Do you ever struggle with what God allows in your life?
We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. C.S. Lewis
True confession—my idea of what’s best and God’s idea of best rarely matches.
If I were running the world, I’d intervene more.
Years ago, Bob and I enjoyed watching the TV show, Early Edition. The main character, Gary, would receive a newspaper with tomorrow’s date. He would read about accidents that were going to occur the next day. Gary would spend the rest of the show scurrying to stop those tragedies. And he always succeeded.
That’s the kind of God most of us want. Someone who is going to intervene preventing tragedy.
And when God doesn’t, we can struggle with our feelings toward Him.
I remember counseling a young mom who lost her husband. Sarah was left with unspeakable heartache along with the challenge of raising two school-aged kids. The years that followed her husband’s death were difficult.
Now years later, Sarah struggles with trusting God. She reasoned that if God allowed her husband to die how can she trust him?
Feelings of betrayal by God are common after tragedy. After all, why didn’t God intervene. He could have but didn’t.
Job is the Old Testament figure who struggled with what God had allowed in his life. Job is the king of catastrophic loss—he lost all 10 of his children, his wealth, and finally his health in a matter of hours.
Devastation struck Job. In his despair he believed that God was punishing him for some reason. And Job questioned what God had allowed in his life.
Job didn’t agree with his friends who blamed him for his problems. And yet he didn’t agree with God for allowing the trauma.
Job had difficulty reconciling his theology with his experience of intense suffering.
As Christians we still struggle with painful trials God allows us to experience.
Jerry Stiller is a Christian leader who lost his wife, three children, and mother in a car accident. In his excellent book, Disguised by Grace, he came to the same conclusion that Job did in the end. Stiller realized that his view of God’s sovereignty was too small.
The process of growth through pain usually begins with feelings of protest about what God allowed.
As we slowly work through the grief process our soul will be transformed. We can move from feeling betrayed to enlarged trust.
Pain always changes us. It’s our choice whether we choose to let God conform us into the image of his Son.
Let’s not waste the pain.
Job came to realize:
I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
I always enjoy hearing from others—feel free to comment.
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