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.