Your mission…if you choose to accept it

Why?

“If God is real, then why does he let bad things happen? Why doesn’t he stop it? Why do bad things happen to good people?” I face this question often. I’m okay with that. At one time or another, I have asked myself the same questions that I face.

 I have mourned the loss of people I loved. There have been deaths, tragedies, sickness, suffering, mental illness, and injustices in my life. I’ve been hated, persecuted, treated unfairly, handicapped, and taken for granted and even abandoned by a few I loved dearly. Why didn’t God keep that from happening?  Why didn’t He protect me from these things? If God doesn’t keep awful things from happening to the people who believe in Him and love Him…what’s the benefit of believing in Him?

These are fair questions, and I think it’s questions we all have to ask one time or another.  I think that there is a right and a wrong way to ask God; “Why?” I think there is an accusing way of asking Him that stems from anger and frustration, and I think there is a way of asking Him, that is truly a reverent question. I believe you can ask God, “Why do you want this to be the path? What do you have for me to accomplish in this? How do I endure this, and, please help me?” I admit I have asked, “Why?” more than once in my life. I have laid in bed weeping in pain and sorrow and brokenly asked this question. I have screamed this question when I was overwhelmed, scared, and frustrated. My heart has never breached being angry at God, but I’ve bathed in the murky frustration of not understanding God. I’ve screamed, “Why?!” while sobbing. I believe that what my heart was really trying to scream, was “Help!”

If we truly believe that God should hold every unpleasantry and travesty at bay…then we need to realize that would revoke our free will. Some souls will choose evil, and those evil choices set into motion an unfathomable barrage of horrible results. The domino effect of one evil decision, is immense. Just as a good decision causes a ripple effect…so does a bad decision. For instance, there exists a monetary greed so large, that a pharmaceutical industry that knows an enormous danger exists…still chooses to endorse a class of antibiotics that cripple, maim and kill. They have been forced to publish a warning because the FDA forced it to be published in the Fluoroquinolone pharmaceutical inserts…but they have refused to properly notify the very industry of Doctors who prescribe it. They weren’t forced to announce this to the medical community in a loud and noticeable way, so they didn’t. They whispered the warning hoping it would go unnoticed. The level of greed it would take for someone to ignore the massacre of the lives of other people…is repulsive. It’s shocking they still choose to keep their mouths shut and to pad their pockets. The ripple effect of this decision, has hit my life and the lives of many others. Like a tidal wave, it’s left devastation in it’s wake. Why has God allowed this? Why does He allow mass destruction? I think I understand a tiny iota of why.  He can not and will not suppress the free will of mankind. He didn’t create puppets.  If we want to preserve free will, we have to accept that there is both the impact of good and evil.

 God does not force us to be His followers. We are not hostages. God offers His companionship freely. Even the devil had free will.  He chose himself over God and as a result, created another destination. From that moment on, it created the need for each soul in existence to choose good or evil. It’s scary to think that if we choose ourselves and our desires over God,  we are making the exact same mistake the devil did. The original sin.

 Imagine the ocean and that each wave represents a decision. There are both good and bad waves tossing about. Now imagine many boats on that ocean, and that each boat represents a soul. Each wave has an effect on those soul boats. Both good and bad waves will rock that boat from side to side. This is how I imagine the decisions each of us make, and how each decision has an effect on all mankind. We are each affected by the decisions of others, even if we were not the target of those decisions. For God to keep those waves from affecting us negatively, He would have to take away free will and our ability to make our own decisions. This isn’t what God wanted, or He would have created robots and not human beings. Free will actually completely contradicts the idea that God is oppressive. He actually refuses to trap us with Him. When we make decisions, we decide with each one, whether we want to live in eternity with Him or not. If we don’t choose Him in this life, He doesn’t force us to be trapped with Him in eternity. When we oppose Him, He honors our decisions and allows us to be completely freed of Him not only in this life, but in eternity as well. Getting angry because that means hell, is kind of ridiculous. God is love and all things good. If we don’t choose what He is, aren’t we choosing what he is not? It just so happens the only other place completely free of God and qualities of God, is hell. There is no 3rd choice destination.

So what did God want when He created us? He wanted children who would love Him as He loves us. The only wrench in this plan is the devil. God’s children have another master to choose from. In God creating us, He knew His children would have to make a choice. He warned Adam and Eve because He loved them.  In the garden, God put in place a rule to protect them from the loss of innocence and the deception of the devil. Ironic how the argument of that serpent…sounds a lot like the argument of non believers today. “Oh eating this fruit won’t hurt you. You will not die. Your eyes will be opened.”

Every child I’ve ever known, including myself, has tested the boundaries.  I hear this argument frequently. “If God knew that Adam and Eve would sin, why did He create them? Seems kind of cruel doesn’t it?” Um no. Just because I knew my own children would ultimately disobey, that doesn’t mean I should never have reproduced or warned them of the dangers on earth? 

Adam and Eve made a decision that removed the God given protection that innocence provided. Haven’t we all done that in some manner?  That decision made Adam and Eve aware of a 2nd master. From that moment on, they would be forced to make a choice of which master to serve.. That first sin, was their first act of free will. It was the first time they chose not to obey. God told them not to touch the hot stove, but they did and they got burned… Kentucky fried, broiled, flambéed, roasted, and served up toasted. As sin usually does, it hurt brutally to feel the burn from our own bad choices. Even in this act of rebellion, God had mercy on them. Why? Because He loved them. Every father knows there will come a day when their children will have to choose what they have taught them and to adhere to the rules they have put in place for their protection, or to go against those parameters and possibly suffer the painful consequences. It’s almost comical to me when someone states that the rules God has put into place, are oppressive. I just don’t see it that way. As a parent, I enforce rules to keep my kids safe from others and from themselves.

