Friday, September 14, 2007

Tsunamis and Lost Keys

How does God intervene in the affairs of mankind? Some would have you believe that He providentially intervenes in the simplest of affairs like finding lost keys. I’ve heard testimonials given with evangelistic zeal about how a set of keys that had been lost were found after a time of prayer. The impression being that God really cares about the little things in our lives. There is always the possibility that He does help us in those trivial moments of life.

The problem is that sometimes looking for those “God” interventions becomes a way of life and witness of what it means to be loved by God. People who live on this horrible treadmill of thinking of God as the divine intervener in everyday life have no answers for the real questions about faith. If God really wants to help you find a set of lost keys why doesn’t He intervene in natural disasters like tsunamis? Why doesn’t He get you the “best” job, reveal your soulmate, supply 10 million dollars to build an edifice to his glory and most importantly, why aren’t the Blue Jays getting into the playoffs?

There are bible stories of God intervening in the everyday and the truth that is revealed is that our hearts don’t change or understand Him more for the doing of it. He intervened in the affairs of the Hebrew people who ended up in captivity in Egypt because they didn’t want to go home on their own accord. He literally gave them food, MANNA, everyday and everyday they complained about how boring His provision was. We have the story but we don’t want to learn its lesson because the truth is we don’t do well when God intervenes too much. But oh, we like to think we would want Him to, unless of course He really does. We don’t like meddling parents and we don’t like a meddling God even though we do fantasize about Him fixing flat tires from time to time.

In the defining story that reveals His passion to be with us, we find a shattering revelation of our reluctance to accept that foundational premise. He placed a couple in a perfect place, Eden. God gave them free reign to make any decision they wanted to within this setting. If they wanted to work hard they could, if they wanted to make love all day, they could. No questions, no permission, no guilt…it was whatever they chose to make it. Sure enough they fixated on the one thing they shouldn’t have and here we are today expecting God to dictate the details of our lives. Something He never relishes doing as shown in the garden story.

It’s sometimes difficult for us to enjoy His greatest promise, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebr 13:5

The tyranny of the moment overwhelms us. The cultural expectations of success and doing well, muffles out the great gift of His presence. Our childish demands to be cared for deaden us to His great love. And when tsunamis hit or cancer strikes or we run out of gas, many are left with nothing but a raised fist asking WHY? Just as Adam and Eve turned away from his presence, we, to our shame, literally blame Him for not giving us what we demand.

By the way, He has given us the answer to the day to day care that we long for by giving us the body of Christ to flesh out His love for us. Sadly, His gift is ignored, manipulated, devalued, misunderstood and abused. But that is the subject of other blogs.

The greatest thing is that God wants to be with us. Isn’t that enough?

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Tsunamis and Lost Keys...great contrast, great picture of how we see God's will in our lives.