Where Is God In The Mess?

One of the hardest things to explain to someone who doesn’t believe in God, is where He is when horrible things happen. Why doesn’t He make things better? Is He uncaring or simply too unaware or too weak to do something about things like the spread of abortion and the evil of men who traffic young girls or boys, who sell drugs and make their fortunes by creating hardships for others. After all, if God is sovereign, shouldn’t He do something about moral collapse?

I understand. Life would be so much better if God stopped the murders, the lies, the greed, the selfishness.

But the fact is, God didn’t make us little puppets. He didn’t make us beings He would manipulate and move around on the earth as if we are nothing more than chess pieces for His amusement. He actually made us in His image, to resemble Him. That means He gave us the ability to go our own way. Going our own way can mean following Him or ignoring Him; obeying Him or defying Him; submitting to Him or rebelling against Him.

Because, like it or not, despite the fact that we have the ability to go our own way, God is still the King. He sets the rules.

I know some people who really, really don’t like His rules. They don’t like the fact that someone else tells them what to do. They want the final say on what they can do cannot do. No surprise, then, that some people, using the freedom God created them to enjoy, walk away from Him.

What’s really sad is, the rest of us are subject to the residual effect of these people going their own way. So, if a dad decides he wants an affair with a woman at work, if he ends up leaving his family to fulfill his own perceptions of what will make him happy, he leaves in his wake heartbroken kids and a single parent mom in a tight financial situation, or with court battles and angry fights.

If another guy decides he can get rich by stealing from his clients, he leaves aging people without a retirement fund. If someone else wants to get rich by trafficking children, he creates emotional trauma and steals safety and a promising future that those kids will never have back.

I could go on and on, but the point is, these evils come from the heart of people walking away from God. They might even come from someone pretending to walk with God, who is actually lying about that most important relationship. Because lying is certainly one of the favorite behaviors of those rebelling against God.

So where is God?

He’s with every one of us who choose to follow Him.

Not that He fixes our situations so that nothing bad happens to us. We know that’s not the way things work. Bad people do things that affect God’s followers, too. So Corrie ten Boom and her family end up in a concentration camp during World War II.

But because God is with His followers, He uses us even in the darkness. That’s His promise. A common phrase today in some churches (to the point that it is becoming cliche) is that Christians are the hands and feet of Jesus.

There’s truth in that line, which is why it’s repeated so much. God is in this world, working through us. Instead of a miracle, He puts on the hearts of hundreds of His followers to feed the poor or rescue sex slaves or stand against abortion. He’s not violating the free will He gave humans, but He’s also not helpless. He empowers us, His disciples, to give or go or speak or share.

It’s like the old joke: Some guy is trapped on his roof during a flood. He cries out to God for help. Over and over he cries out, but the water steadily creeps higher and higher until he succumbs to the flood. As he’s being carried away to heaven, he asks, God, why didn’t you save me? God answers, What do you mean? I sent you at least 5 rescue boats, but you sent them all away.

We are God’s answer to needy people, if all we can do is point them to Him. That’s probably the most important thing we can do. That and pray. James tells us we don’t have because we don’t ask. And when we do ask, we do so with wrong motives.

But most of us can more besides. We don’t have a God who doesn’t care. That’s why He leaves us in the world.

And speaking of being left in the world, this time of living in “mixed company” with people who are fighting the rightful King, isn’t going to last forever. God has told us what is good: to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. That creates a light that will show the way to the people floundering without an understanding of what God has done for them. But one day He will bring the struggle to an end, either for us individually, or for the world collectively.

Those tied to the world system, God has “given over” to the desires of their heart, to their passions, and to the false way they look at things. That’s why societies experience moral collapse. But we don’t look forward to an eternal struggle. One day God’s followers will serve together, without the heartache and distractions of sin. God’s giving us a future and a hope.

Though He originally said those words to the Jewish nation in the face of their exile, He says that to us today, not about today, but about the day we have to look forward to when we will see Him in all His glory. That’s a day that can give us courage, no matter what we’re facing here and now.

Published in: on October 22, 2019 at 5:22 pm  Comments (17)  
Tags:

17 Comments

  1. Well said, Becky.
    Isn’t it amazing that people who have no regard for God are the first to complain when He doesn’t fix things they think need fixing – as if He owes it to them?
    Fact is, God owes us nothing. And yet He sacrificed His life for us. Amazing grace.

