“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.” Psalms 56:8 (The Message)
Last time we were together, we talked about how mothers are sometimes falsely accused for the choices their children make. I wanted to talk today about how I think society is quick to falsely accuse God for the pain of this world as well.
Why is it when a child is abused, a fire claims the life of an entire family, or someone succumbs to cancer – God is the One who gets angry fists raised at Him? Is it because people agree that He is the Creator of the Universe and therefore has the power to stop bad things from happening? Is it because they believe He is the Master and we are just puppets, made to do His will without our own voice?
Well, the following are my thoughts. God was the very first parent…ever. As I talked yesterday, while it’s a mother’s job to teach and train a child properly, setting good examples, and providing a loving, nurturing environment, ultimately it’s the child’s choice whether or not he or she decides to follow the examples and stay within the boundaries that the mother places on him or her. The same can be said of mankind and our interaction with God.
God provides the best instruction manual we could ever ask for – the Bible – which provides us with all the help we need to live an abundant, joy-filled life. In it He provides countless instructions of how He expects us to handle finances, relationships, parenting, work, and leisure time. He provides many examples, through Jesus living on earth for thirty three years, of how to interact with others, how to pray and fellowship with Him, how to handle difficulties, pain, trials, etc.
However, while God provides all these things, we still have free will. We are free to choose to follow His directions and live a life with joy and peace despite the trials and pain we face. We are also free to choose our own path and not only have hurt and pain in our own lives but willingly or unwillingly inflict pain to those we love around us as well as create a ripple effect with complete strangers or future generations.
While this answers the question of who is responsible for the choices we make in our own lives, it doesn’t necessarily answer the question of, “Is God to blame for the hurt and pain in my life caused by death, disease, accident, or tragedy beyond my control?”
Let’s come back next time and discuss that important question.
© Cheri Swalwell