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« Living With Wings | Main | The Unexpected Consequences of Righteousness »

Our Most Audacious Question

defiant_mounaineer-735039.gif“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Romans 9:20

The picture always seems so ludicrous to me: Puny man, hands on hips, stomping his foot and giving God his most intimidating face. “Why are you doing this?” he dares to interrogate. It’s the miniature versus the Almighty; the finite against the Infinite; the lump of clay versus the Potter; the wisp versus the Whirlwind. It appears as out of place as buck private calling the five star general on the carpet or the newly hired janitor demanding a full debriefing of the firm’s CEO. Yet, man flails on, doing his best to wring an answer out of God.

When sorrow inundates us, Satan torments us, people wound us or life crushes us, we often summon God in for interrogation. When circumstances perplex us, plans fail us, dreams elude us or good fortune slips through our grasp and falls into the hands of an undeserving neighbor, we rashly accost God and demand answers. Are you guilty of asking God questions based on the following reasons?

The Adolescent Why: “I don’t understand.” As spiritually mature as we might be, we are as babies in comparison to the wisdom of the Omniscient One.

The Accusing Why: “How could you do this to me?” We often call God’s motives into question, as though he were driven by vindictiveness or jealousy.

The Anguishing Why: “What did I do wrong?” Tormented by an overblown sense of guilt, we beat ourselves up with self-recriminations. Sometimes our self-deprecation extends from toxic parenting, or from a general sense of rejection in our past. This line of questioning tells more about who we are than an attempt to locate truth.

The Analytical Why: “It doesn’t make sense.” Sometimes, great scientific or mathematical formulas have taken years to develop because certain unknown bits of data were not factored in. Any attempt to analyze God overlooks the fact that we cannot see the whole picture. He sees all the tomorrows that hide from our present view.

The Argumentative Why: “I think you’ve made a big mistake, God.” Sometimes our inflated ego gets so far out of control that we argue with God. We think our logic is superior, our deductions make more sense, or our plan would have led to a more satisfying conclusion.

The Accepting Why: “Not my will but thine be done.” Here’s the secret. “God, I fully accept what you have willed for my life. Help me understand the lesson you want to teach me, show me how it will enrich our relationship, and, through this, make me more useful in your kingdom.” Surrender your right to know what God is thinking. In a theocracy, such a right does not exist anyway.

Good people who lead disciplined, exemplary lives, and who otherwise have it all together wither before the question of “why”. They do not fade because of a personal failure or a moral collapse. They are not wild, crazy or impulsive. They simply cannot negotiate the choices of God.

The bigger your concept of God, the less likely you will be to question him about things you cannot control. Invest implicit faith and trust in God’s lordship. Believe that he loves you: therefore, whatever God causes or allows will somehow redound to your spiritual benefit. From Abel’s murder, to Job’s calamities, from Daniel’s den of lions to Peter’s imprisonment, from King David’s loss of an infant son to the barbarous crucifixion of the Son of God, the Infinite God really does know exactly what is going on. When the results are in, the problems most difficult to understand will undoubtedly be seen as God’s most ingenious forms of blessing.

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