    Like

    • blockquoteIsn’t it amazing that people who have no regard for God are the first to complain when He doesn’t fix things they think need fixing – as if He owes it to them?

      Well …. that’s Christians for you, I guess.

      Like

      • And yet no one could actually say Christians “have no regard of God.” Don’t think the comment is about Christians, Ark.

        Becky

        Like

  2. Excellent points! These evils certainly do come from the hearts of people walking away from God. One can not deny the truth. Thank you for writing this piece, it really puts everything into logical perspective. Blessings, Malinda

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know some people who really, really don’t like His rules.

    They must be believers, then as only believers think like this. Atheists never do.

    Like

    • Sorry, Ark, but I sat in a room and heard Christopher Hitchens say, a few years before he died, that he hated the idea of God because he thought He was a tyrant (Ie, a ruler who runs things his own way and doesn’t allow for deviation). He wrote blog posts along the same line, too. He didn’t want someone telling him what to do.

      Granted, many atheists don’t verbalize this as Hitchens did, but when you get to the bottom line with them, they are strident in their refusal to do things God’s way instead of their own. That’s why so many talk about the rules of Leviticus or speak about the horror of a country run by Christians, thinking that we want to institute God’s law in our land. These atheists don’t want God’s law. And they especially don’t want God’s judgment.

      Becky

      Like

      • What Hitchens said did not detract from the fact he did no believe in Yahweh.
        Acknowledging the beliefs of the ”other side” is often the only way they will understand – thus he used such terminology.

        And once more, for me there is no ”God’s way” any more than there is Odin’s way or Shiva’s way, or Santa Clause way.
        Atheists do no believe in gods – your god or any other, and such unbelief is based solely on the complete absence of evidence.

        Like

        • Hitchens even said, if he found out God really existed, he’d be devastated. Clearly, he didn’t want Him to be true.

          No, Ark. I’ve explained this before: just because you reject the evidence does not mean there is no evidence. Would you like me to post my list again/

          Becky

          Like

          • Again, Hitchens did not believe in any gods based on the total lack of evidence. He was being rhetorical.
            I too would probably be aghast if such a monster really existed but no evidence has ever been put forward to suggest Yahweh is anything but a stone age invention of men.
            Feel free to post whatever you like,but
            with all due respect, Becky you really need to understand the difference between evidence and a unsubstantiated claim, and so far the latter is all that has ever been made.

            Like

          • And again, evidence is everywhere, but you deny it and now also call it Not Evidence. You make the rules what will be used as evidence and then by your narrow definition rule out anything that points to God. It’s very convenient, and very illogical.

            Becky

            Like

          • In context, science makes the rules regarding evidence.
            For example, we can verify DNA so religious claims regarding Adam and Eve for example can be tested. And they have and been found to be false.
            Similar evidence exists to demonstrate the untenability of the Noachim Flood tale.

            Your claims rest on your belief in the tales contained in the bible.
            I’m fine with that, with this proviso: demonstrate the veracity of such claims with evidence.

            Like

          • The problem here, Ark, besides this kind of closed system being self-fulfilling, is that you just made a statement that can’t be proved by science—IE that science makes the rules regarding evidence. I think you’ll find philosophy says a lot about evidence. But beyond those points, you say that “scientific evidence” is required to show the existence of God. What you’re asking for is for the natural to show the supernatural. The problem is, when it does, you call it myth. In other words, by your standards, there is no way to satisfy what you’re looking for.

            That doesn’t mean there is no evidence that meets the standards of logic and philosophy. Those are just as significant, and more so in this case, because they provide evidence beyond the material to which science is limited.

            Becky

            Like

          • What you’re asking for is for the natural to show the supernatural.

            Then the answer should be obvious. Your first task is to demonstrate the supernatural.

            Like

  4. This question is always unsettling isn’t it? Bad things happen because if they didn’t, we would be created like robots! You see, our free will, our desire to be able to choose between good and evil comes with a costly price. But would you want to be animals with only instinct? Our path to spiritual maturity is a rocky road!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All good points, Jane. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

      Becky

      Like


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: