When we cry "Why, Lord?" we should ask instead, "Why not, Lord? Shall I not follow my Master in suffering as in everything else?"
Does our faith depend on having every prayer answered as we think it should be answered, or does it rest rather on the character of a sovereign Lord? We can't really tell, can we, until we're in real trouble.
I never heard more from the young woman. I neglected to ask her address. But I prayed for her, asking God to enable her to show the world what genuine faith is--the kind of faith that overcomes the world because it trusts and obeys, no matter what the circumstances. The world does not want to be told. The world must be shown. Isn't that part of the answer to the great question of why Christians suffer?As I plead daily for a solution to my current crisis, I also embrace the fact that I may be called to suffer this ab hinc. Cognitively speaking, I grasp the principle Elisabeth Elliot refers to above, that the question really is, "Why NOT suffer?" Spiritually, emotionally, though, I struggle with that. I struggle to justify the host of verses that state I will be blessed if I follow Christ with the host of verses that state I will be persecuted with suffering if I follow Christ! There are so many issues like that in the Bible. I tire of the academic attempts for deeper understanding that I frequently endeavor to make. I remember thinking, as a child studying the Word, that heaven will bring the answers and it is silly to ask them while here on earth. I think I am going to return to that philosophy, at least for the moment. Lay the questions aside for the simple act of faith. I don't know (does anyone?). I trust instead.