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14 August 2011

When Life Gives You Poop

One idea about which I seem to disagree with many brothers and sisters is that when something tragic happens, "God had a reason for it."

Many people have discussed this at length, and I don't particularly want to change anyone's opinion (although a wrong idea of this can severely undermine who we understand God to be). Just want to give some thoughts on it.

To be sure, the Word teaches that God is in complete control of His creation; that He is the Author and continual Sustainor of life. I see both in Scripture and day-to-day life where He allows, and sometimes causes, things to occur that we might call "evil."

But quite often, these "evils" are the direct results of our decisions as beings who have been given the freedom to choose path A, B, C, etc. That could be something as crazy as driving your car headlong into oncoming traffic and getting into an accident, as unsuspecting as purchasing a house on a geographic fault line and wondering how God could allow an earthquake to destroy it, or telling a lie and having your girlfriend break up with you.

I'm just touching on some random ideas here, but one of our favorite verses to recite to comfort one another in desperate times is Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (NASB)

Look at it again. Note that this passage doesn't say that God causes bad things to happen so that some good will come of them. Rather, it says that for those who love the Lord and have been called out for His purposes (which immediately takes the focus off of us; He is the reason and knowing Him is the prize for our efforts), He can and will take every situation and use it as a stepping stone, or even a massive bridge, to accomplish something good.

A friend at work gave this excellent summary, and I'll paraphrase (with a little warning about what some may consider slang):

"When life seems like a piece of crap, remember that God uses that stuff as fertilizer."

5 comments:

Chris Gambill said...

Thanks for posting this. I've thought about this, too, and this was timely for some things we're dealing with in our family right now.

Dean Lusk said...

Thanks, Chris. When this kind of truth is something that's on your mind, it means you're probably going through something pretty rough. Praying with you guys. E-mail me if I can pray over anything specific, please.

dean-dot-lusk@gmail-dot-com.

Bo Williams said...

Hearty applause, Dean. Seeing divine intent in every single thing that happens is a path to madness.

John King said...

My wife a few years ago had stage 2 cancer. It was very serious. and if for not God she would not be here today. If not for god we could not have gotten through it so easily. "Now" heres my point. Jeannie said "why did God give me cancer. I've tried to do everything right." For those of you who know my wife. She is very "Pure". Meanning...Everything she does is for God only. Shes never hurt 1 person in her life. My answer to her was. God didn't give you cancer. Satan did. Hes testing you, an your falling into his trap by accusing God.
Now when someone sets out an does something to intentionally harm you. Thats Not God. God is holding you up while the harm is being done, an afterwards for healing. If its intentional, thats Pure Evil.
Now if you were to ask me and Jeannie. Which is worse....
We would both answer the Evil is the worst. Due to it never ends. God gives us Faith, Hope and Peace. Evil destroys you from inside out...No surgery can fix it. No pain pill can help....If weak, you giveup on everything. When that happens. Evil wins...

Dean Lusk said...

Thanks for the kudos, Bo!

John, the account of Jeannie is the perfect example of what I'm talking about. I wish I'd asked you if I could use that in the post. Thank you for sharing it!

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