God has been expanding my understanding of what His response might be when we ask Him the BIG question "why?" As my father in law says, some days we are the windshield and other days we are the bug. In those seasons of our life that are painful, where is God, what is He up to and why do we need to endure atrocities in our lives? Here are five possible scenarios:
1. He's looking back at us
Love what our friend and mentor Sujo John wrote recently on his ministry facebook page for an organization he started to free people from sex trafficking - YouCanFree.Us ...
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?"
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."
2. He's given us the keys
An influential Proverb in my life has been "People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord." (Proverbs 19:3, NLT). There is a very real sense that God has handed us the keys to our own destiny, He has graciously show us the paths that are right and true and depends on our choices.
Many times, especially when we are young, it is not our own liberty that causes pain which produces greater sin in our lives, but it is the liberty of others around us. People who sin against us. A world which sins against itself. In all of humanities achievements in science and the arts, the condition of the human heart remains the same - and the need to forgive ourselves and those who have sinned against us has never been greater.
3. God always says no for good reason
In a past blog I wrote about Garth Brook's song, "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." The late Ruth Graham stated, "If God would have always answered my prayers, I would have married the wrong man ... several times." In some cases God says not yet, but He does so for our ultimate benefit. I truly believe that if we could see the BIG picture of our life as God sees it, we would choose the exact paths He asks us to go down. Obedience is always the best route to our destiny.
4. We should be asking Him why He's good
Of course, my blog this past week entitled "Why God" which explains that we should not only ask God why He allows suffering, but also stop to consider and ask God why He is so good. King David proclaimed: "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him. Oh Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8, NIV).
5. God can turn it around
Last but not least, thank goodness, God does not leave us where He finds us. We believe in a God who turns things around, answers prayer, reveals His will, sends help from heaven, performs mighty miracles and then some! God takes the junk in our lives and can ALWAYS use it for good if we allow Him.
"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28, NIV).
And even if we are muddled in the middle of a mess, we are certain that goodness and love PURSUE us all the days of our lives ... we will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23:6, NLT)