Saturday, April 07, 2007
Real Religious Robbery
Our spring cherry tree out back just before the record spring freeze (25 today)!
When the prophet asked, "Will a man rob God" he was talking about tight-fisted Jews not giving to the Temple. Becoming a true cheerful giver is one of the never ending goals of life for anyone who is seeking God. The other day, as the topic of pain and suffering came up again for the countless time in just a few days, I started to wonder if robbing God is a much bigger subject. The real question about pain and suffering is why doesn't God intervene and stop or prevent MY PAIN and MY SUFFERING! Because until it's MINE I can be incredibly firm in my theological convictions and simply say, "who knows the mind of God - our job is to trust him." Amen? Here's where we rob God! First, we rob him by forgetting all the answered prayers that he's blessed us with throughout our relationship with him. We pray, he delivers, and we forget, and sometimes don't EVER recognize his involvement or thank him for his answer. Check Philippians 4 again and see how petitions and thankfulness go hand-in-hand.
And then there's the bigger way, I believe, that we rob God, and this just dawned on me the other day. We love God for what we know he has done, but what about all that he's done that we DON"T know about? We don't know the specifics, but because we KNOW he cares and is involved CAN YOU EVEN BEGIN TO IMAGINE HOW MUCH HE HAS PROTECTED YOU FROM OR HEALED YOU OF? As I told my church family last Sunday, "When the doctor looks at me and says 'Mike you have terminal cancer,' instead of saying 'Why me, Lord' I need to realize that he may have kept me from or healed me from cancer ten times in the last fifty-five years to give me all the days he has blessed me with." How many times has he guided us to an event that changed our life or kept us from being in a fatal car accident? How many diseases has he removed from our bodies that never even gave us a headache? The possibilities are endless! Were all those "close calls" in you life simply "good luck"? Maybe if we give God a little more credit and thanks, we won't continue to feel like life owes us so much. And maybe (?) we won't feel so inadequate in confronting those who question God every time they have or see pain and suffering. We need to start hearing Satan say, "This is a stick-up!"