Seeing Life through God’s Intentions – When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Dr. Randy Carlson

There are times in each of our lives when life doesn’t make sense. I think of Donna’s mom, Char, who gave her whole life to ministry, and then those last ten years of hell she suffered with Alzheimer’s. I think about what the family went through and what Warren went through. What was that about? I also think of our grandchild, little Zuri, who was born too early.

Whether we’re in it, going into it, or coming out of it, we’re not going to get through life without having moments where we say, “That doesn’t make any sense.” It’s important to realize there are two different ways of looking at life – we see life through our expectations and God sees our lives through His intentions.

After my dad gave his life to Christ in his mid-20s, he dedicated the rest of his life for service to children. During the last ten or 15 years of his life, he had over 20 operations – heart, cancer and vascular surgeries. Our family was in the hospital with him all the time. He never complained, but I remember thinking, it doesn’t make any sense.

While in Washington D.C. recently, Donna and I were sitting at the table for breakfast when a woman we didn’t know sat down with us and said, “I’ve got to share something with you.” She continued, “We’re from the Tucson area, and my dad was in the hospital at University Medical Center. He shared the same room with your dad.” She said her father was not a Christian, but “your dad so impacted him in that hospital room. It changed my father for the rest of his life.”

I had never heard that story before. At the time my father was in the hospital, life made no sense to me. He was going through yet another difficult situation, and there was a man planted in the bed next to him who needed to hear encouragement, to hear the gospel and to hear that Jesus makes sense even when we’re in the hospital, and life makes no sense. My father’s time with him changed his life.

I’m sure when my dad went into the hospital for another major surgery, he wasn’t thrilled to be there again. But he submitted to it with joy because that’s the way my dad lived his life. He used the opportunity as he laid in that hospital bed. He was probably thinking, I’m going to be stuck here for a week, so I might as well do something that’s good for this guy next to me here.

We may never know until we get to eternity how some of the things that we went through and faced were opportunities in disguise. May we be sensitive to those opportunities and recognize that as we choose to be intentional, the latter part of life can be better than the first part. When life doesn’t make sense, remember God sees life through His intentions.

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