When God Doesn’t Answer……

A friend of mine recently wrote this on Facebook…..

“In keeping with my natural, God-given, questioning nature which I have decided to embrace rather than ignore, I have been plagued with this thought for nearly a week. It came to the forefront once again after Soso’s thought provoking conversation about God being too busy to heal her twin.

Here it is…Why is it we are so fearful being real about the feeling of abandonment by God when He doesn’t answer or give us any sign that He listens when His own Son said these words, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” His own Son!

Seems to me in my human brain that being real before God and asking those hard questions simply isn’t as simple as quoting scripture.

It is about living faith while asking God why He forsakes us and then knowing He accepts our humanness, stores our tears and watches as we obey by moving forward despite no answers and believing He IS the rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Tom here……

For anyone who is dealing with unanswered prayers, illnesses that won’t go away and other struggles, I believe that it is okay to be real with God and to be upset about the unanswered prayers, while at the same time retaining the belief that God has a plan and His plan is better than ours.

But it is hard, very hard.

Of Rubber Bands, Original Paintings, Jesus and Social Media

I’m currently reading the book, “Love Does” by Bob Goff.   For the record, I highly recommend it.  This post is about something I learned from the book.

Chapter 22 is called “The Puppeteer.”   What is the “Puppeteer?”   Apparently it’s a very expensive painting that Bob liked very much.   Once he saved up enough money, he bought it.   When he picked it up, the art gallery gave him two paintings.    The original and a very good “fake.”    The thinking is that the original is too valuable to display, so you hide that in the closest or the safe and put the “fake” on display.

Bob didn’t do that.   Anyone who has read his book would know that a skateboard riding, mountain climbing attorney known for his epic rubber band gun fights with his kids wouldn’t put the fake one up.   He put the original one up.

And it got hit by a rubber band – hit in a way that it left a mark.   Now I don’t know how much the painting cost, but if an attorney had to save up money to buy it.    Well…….

So, did Bob get upset?  Did he ban all rubber band gun fights with his kids?   Did he bemoan the “ruin” of his perfect painting?

No, he didn’t.   He actually liked the painting more with the rubber band mark on it. 

Let me repeat, HE LIKED THE RUBBER BAND IMPERFECTION on the valuable painting.

Why?   Because it is a symbol of how God views us.   So many of us try to be perfect, try to look perfect, try to make it look like we have all of our stuff together.    But in reality, we’re covered with rubber band gun welts from losing battles.

And that’s the way God wants to see us.   He welcomes us with our imperfects.   He uses cracked pots, He uses scratched paintings – but for us to be used by God, we need to admit that we are those cracked pots and scratched paintings.

So how does this apply to social media?   Besides for the countless untruths being passed around on social media, I think that one of the biggest problems with social media is that it encourages people to put on a “front.”   You see the pretty pictures of the kids at Disney World, you don’t hear the stories about the car breaking down or the job loss or the emotional struggles.  

We can’t help each other and build honest and heartfelt relationships with each other if we can’t be honest with each other.

And being honest means not putting the fake front on, but showing the world our rubber band welts and scrape marks.

Tom

And God Did Think Twice

Exodus 32:14a (The Message) – “And God did think twice.”
This is a small “snippet” of God’s conversation with Moses about when the Israelites sinned and made the golden calf and worshipped it.

Most of us would believe that God had the right to wipe out the evil people from in the middle of the Israelites.   After all they had seen and heard and been a part of – then they decide to do this?   Ugh.

But think about it, God thought twice.   God was willing to listen to Moses and changed His plans because of what Moses said.

I’m not willing to say that God is going to be willing to change His plans every time we ask him.   His ways are way better than ours and beyond what we can understand.

But, if God was willing to listen to Moses, don’t you think that the least we can do is talk to Him and tell Him what’s on our minds and what we’re thinking?

May we all spend more time talking with God about the things that bother us in this world.

Tom

The Next Question–Part 2

The next question that almost immediately came to mind was, “How do we tell the kids?”

How do we tell them that we’re going to add to the family – and we don’t know who, how, where from, what age? There’s a lot we don’t know.

We decided to tell them at Christmas time. So I wrote a letter addressed to all three of them.

In it, we told them how proud we are of them. How well they are doing and how much they have grown up. How grateful we are that they all love Jesus and are beautiful on the inside (and outside – but that’s not as important).

We also told them how we are feeling that God is telling us that we have more room – more room in our hearts, more room in our house and more room in our family. We said we didn’t know what that really meant. We didn’t know if God was calling us to:

Adopt an infant domestically.

Adopt from the foster care system.

Adopt internationally

Become a foster family

Do the “Heal the children” thing for a series of kids who need a host family while they are in the US for medical treatment.

But we were feeling God’s call and we wanted to share it with them upfront and right away because it was something that would have an impact on them as well.

The letter then finished with the StarFish Poem. You know the poem? The one where the kid is throwing starfish back into the ocean and an older gentleman says, “Why even bother, there are thousands? What’s the difference?”

It made a difference for that one.

How did they respond?  Stay tuned……

A Private Audience

Psalm 18: 6 (The Message) –  A hostile world! I call to God,

I cry to God to help me.  From his palace he hears my call;  my cry brings me right into his presence— a private audience!

Think about it.   David is saying that if we call to God, He will hear us.   Not as a cry from off in the distance, but a private audience.

We can have a private audience with God.   We can have a private audience with God to talk to Him about our concerns.    We can talk to Him and bring our concerns and about the injustices in this world.

And He listens.   He listens like it’s just the two of us sitting down talking and having coffee.   A private audience.  

Now that doesn’t mean that He will do everything we want, He knows way better than we do.   But He will listen.

And if He listens and is willing to give us a private audience, we should really spend a lot more time talking to Him.    Don’t you think…..

Tom