We humans are a strange lot! We live life, yet we don’t understand it all. When tough times arise, we try to piece life together, making sense of the issue at hand. Most of us come to our own personal conclusions. Based on this or that experience, we try to figure out the game of life.
“Their children went wild because…” we toy with ideas and possibilities.
“They lost their home because…” and we formulate an opinion.
“The relationship didn’t work out due to…” we try to figure it out.
Even Jesus’ disciples formed their own conclusions about the issues found in their world! After leaving the temple, Jesus and his disciple passed a man who had been born blind.
“And His disciples asked Him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?'” (John 9:2). Jesus response? Neither, fellas! Neither parents nor individual are the cause!
It’s all too easy (for the sake of our own comfort) to attempt to draw lines and formulate ideas. Avoid this. Do that. Don’t go there. Ah yes, stay here for success. We try to understand the patterns of life, the track for success, the way to live most comfortably, successfully and fully. No one likes to be tossed into the unknown, into discomfort or loss.
Been there! Done that (and still do it)! Life is worth studying. The book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are just that!
What happens when those carefully studied steps don’t work out? What happens when a child dies, when a spouse leaves you, when health crumbles? What is to be done with this out-of-control feeling that comes over us?
The first response is often anger, feelings of betrayal and as if God doesn’t care anymore. Perhaps you feel like someone has played the cat and mouse game with your life! Maybe it seems that God has forgotten or is even antagonistic toward you (been there!). There are things you’ve given up for your faith, sacrifices you’ve made, even the direction in life you chose was a result of following God’s leading!
So why? Why now? Why this burden? Why is your faithfulness met with cruelty? Why are your attentions toward God’s concerns met with thievery? Why are the prices you’ve paid met with more demands?
Let the fiery questions roll!
Hardship uncovers our subconsciously held ideas and opinions! Difficulties will reveal not ‘head-knowledge’ but the ‘heart-knowledge,’ the things we really believe and live by. Enter into those thoughts. Bring them to the throne of the Father in heaven. Let His light shine on them and let Him draw you close.
Often His answers aren’t what we expect. Sometimes, His answers don’t even address the issue we battle with. Instead, something deeper and more substantial takes place, something that wouldn’t happen if we were not so vulnerable and raw.
“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds” (Lk 12:24)!