Some people have said they do their best thinking in the bathroom. Don't worry....I promise this won't be ugly.
Last night, I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth while my mind was going over several different conversations I’d had with friends over the past few weeks in relation to hard times and struggles they’ve been dealing with. It seems that whenever we open our hearts and share our difficulties, SOMEONE will typically come up with the reasoning that God is allowing this or that in our lives to (a) strengthen us; (b) to build up our character or ( c) to teach us a life lesson (and yes, more often than not, I’ve been guilty of being that SOMEONE). C’mon, ‘fess up people…aren’t we all so tired of hearing that? I’ve got to admit there are many times when I feel absolutely no comfort or encouragement whatsoever from this sort of reasoning. But like Job’s friends, I guess we feel the need to say something. It makes us feel kind of good and smart and in control, doesn‘t it?
Truth is, we really can’t know for sure why God does what He does, and for us to act as if and say we do, even if done/said innocently enough, is just plain crazy. Because if we -- little peons that we are with our finite minds in this massively great universe that God has created and holds in His arms -- think we’ve got God all figured out as to why He’s doing or allowing one thing or another to take place, then to me, it stands to reason He just wouldn’t be God, would He? He would be just like one of us, as in the Joan Osborne song: ‘What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us, Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make His way home.’
And personally, I don’t want a God that I can figure out on my own like some cheap mystery novel. I don’t want someone just like me in charge of and in control of my life (because I sure haven‘t done such a stellar job with it so far). I want someone bigger, stronger, smarter, better, more majestic and mind boggling as my God and King! Our finite minds truly can’t wrap themselves around our great God, who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He’s amazing, incredible, sovereign, awesome and totally unfathomable! And even though Scripture says that ‘God does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1:17) and ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8), every moment with Him in our lives is a new adventure and can very often be quite surprising to us (but certainly not to Him).
For as long as we live and as much as we know and long to know about our Lord, He will always remain a mystery, like an over-the-top scientific equation we just cannot figure out, no matter how hard we try. God is Divine…and we are not. God is in control…and we are not (and HalleLUjah for that!). He may allow trials, pain and suffering in your life and mine and an overabundance of joy, favor and blessings in the lives of Little Mary Sunshine and Joe Schmoe from down the street, or vice versa -- all for reasons we just can’t claim to know or understand.
So if we feel we must say something to someone who’s been struggling just to keep their head above water for what feels like forever, maybe it’s best to just own up and say, ‘Look…I’ve got no idea what God is doing or why He’s allowing this to go on in your life. I just know that HE knows, He loves us, and that we have to trust Him for and with everything and everyone in our lives.’
It’s raw…it’s real…it’s honest…but not easy to accept. So let’s keep encouraging one another as we travel along this journey together. And keep holding onto our Lord -- because He's got us and will NEVER let us go.
I know it seems
Like this could be
The darkest day you've known
But believe you me
The God of strength
Will never let you go
He will overcome, I know
And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright
And the Voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go~ 'Arms That Hold The Universe', by Fee