Reformed Articles

Nothing I Suffer Surprises God

Years ago, I wrote an article to remind myself (and others) that even if my nightmares came true, God would be there, carrying me and comforting me. When we are obsessively searching Google, we are often wondering what we’ll do if the worst happens, or we’re trying to reassure ourselves that the worst won’t happen. We are hoping to calm our fears by others’ collective knowledge, more data, some scrap of information that will put our minds to rest. The truth is, the worst might happen to any of us. Trusting God means believing that even if the worst happens, God will be sufficient. 


How will this turn out? How hard will it be? How long is this trial going to last?

Those questions are often at the core of my worries. I want reassurance that this problem is a temporary blip. That my deepest worries are unfounded. That what’s happening right now is going to turn out well.

A few mornings ago, I was concerned about an unexplained new health issue, uncertain of what the underlying problem might be. This on top of the deep and chronic pain I already carry because of my post-polio. The new issue had been bothering me for weeks and was still unresolved. There were so many unknowns. I was sitting before an open Bible, reading God’s words in Scripture, but my mind was somewhere far away.

I grabbed my phone and put my questions into Google. I searched and searched, using different terms and queries, to figure out what my symptoms indicated. I wondered whether I should be concerned. I wanted assurance that I was going to be okay. I found a few hopeful answers but still felt vaguely unsettled. I went back to reading my Bible, wishing I hadn’t interrupted my time with God for that.

Information Is Not the Answer

Then I read, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way” (Psalm 46:1–2). I realized how foolish I’d been. Why was I looking elsewhere first for answers? Why did I think that my problem was a lack of information? Why did I want reassurance from Google rather than from God?

I’m not alone in looking to the Internet for answers. Some statistics estimate 5.5 billion searches are initiated each day, which would mean 63,000 per second.

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