The mystery of the missing Malaysian flight and all of the unanswered questions surrounding it are a reminder that, even in an age of instant access to global information, what we don’t know about just about everything and everyone is far greater than what we do know.
The result is that many of us find ourselves being able to find nowhere to stand with certainty other than to side with Abraham when he asked, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen 18:25). Even though he asked these words as a bold challenge to the intentions of God, his words offer a comfort especially to those of us who in the Gospel of Christ have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” (1Peter 2:2).
Like Abraham, even in the darkness of our deepest and most troubling questions, we have reason to hope, as he did— not only in the rightness of God, but in his goodness.
This is the hope we hear in the Apostle Paul who, in his own anguish over lost loved ones, said that he would give up his own relationship to Christ if it would result in the salvation of those he loved more than life itself (Rom 9:1-3). Yet, after expressing his own Abrahamic-like challenge to the goodness of God, Paul wrote, of his Jewish countrymen, “So they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom 11:31-33).
With a hope and confidence that rises above the raw emotion of questions and answers we must leave with God, Paul shows that he wants his readers to believe that our eternal Father is far better, and infinitely more loving— than we could ever imagine (Eph 3:14-21).
By the gift of such assurance, may our God enable us to come to the end of another year with gratefulness… and into the next with courage.