Friday, June 10, 2016

Why?

 
“You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord: “Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more?’” (Jeremiah 2:31)

I learned a long time ago that asking God “Why?” doesn't accomplish what I want it to.  In 1988 I underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. After the surgery I discovered that I had permanently lost 75% of my vision. For the next year or so I begged, pleaded, argued with and yelled at God—and He listened. I knew He was there. His Spirit was present in my heart, but He never responded to my outpourings of frustration. I prayed with faith, believing—and He listened. Through it all—the BIGGEST question I had was WHY? Why God? Why did you let this happen to me?

An interesting--and totally unexpected--thing happened to me during that season.  Without my even noticing, I grew spiritually ten-fold.  There is a koinonia--heart-on-heart-kinship that is forged with God in fiery trials--that doesn't happen any place else. (1 Peter 1:1-7)  I look back on that season now as a refining fire that God used for His good purpose--and I'm thankful!  But at the time—it was just a horrible experience that I didn’t like or understand—and we always hate and fear what we don’t understand.

After a couple years, I had run out of gas for wrestling with God. I was coming to grips with my new reality; adjusting to life as it now was. Then—at that moment—when I surrendered--THINGS HAPPENED FAST. God broke His silence on the why question and said to my heart, “Brad—your physical blindness has resulted in NEW SIGHT--inner sight and new VISION for what you life can be!  Before you surrendered---I could have sent Gabriel Himself to your living room—and lit it up with light more brilliant than you could stand—and in the most awesome voice ever declared to you my sovereign reason for allowing physical blindness into your life. But you weren't surrendered then, so as soon as Gabriel left, before the heavenly light had even completely faded, you would would have shouted, “Okay God, I get that, but WHY!?”

I learned a great truth that day:  Surrender to God results in really good stuff!

I also learned that it’s not my place to second guess God or question His sovereign motives. It’s my place to, as the old hymn says, "Trust and obey--for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."

That season of life taught me—in a much deeper way—the truth of verses like:

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor. 12:9) 

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:9) 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:5) 

We are simply not in position to question God. But He is in a position to question us! And that’s what He’s doing in our passage above. “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord: ‘Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more?’” (Jeremiah 2:31)

“…consider the word of the Lord…” 

The word of the Lord is the testimony about His faithfulness, the record of His awesome deeds.  The story of His eternally enduring love, the account of His sovereignty, the revelation of His glorious omniscience, holiness and grace—and on and on!  God’s Word stands as an overwhelming testament of God’s reality and goodness.

So God, through Jeremiah effectively asks, “How can you honestly consider MY WORD and walk away indifferent; just shrug your shoulders and sluff me off like an insignificant trivial thing?" 

“Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more?’” 

God’s heart shines through here. His great love for us comes out on His sleeve and says, “Why in the world would you choose to roam and wander through life without me? Why do you refuse to come to me?” 

As dearly loved as we are by God, we’re not in a position to question His sovereign motives because—we’re finite, created beings. But He is in a position to ask us—“When you consider my word—how can you ignore, marginalize and spurn me? And though I do give you the freedom to do so, why would you want to?”

Life is hard—with or without God—period.

Bad things happen—to bad people and to good people.

But when I consider God’s Word—I find hope and strength! (Heb. 6:19) I find my Heavenly Father who will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5); Who gave His Son to be my Savior (Jn. 3:16), poured His loving presence into my heart by His Spirit (Rom. 5:5) and has good plans for me (Jer. 29:11).

WHY---IN DEED—would I not want that?

Thanks for reading! Remember to like, share or comment. Have a great day in Jesus!


Blessings,
Brad