Sunday, April 25, 2010

God is God and I am not!!

By My Anonymous Friend

You may have heard this statement in the past and this week I was reminded of it again. There are things that happen in life that neither I nor any other human can explain. We can try but we soon reach a brick wall as we seek to understand the ways of God.

For example: A family that we consider our friends has experienced horrific tragedies in the past two years. First a granddaughter drowned tragically. A few months later the grandfather died within just a few months of being diagnosed with a serious illness. Now a few weeks ago, his son, the oldest of the children died suddenly as well. Within the space of two years, three generations of persons in this one family have passed away. I am at a complete loss when trying to understand this.

A few days ago I got involved in an interesting conversation with a twenty year old sky diver. When he asked me what I did as a career he surmised that I might be "religous" as he put it. I asked him if he was. "No", he said, "I control my own life!" He seemed so convinced. I smiled at him and said, "My friend, you could not be more wrong!" He insisted however. I suggested that he might be stricken with some dread disease or that some foolish driver might hit him on the highway somewhere. I asked him what he would do if his parachute would not open for some reason on one of his sky dives. He dismissed all my potential scenarios and shrugged them off. It seemed he did not really hear me at all. It seemed to me he was being intellectually dishonest and that he simply did not want to believe in a Deity of any sort. No one can truthfully and thoughtfully say that he controls his own life. Many things are beyond our control. I am hopeful that someday he will think more carefully.

So, if we acknowledge that we do not control our own lives all together, how do we cope with the unexplainable and incomprehensible? My conviction is that we ought to be more humble and admit that our knowledge is extremely limited. When I watch our daughter buckle our little granddaughter into her car seat, the baby never asks any questions. She does not ask if there is enough gas in the car, or if the tires are properly inflated. She does not ask if the streets are under construction. She never asks where they are going. She only sits and accepts what her parents plan for her. Sometimes she complains but she never questions! (not yet, anyway).

Am I pressing the analogy too far? Maybe a little bit. The priniciple fits though I think. Compared to the wisdom and sovereignty of God, we are infants. So I draw from this analogy these points:

1. God loves me with a perfect love. It is not His intent or purpose to destroy me or make my life as miserable as possible. That would not be love. My daughter would never deliberately hurt her little girl.

2. God's wisdom is perfect. He knows what I need or do not need. He knows how much I can take. My daughter does not just drive aimlessly about. She has a purpose in mind.

3. The small part of what I do know about God's way of operation is that He has purposes that are beyond my comprehension. My granddaughter is always pleasantly surprised when she figures out she is being taken to "Papa's house", or to her favorite park or pet store.

4. I should never doubt in the darkness what I clearly understood in the light. That is, under pressure my perspective can easily be skewered and distorted. The other day my granddaughter was riding with me and at an intersection she said, "Green!". She did not know that I was waiting for my own green arrow so I could make a left turn. She did not see the whole picture.

5. God's perspective is eternity. Mine is temporal. When my daughter says to her baby, "No more candy", it is for some longer term purpose.

One of my seminary professors used to quote Deuteronomy 29:29 to us at times. Here is how it reads: The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

I leave you this week with this additional thought: To the world you might be just one person, but to one person you might be the world!!

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