering, but please know that people are still praying for you and your family. Praying for God’s comfort and the “peace that passes understanding”.

Member

Thanks for sharing Zack. I lost my son 16 years ago and within 2 years our 5 week old grandson not to mention my nephew. I thought i would lose my mind. I was so angry at God. I tried to work myself to death. And one day I realized I wasn’t going to win being mad at Him. I didn’t like it and still don’t.I don’t think you ever get over it. You just move on and because God’s grace .

Susan
Member

Most encouraging thing I’ve read- He doesn’t need me to approve of His plan, just accept it. I’ve wrestled with this, but God is okay that I don’t want His plan that way, but I can accept it.

Nanakaty58
Member

Zach that was very good and humbling sometimes it takes us a while to understand why things happen but I’m so glad if we trust I God eventually we accept it as his plan

Danielle
Member

So sorry for your loss, but thank you Zack for sharing your story. It is truly inspiring. May God bless you and your family.

daniellemk
Member

beautifully put and such a powerful statement “God didn’t need me to approve of His plan, just to accept it.” WOW just WOW

Cody D
Member

Today’s reading really spoke to me.
I have Muscular Dystrophy, which is a terrible disease that makes all your muscles weak and prevents your body from making muscles. When I could no longer walk at around the age of 10, I yelled at God and asked,”Why me?!?!” For a few months I was very sad, but I got through that dark time. I learned to accept that I could not walk and that I wasn’t as physically strong as most kids.

Deborah Snedecor
Member

Wow! This is a powerful message, Zach! We have heard and read your story of Samuel and the walk you and your wife demonstrated during that difficult time! Thank you for sharing your pain, frustrations and honesty.

Robin W
Member

I am very sorry for the loss you and your wife suffered through the loss of your son. But thank you for sharing your story. It has put a different perspective on the issue of suffering and what God expects and does not expect from us. Although nothing you said was necessarily new information, for some reason I never put it together in this context. Again thank you.

Suzanne
Guest

Thank you Zach for sharing your life.
Thank you for the lesson you have just taught all of us.
We all have had things that happen to us and we do not understand it or even can begin to figure out, but what you and your wife endured is a tremendous loss. One I could not even begin to understand or say I do.
Thank you for sharing and teaching me that Love endures and it is okay to not understand everything in my life.

Susan
Member
Thank you for sharing. This was amazing! We have struggled for 7 years in and out of employment and struggling financially. So many times, I have said that I don’t understand what God is doing. It’s actually a relief to understand that I don’t have to understand. I trust that God knows what He’s doing and I may not ever get to see the why this side of heaven. It’s still hard when the car needs a repair and there is no money to fix it. At this very moment (on WAY-FM), I hear Hillary Scott singing “I know You’re… Read more »
Member

When you lost your son I went through that with you & your wife. I cried & cried & wondered how you could ever get through something that painful & ever be alright again! To have him that 36 hours & then no more. I think when he stopped breathing I would have also! Thank you for sharing your time that you had with him even though I know it had to be heart wrenching. Also, your daughter is precious & I’m sure she’s not one bit spoiled!! ❤️

Robbie
Guest

Thanks for your story of trust.

Bernice E. Smith
Member

Thank you for sharing that Zach. I’ll trust Him too.

Missy P
Member
Zach, I can relate to your experience because I have lived it. My first two pregnancies ended up in premature labor and death. I was angry at God and my spouse had trouble coping. We were both confused. I wrestled with God’s decision to take my babies away. The stress of the miscarriages were so great that my husband and I parted. The short version of the story is I had three miscarriages before I had my son and daughter. The burden became lighter, only after I had my two children. The point is having those losses, gives me a… Read more »
Otnance
Member
Thank you for being so real Zach. My best friend died in July after a horrible struggle with breast cancer. It was traumatic and watching her suffer was agonizing. Now, two more of my best friends’husbands are struggling with terminal cancer. God has put me in a support role in all of these situations and yet, it has all taken a toll on my faith. I love what you said about acceptance versus approval. I DON’T understand at all but I will continue to trust that God can do something good in all of these situations. Thank you again…
Rebecca Gaskin
Guest
Hi Zack,I listen to way FM each morning on my way to work it’s the bright spot in my day. When Lauren Daigle first came out with her song I Will Trust in You it really hit home to me. You see, I lost my firstborn son as well. I was 6 months along and Joshua was stillborn 3 months ahead of schedule. I was devastated. I sank so low that I tried to take my own life. My husband did not know how to reach me so did what he could, he called our pastor for help. The first… Read more »
Rebecca Gaskin
Guest
Hi Zack,I listen to way FM each morning on my way to work it’s the bright spot in my day. When Lauren Daigle first came out with her song I Will Trust in You it really hit home to me. You see, I lost my firstborn son as well. I was 6 months along and Joshua was stillborn 3 months ahead of schedule. I was devastated. I sank so low that I tried to take my own life. My husband did not know how to reach me so did what he could, he called our pastor for help. The first… Read more »
Megan Starr
Member
This. So much this speaks so much. I had to learn this. Why did all these bad things happen if this God loves me is how I spent many years of my life. There are no answers but he has been removing me from situations and I’m seeing this the more I just trust he has it. He suffers with on and no he doesn’t cause all these things. There is God and there is evil working in this world. Know that he tries to protect us but bad things are out there and they happen. We cannot let those… Read more »
Ashley
Member

Just trust in him and your will find goodness! 🙂

Westernyankee
Member

Although I’ve heard bits and pieces of your story on the Wally show, thank you for telling it again. I’m especially thankful for your transparency, because so often we do feel guilty for not accepting His plan with a song n our hearts. What a great analogy to remind us that He is good, He is sovereign, and He sees the bigger picture. Thankfully, He loves us enough to keep the knives out of our hands, too!

Elsika2003
Member

This really hit home for me. I had a healthy pregnancy with twins and in the last few moments of it, we unexpectedly lost one of our daughters. We never got to see her eyes or feel her breath, but we got to hold her. I will cherish those moments for the rest of my life, and I know God made sure to take care of my sweet angel. Her 8 week old sister smiles in her dreams, and we believe that she is with her sweet sister…running and playing. God is good, we just have to trust in Him.

vdalton1105
Member

Thank you for sharing this. I have been in a similar situation and still struggle with accepting it. It does help to hear and share with others and, for me, helps me to not feel so alone in it. I appreciate your reminder that God is our Father and does all things out of love,even if we don’t always see it that way.

Diane
Member
My Mom passed away September 16th not yet 2 years since I lost my Dad, i miss them both so much sometimes it’s almost unbearable. I feel as though I’m trying to slip into a depression never wanting to leave the house or do the things i’ve always liked to do ( crafts, working in the yard, even cleaning the house ) normal everyday things I don’t want to do.. I know they aren’t suffering & hurting anymore & are in a much better place than I can even begin to imagine which is what is helping me cope with… Read more »
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