Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
Peter has just found out that he’s going to be a martyr. When he sees his close friend, John, he asks Jesus, “What about him?” Jesus replies, “Why does that matter? You follow Me!”
This is absurd. Peter is going to be crucified and John might never die?! How does that make any sense?
People try to explain the confusion and suffering of life in different ways. “God is testing us and making us stronger.” “It’s punishment for sins.” “There’s a lesson God is teaching us.” Even if these things are true, these answers are not very satisfying.
Close friends of mine were pregnant with their first child. At the doctor’s appointment in which they were supposed to find out the gender of their baby, they were told that their son had a terminal disease and he would likely not survive the pregnancy. At most, he would live a few weeks after birth.
What could any of us say to them?
Well, here’s what we could not say to them. We could not say why this was happening. We could not say why this was happening to their child. We could not say what exactly God was doing. We could not talk about any of these things because we did not know. We could only talk about what we do know.
Because of the word of God, we knew this was not happening because God does not love them or He had forgotten them. We knew God was not punishing them and also that He was not indifferent. We knew He was grieving for their son and for their pain. We knew that God hates death and He sent His only Son to conquer death. We knew that God would walk with them. We knew that He would somehow work all things for their good.
Deuteronomy 29:29 reads, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Praise God, the baby did survive and is a wonderful little boy. But in this life, things do not always work out the way we hope. In the midst, all we can hold onto are the things that are certain.
We have all experienced things in the past that have made us ask, “Why?” The honest answer is we don’t know why. Many things in the future remain uncertain. We have many questions. The honest answer is we don’t know what will happen. But what we do know is sufficient. The God we do know is sufficient. The promises He has revealed in His Word belong to us forever.