On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood
No Quick Fix
July 28, 2013
The microwave and fast food restaurants changed how we prepare and eat food. They epitomize the whole of life — that we want everything in a hurry, along with instant solutions for complex problems.
Jesus sees the opposite for His disciples living at the end of the age. There is no short-term fix except for the fact the number of terrible days will be shortened.
The question immediately arises: “If the Lord can shorten the days, why doesn’t He just eliminate them altogether?” This is not only the mystery of the end time; it’s the mystery also of the present time. Why doesn’t the Lord move even more quickly? Why do we have to suffer in anything?
When we are in the midst of adversity, danger, sorrow or illness, it seems as if time stands still. The emotional or physical pain doesn’t end. I think of the brother who gave a woeful testimony in a church service and concluded with, “Pray for me that I will hold out till the end.” A listener quietly said, “I think he’s about to let go.”
Indeed, there are seasons when we feel we are just holding on for dear life. If the Lord has power to heal, then why not just prevent the disease in the first place? If He has power to restore after an accident, then why not just prevent the accident? If He can help us endure the destruction of bad relationships, why doesn’t He just clue us in at the beginning so we can avoid the subsequent nightmare? Why not stop hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis before they hit and cause such devastation?
There are so many mysteries attached to the sovereignty of God, the problem of evil, and the short leash God seems to place at times on goodness. He seems to us on occasion to be as late in intervening as He was at Lazarus’ tomb. We all prefer a shorter leash on the bad we endure, and we pray the Lord will intervene sooner rather than later.
But the good news in every trial is that the Lord is truly Lord — that, in fact, He holds ultimate power. What happens to us is not random. We are not in this world without God, left to the fate of time and circumstance. The Lord remains on His throne above every tragedy, every hardship and every heartache. In His mercy, He often does shorten the days.
If the Lord just eliminated the difficult circumstance to begin with, then we would have no testimony on earth or in heaven. Without adversity there is no heroism, only blandness. The example of Jesus instructs us that where there is no cross there is no crown.
The end time heroes of the faith who go through the horrific season spoken of by Jesus will have stories to tell that will keep us in rapt attention for endless days on the other side. We will hear the retelling of evil, but it will only be a story then, not a reality anymore in the land where there is no pain, sorrow, crying, night, curse or death.
Evil will be banished there, no more to afflict us.
A prayer of response
DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.
On Your Mark