When life takes a wrong turn, we often blame God or the cosmos for our misfortune. People do horrendous acts of destruction to others in this world, which leaves us asking: how does a good God allow this to happen? If God is watching over all things, how does He not see the evil taking place?
In my own life, when failure has owned my dreams, I have wondered where God was in the mix…Why did He “let me down”? Did He simply disappear? Why would everything fall apart?
Simply put, not matter how often we place the blame on God, He is not responsible for our brokenness. I know it seems like repetitive theological rhetoric, but the fall of humanity when we rejected God brought death, brokenness, and chaos. It’s often simply a result of our rebellion, not an act of God towards us.
In the Scriptures, we find MANY verses reminding us of our self-destructive rebellion and how we have brought sorrow upon ourselves. The book of Jeremiah is an entire narrative of Israel’s demise because of their perverted worship of false gods and their wayward hearts. In chapter 7, God is calling Israel out for their rebellion:
“‘But is it me they’re hurting?’” God’s Decree! ‘Aren’t they just hurting themselves? Exposing themselves shamefully? Making themselves ridiculous?’” – Jeremiah 7:19
In verses 30-31 we find a similar reminder:
“‘The people of Judah have lived evil lives while I’ve stood by and watched.’ God’s Decree. ‘In deliberate insult to me, they’ve set up their obscene god-images in the very Temple that was built to honor me. They’ve constructed Topheth altars for burning babies in prominent places all through the valley of Benhinnom, altars for burning their sons and daughters alive in the fire – a shocking perversion of all that I am and all I command.’” – Jeremiah 7:30-31
We’ve done this to ourselves, all while God has been calling us to return to the life that He created us to live.
How many lives have been scarred by the rebellion of adultery, rage, violence, greed, and hate? Should we blame God for such pain? Is not that responsibility upon our own heads?
Sickness and death are also our own doing. God didn’t create us for death; He created us for life, but we pushed against Him in our desire to be like God rather than being submissive to Him. As pride still does now, we sought to worship ourselves rather than the God who created us…Really absurd when we think about it…
I know…These are hard words to ingest and difficult truth to reconcile within our own pride, but if we are honest with ourselves, we all know this to be true.
Isn’t there something echoing in your spirit that reminds you that something is missing? Do you not feel that your life was meant for more than just getting by? Isn’t there an absence of peace in our hearts that reminds us that we were meant for love? These “soul cravings” – as Erwin McManus so aptly put – are reminders of the life we are called to live.
God is not against us. Can He heal? Yes. Does He always heal? No. Why? I don’t really know His reasoning, but He is simply beyond our finite understanding. We have a choice: trust Him or continue in the stubborn pride of our hearts.
Which one will you choose?