In the last week, two people I know have been in serious car accidents. The results were two totaled cars but no serious injuries (except to a deer, which will never cross Route 95 again at dusk).
One driver was on her way to see her mother before departing to Barcelona as a missionary. The other driver was chauffeuring a carload of kids to a church retreat. Both good goals, both God's people.
The scoffer and mocker will ridicule God: "Way to protect your people, God! Way to 'encamp around those who fear you' (Psalm 34:7)"-which will be his way of saying what he really means to say, that there is no God.
What scoffers don't understand is that it's complicated. My friend who "came to" with a deer in her lap in Florida got to meet many people she would not have met otherwise, and got to praise God in adversity. I quote from her email of this morning:
"My hair was thoroughly matted with blood and glass. I had that stench with me until I got home the next day. In spite of that negative experience, I felt at peace: 'My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips.'"
The scoffer should envy my friend at this point: Her praise was instantly credited to her account in heaven. (See Philippians 4:17 for acts credited to our accounts.) She also got to learn things about God and about herself that cannot be learned in ease but only in trial. And as for Barcelona, who knows what's going on there that made it seem preferable to God that she show up a week later than she had planned?
If we keep getting discouraged by every little setback, and trying to figure out why it happened, we will live in constant He-loves-me-He-loves-me-not mode. What we need to do is make up our minds to that fact that we will have afflictions all the way home, but that God will deliver us out of them all:
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all" (Psalm 34:19).