God is faithful, but how?


God is faithful, but how?


In church we all like to celebrate to fun little stories of how we were immersed in some tragic circumstances something unexpected happens to change things around and we give God praise because he is faithful. Then there are the other times. How about when a young father is struck with a terminal cancer and despite the prayers of hundreds of people he dies in short order. It is in those times we also say God is faithful. My question becomes if God is faithful in the first instance by rescuing people from their tragedy how is He being faithful in the second instance when there is no rescue? How is God faithful?

There are those who see God’s will in everything. If something happened God had a hand in it somehow. I have a problem with this because it a) takes away from the reality that people have at least some sort of free will b) some lives are terribly tragic and I have a hard time seeing God orchestrating such a thing. I have no problem with the idea that God uses the difficult circumstances in our lives to strengthen our relationship with him, make us better people, teach us knew things and equip us to help others through the same grief. I think God is very active but I’m not excited about attributing things to Him which he may not have had a hand in.

I wonder if people ever think about how tragically lonely people interpret the praises of those who were rescued from a minor car accident in which no one would really expect to be injured? Do we celebrate the most minute thing that might be miracle to cover up for the fact that God has done so very little in our lives.

A couple of days a go a good older friend was talking about his life as a steady “long obedience in one direction” without much in the way of dramatic spiritual experiences. I’d be hard pressed to say to this person or anyone like him that their Christian life could have had been much more full of encounters with God. I don’t know. In my life I’ve had an abundance of life altering spiritual experiences and I’m inclined to believe that more people should have them and that I could have much more than I do. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe God gifts certain people with more and others with less. My experiences don’t look much like passing through a car accident without a scratch. They are more like God giving me the right words to say to someone to touch them deeply. It is God divine direction guiding my life and the love of God inhabiting my heart and flowing out to others.

I’m charismatic in that I believe in the grace of God. Charis, the greek word for grace is empowers a more righteous life as well as more divinely powerful ministry. I believe the power of God isn’t best displayed through the tangibly miraculous like the body being rid of cancer after a prayer but in the supernatural transformation of our heart and minds. Miracles abounded in the time of Jesus but those who didn’t want to believe explained away these supernatural acts. It is much more difficult to explain away Christlike character marked love, compassion, humilty, service, freedom, a desire for justice, honesty.

More and more I see God’s faithfulness in divine support, guidance and life transformation rather than would could very well be random circumstances. That all being said I believe in miracles, I’ve seen them, I’ve experienced them. It is my prayer that my friend Jordon would experience one.

Heavenly Father, please heal Jordon of all the sickness and damage to his body. Reveal to him your loving compassion and grace. Reveal to us your power to heal. We really love our friend and it grieves us to watch him walk this difficult road. I don’t know whether you plan to intervene, or when, but I think it would be really great if he was back to normal. If you want Jordon to learn something from this, help him to learn it quickly.

Thank you
Leighton

  1. #1 by becky on August 26, 2005 - 12:33 am

    Amen.

  2. #2 by Darryl on August 26, 2005 - 6:09 am

    Me too.

  3. #3 by Dave King on August 26, 2005 - 9:14 am

    Amen

  4. #4 by Beck on August 26, 2005 - 11:47 am

    Amen.

    I like this post. I am asking a lot of the same questions right now. How come I hear people in my church praising God for finding their kids a job at Walmart and stuff like that? How come God helps them with that kind of dumb stuff and He isn’t helping my friend Janie with her cancer? I can see that He is helping her though, maybe not to heal her physically, but He’s there with her. Deep down I’m still asking why? It seems so unfair.

  5. #5 by robbymac on August 26, 2005 - 2:51 pm

    Why did God answer our prayers and completely heal a 22-year-old woman with terminal cancer and six months to live (she’s been cancer-free for 13 years now), and let our infant son die from a heart defect?

    Answer: I don’t know.

    But I believe He is still on the Throne, and I trust Him, and I will give thanks for any little thing that He should get credit for (including finding jobs, which I just did), and leave the rest up to Him.

    One of the things I’ve learned on the journey is that I don’t have to understand in order to have faith.

  6. #6 by Leighton Tebay on August 26, 2005 - 9:28 pm

    Nice to have you back robbymac.

    LT

  7. #7 by Bene Diction on August 27, 2005 - 1:13 am

    When we visited and you prayed I asked you later if you remembered what you had prayed.

    You didn’t. Your prayer came from a place that only God and I knew about – words timely spoken in the right season. Affirmation He is the great I Am.

    And Father, I commit Wendy and Mark and Jordon’s friends to Your care. Be present with them, draw near and hear our cry.

  8. #8 by Gloria on August 27, 2005 - 8:38 pm

    Great post Leighton!

  9. #9 by beck on August 28, 2005 - 2:42 pm

    robbymac:

    I think I might have sounded like I think we shouldn’t brother praising God for the “little” stuff. I think we should. Sorry for sounding critical.

    What I meant to say was I sometimes feel resentful when God helps us with that stuff, but seems to ignore our pleas when it comes to big stuff. It is a bit of a stumbling block for me. I feel like I should be able to prioritize God’s jobs. “Okay God, this is an important one, so take care of it before you get go getting jobs for people or whatever.” I know it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes I REALLY wish it did though.

  10. #10 by beck on August 28, 2005 - 2:44 pm

    Oops. Scratch “brother” put in “bother”. I should learn to proof read.

  11. #11 by Markio on August 29, 2005 - 3:14 pm

    I’m struck by God’s answer to Job when asked why he went through everything. We know in part but Job knew nothing. God doesn’t seem to care to explain himself to us. He never promised that he would.

    I find myself torn when I hear the words of Mike Yaconelli, “God doesn’t not find you parking places! People ask me if I’m saying that God doesn’t care about all the little things in life. No! he doesn’t and neither should you.” It is a point well preached even if I do not think that it is entirely true. We are praise God in the good and in the bad. Far too often we are quick to determine what is God and what isn’t but we are required by God to list everything He does for us in order to be thankful and praise Him.

    I don’t know if God finds us parking places, putting us in the right place at the right time. I don’t know if God helps us to find wallets, remembering at just the right moment. But I do know that God is a part of our lives in ways that we may not understand. I’m not even sure that we will care to know about them all when we enter God’s presence. This life is a short adventure and such details are not going to carry much interest in the light eternity.

    God is active. He shows himself in miraculous ways. He has some patterns but he is far being bound by our wishes and desires. He knows in ways that we can be thankful that we don’t.

    The best perspective I’ve heard on miraculous in terms of healing is this: “I don’t know why God doesn’t heal but I know why he does”. We pray because we are being faithful to our work by praying, from there it is out of our hands. It is into the hands of a loving Father who knows more than we ever could about life in this world and the next. I think of Hebrews 11 and remember that some people who died were too good for this world. I doubt those who enter the presence of God in the next life would care much for coming back save to consol and take care of those left behind.

Comments are closed.