We all get mad at God sometimes. Don’t deny it. It is an absolute truth that we are human and sometimes we blame God. It is easy to do because we attest that God can do all things. According to the Bible, he heals the sick, saves the righteous, helps armies win wars, and blesses us in our time of need.
The problem is that those things are easy to believe when everything is OK, but when things are rough we look at the Bible and doubt its truth. No worries, though. For every moment of doubt there is a great opportunity to have faith. In those moments of doubt we’ll cry and moan at God and wonder “why”, but we won’t get the answers we want.
Sometimes close friends die. Sometimes we are fired from jobs. Sometimes our loved ones leave us. Sometimes we hurt people and regret it. And each of these times we are face with a crisis of faith. We don’t think anyone understands so we look towards God and pray for him to fix things.
The good news is that he always hears and answers our prayers. The bad news is that it is never in the ways we expect or want.
WE ARE IDIOTS
We are idiots.
That’s right. Think about that for a moment. Do you compare yourself to God and think you know as much as him? No one can even come close to understanding the all-encompassing goodness and knowledge of Jesus Christ. He is the epitome and love and wisdom. That is why we should trust him more than ourselves.
There is a video game parody called Red vs Blue. It is a web series that pokes fun at the endless conflict in Halo. All the characters in the show have a few screws loose, but it can be very entertaining (even if it is on a juvenile level).
One time, two of the characters are talking about getting tattoos. They start listing the pros and cons for getting a tattoo. The pros list included things like “chicks dig them” and “tattoos are cool”.
The cons list was different, though. He simply states, “You are an idiot. I’ll prove it. Take your current age. Now subtract ten years from it. Were you smart back then? No. And ten years from now you’ll look back and think you were an idiot, again. So why put something on permanent your body that’ll you’ll hate in ten years.” Basically, it is a reminder of how much we do not know and how much we learn as we get older, just in a very satirical fashion.
I think there is truth in that joke, though. We don’t know enough and we never will in this world. We have to humble ourselves before God and stop asking “why” so much. We have to step forward, pray, and trust God with the outcome.
LEWIS KNOWS BESTS
I always go to C.S. Lewis when I’m looking for some back up to my arguments. He is a great theologian and tends to put things in a way that makes my head spin, but it gives me perspective.
Awhile back I felt like God wasn’t hearing my prayers. I was going through some tough situations with my job and relationships. It all hit at once and I was searching for deliverance. I didn’t get it, though. At least not when I wanted it, but it came later when I God knew I was ready for it.
One of the lines that helped me most was from the book “Letters to Malcolm”. It is a series of letters Lewis wrote to a friend about his thoughts on prayer. The line was, “If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where should I be now?”.
It reminds of the scene from Bruce All Mighty, where Bruce decides to grant everyone exactly what they want. The answer to every prayer was “yes”. The end result was mass chaos.
I think Lewis hits the nail on the head. If we always got what we wanted, our lives would probably be in shambles. We don’t know what is best for our lives, but God definitely does and he wants to bless us. The proof is in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
So,maybe it is time we change our perspective and let God take care of things his way because we know that he cares for us.
Jesus didn’t receive an answer to his prayers the night before he was crucified. At least, not in the way we like to think of getting answers to our prayers. I feel the Christian community has begun to interpret “an answer to prayer” as getting a “Yes, I’m God and I’ll do this thing you want”. I think that many of us turn God into a genie when we think of him that way. This isn’t Aladdin and our petitions to God are not wishes.
To quote Lewis again, “Our Lord in Gethsemane made a petitionary prayer (and did not get what He asked for).” We learn what Christ asked for in Mark 14:35-36, “And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [fatal] hour might pass from Him.And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].”
Imagine our lives if God granted Jesus’ prayer. Today, we would be held accountable for our sins. All of us would have to abide by Jewish law in order to get to heaven. We wouldn’t have the blessing of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day lives. The devil would not have been defeated through the resurrection.
Jesus allowed himself to suffer more than anyone can imagine to avoid all of those things. Now we can live in freedom because of his actions. It was good that God said “no” to his prayer, just like how he says “no” to some of our prayers. It is because he is a good father and king. He knows what is best for all of us.
It takes trust in God’s will. That is why Jesus says, “yet not what I will, but what you will.” We are in God’s will and even though we enter bleak moments in our lives, we must remember that God’s will is good. We may not know “why”, right now. We might not know in three weeks. We may never know “why”, but we can take rest in casting our cares to God and know that he cares for us.