"Take away my broken heart. Give me strength to face tomorrow."
"Lord please get me a job where I'll never have problems, make lots of money but not have to work too hard."
"Please show (insert name here) the error of their ways."
We pray for so many things that are out of our control. It's a natural human instinct to think life is bad when everything goes wrong, or to shy away from unchartered territory because of fear or from the fact that we know we just aren't capable of the task that lies before us.
We don't understand when a family or friend who was so wonderful they were almost angelic dies in a tragic accident or from a terrible disease. We know we're good people so why did we get treated so badly? Money isn't coming in anymore and there are bills taller than us that still need to be paid. We have friends who are making such terrible choices we can see them headed for disaster but instead of seeing we are trying to help them turn around they keep on the same way determined it is not only right but good.
Such is living in a broken and fallen world. Truth is ignored when it's staring us right in the face. No matter how hard we pray or know that if God would just do things the way we know he should at the time we think is best then life would be 100% better.
And that friends is where blasphemy truly lies: thinking we know better than God. He must be wrong about this or that, he must be an un-loving God because he allows rape and cancer to rob us of our happiness. We question his goodness and his plan. Wonder if it's all a cruel joke and any effort we've made to lead good lives is in vain because he doesn't answer us the way we want or in the timing we want.
I can't tell you the amount of times my circumstances have lead me away from God. Rather than seek his insight through the Word where the Holy Sprit lay waiting, I turned my back, made careless choices and gave way to my emotions on the topic of my displeasure. "Life isn't what I want it to be, or what I think it should be" I say to him. "If you'd just do this right now I'd know you are real and I'd know you love me."
Can you relate?
There is a pretty general consensus for humans to cry, "If you were loving you wouldn't allow...." (fill in the blank)
I am guilty of this as someone who knows God. Even after he has revealed his faithfulness in other areas in the way I wished him too I will abandon my childhood faith like a petulant child who has not gotten their way. I focus on my hatred or pain instead of remembering that God "so loved the world he gave his one and only son, that who so ever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life."
An author I'm reading right now says whenever he starts to think this way or whenever someone asks him how could bad things happen, he says he compares those things to "the backdrop of the cross."
Jesus died for every sin ever committed by us or to us. That sounds like a pretty loving God to me. Free-will and our innate sinful beings seem to be the culprit for everything else. As for health complications: we live in a broken world where we can choose evil! Of course there's going to be some fallout. And God chose us in spite of our wicked ways: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
You are chosen by God, considered a royal priesthood, pursued by God on a daily basis, danced and sung over, loved perfectly and never forsaken. God chose you over His Son and forsook him for YOU. Make no mistake, whatever hand you've been dealt, whatever you carry with you that you feel defines you is nothing compared to the love and compassion and grace and mercy that was given you on Calvary.
How can we think such wrong things about our Lord, who remains good and perfect even when our lives are falling apart?
To see myself the way God sees me, to trust him above what seems to be true or maybe even what is true: that is what I need to be doing. We are guarenteed hardship in this life but knowing God, trusting him: what could be more comforting in times of trouble?
The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that in some cases I have brought trouble upon myself with the choices I have made and blaming God is just an easy way of not accepting responsibility. For if we follow him whole-heartedly we will see him and our situation much more clearly and be filled with an all surpassing knowledge that if our God is for us who can be against us?
"And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:28-32
recommended songs: Blessings by Laura Story and Our God by Chris Tomlin