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ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
September 1, 2016
Hi, friends. I want to start today by sharing some thoughts on a recent tragedy that took place in my hometown (Albuquerque, NM). It’s been nearly a week since we heard the horrific details of the rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl. It’s not my intent to discuss those details here but I would like to share my thoughts on the questions people are asking. Questions like, “Where was God?”, “How can God allow this to happen?”, or, “Why do things like this happen?”
When I hear these questions, or when I find myself asking them, a scripture comes to mind:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you." 1 Peter 4:12
The thing is, we are surprised, aren't we? When our life takes a turn for the worst, or we hear of something that we simply don’t understand, we are surprised. We are in shock. There are certain things we think could never happen to us, so when they do, we question God. “Why me?”, we think. We don’t understand.
I believe one of the things the devil wants to do when we encounter painful trials is separate us from God. He wants us to blame God and take our eyes off of Him. Instead, we are admonished to cast our cares upon Him:
1 Peter 5:7 NKJV
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
We need to come to God first so that we can face hardship with a clear mind and heart. Ask your questions. It’s ok to ask Him. He wants us to. Remember the phrase:
“There is no stupid question! Except, possibly, a question not asked.”
So ask it! He cares for you! He cares about your worries, about the pain in your heart, and the state of your mind. But we are to move from the realm of trusting in our own abilities and what we think is best to relying on God and trusting Him fully. My heart is torn and I have many questions myself in regards to the tragedy I spoke of when opening. I don’t understand why people do the things they do but we tend to forget we live in a fallen world. We are so very far from Eden.
James 1:13-15 NIV
"When tempted, no one should say, " God is tempting me." For God cannot be removed by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
We cannot control anyone’s actions. Only our own. We are told to be the light of the world. To serve others. To bear one another’s burdens. We cannot keep quiet about the truth but we must also remember that only God can change a person. It is only through Him that true change and transformation can take place in this hurting world.
Hurting people hurt people. When sin enters in, no matter how big or small we think it is, it will consume us. It starts with temptation which leads to desire, and then sin and when sin takes hold and is full-grown, it leads to death. (James 1:13-14)
I once read a simple story that brought me a profound sense of clarity. It was about a woman who had contracted the flu. Once sick, she asked her friend, “Why do you think God is making me sick?”. The question made her friend wonder the same thing but as she prayed and searched for an answer, she began to wonder why they were blaming God in the first place. She went back to her friend and asked if she had been getting enough rest and eating well. Her friend responded, “Well no, but I’m very busy lately.” She proceeded to tell her friend that perhaps God wasn’t making her sick but that maybe she should slow down and take care of herself a bit more.
God may use trials to bring us closer to Him but that doesn't not mean He is the cause of them. What is God telling and showing you through your pain? Have you asked Him or are you only blaming Him?
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.”