Every decision against God’s law, comes with pain, risk, and even death. Lying, cheating, stealing, and murder, all come with a prison sentence. Premarital sex often comes with the risk of STD’s like Gonnaherpasyphilitis and or unwanted pregnancy. Coveting, jealousy, and envy, all come with a restless unhappy heart and a sense of constant restlessness. I could name many more, but sin usually catches up with us at some time or another. Sure, it may seem like we are being deprived of some fun, in the short term, but when the fun of the initial sin is over…the consequences come traipsing in. God doesn’t want us to have to suffer the consequences of these sins, and He knows that in choosing sin, it has a ripple affect that rocks every soul boat to some degree. Whether we like it or not, our decisions affect others. Those waves determine the waters of society.

Mathew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

My Amy brain app converts this to; Good and Bad waves will rock us all.

So why does God remove some trials and tragedies and not others? That my friends, is not a question I am qualified to answer. It’s just way above my pay grade. When I wonder about this paradox, I answer it for myself, by accepting that God is all wise, and He and only He knows the effects of each wave on this ocean. He is the only one qualified to answer that. I believe that if He has chosen to intervene, He has a divine reason for doing so. If He chooses not to, He has divine reasoning for that as well. There must be some greater purpose to glean, or the potential to learn something or save a soul…or even many souls.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

No doubt that is true.  I have been so wrong so many times in my life. Why on earth do I ever think that I could make judgements over what circumstances should remain, and in what circumstances God should intervene. Half the time I can’t even figure out when I should intervene with my own children. Do I listen to their argument from the living room in hopes that what I’ve taught them about peace and love, will suddenly surface and calm the arguement, or do I skedaddle back to their room before someone flicks a booger at the other one and it pole vaults them into an all out slap war? I am not qualified to determine when God should intervene or allow circumstances to evolve.

God does have to allow the trial of our faith. Sometimes that reads like you should only have one trial to prove your faith and then be done. Woweee!!!! Wouldn’t that be nice! On the other hand, let me ask this. Has a really good math teacher or professor ever handed you a test with only one question on it? I’m going to venture into saying probably not. Why? A single question will never represent all of the ways we can experience math in our lives. A good teacher presents a system to solve problems. They start with easier problems and ramp up gradually to the harder problems. While they present the skills needed to their students, they state the rules to follow that will bring them to success in solving the problems they face. A good teacher also presents ways of working those problems that are wrong. The only way a teacher knows if a student is going to succeed in utilizing these skills on their own, is to test their ability with various problems. They also test many times during the course of a year, to make sure that multiple skills are cultivated. The test, the trial of our faith…is our entire life, because the only way to pass is to endure to the end of this class called life. God is constantly asking us, “Will you still love and choose to trust me, even if ……(fill in the blank) happens? 

Our Father in Heaven, is the teacher. He sent His son like a tutor to mankind, to show us how it should be done. He gave us the knowledge of the devil and the wrong way of working through these problems as well. We have to experience a variety of problems, and utilize the knowledge He has given us and work each problem out step by step with the tools He has given us, before we can expect a passing grade. He isn’t a ruthless teacher. The test is open book and He has provided the tools in the scriptures we need to pass. He even allows us to speak to Him and ask for help during the tests.

The question now remains; What is the benefit of believing in Him and obeying Him, if bad things will still have an effect on us? The benefit is hope. I will still experience all of these trials whether I believe in Him or not. I can do it with Him or without Him. If I left God behind, my problems would still exist. The only thing that would change is that I now don’t have help from the teacher. On the flip side; If I choose to walk through these trials  with God, He will help me pass this class and He promises me some incredible things.

  1. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee:  He won’t leave me deal alone.
  2. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose: God promises to work all things together for good. Even the bad waves that rock me, will be worked together for the good of my soul and the souls of those around me.
  3. 1st Peter 1:6-7  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:7. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: There is a promise that if we endure these trials, we will receive a reward for our endurance and enjoy an eternity without suffering.

I wish I could bring the comfort of God to each soul, but I can’t. Some souls will always choose to blame God. My husband said he was listening to a podcast between a Theist and an Atheist. The Athiest was saying that if God was real, there wouldn’t be terrible circumstances and suffering. The Theist said that, “claiming God doesn’t exist because bad things happen, was equivalent to claiming the Chef in a restaurant doesn’t exist because you didn’t like the food you were given.” I just thought this was a good paralell. Faith is a funny thing. As a Christian I place my faith in God and His existence. As an athiest, I still have to have faith in the belief that God doesn’t exist. The very definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Neither can be proven. 

Faith will always be easier to proclaim when things are going well, but it resinates so much more when we can proclaim it when things are not going well. Faith isn’t steadfast if it’s so superficial that it washes away when the waves of trial have it’s way with it. Faith has to be staked down deep, so that even the largest waves can’t dislodge it.

God allows trial for many reasons, but what are we supposed to do with trials? I think that our souls are each akin to a flame. Only we can decide if we are going to protect that fire and stoke it when the wave washes over us, or if we are going to allow that fire to be extinguished. Sometimes, waves of trial, are the awakening we need to reveal an evil that must be fought. We can awaken to a purpose in the midst of trial. I believe that God expects us to use this flame of our soul, to light a torch that illuminates the need for change. Sometimes the change needs to happen within ourselves, and sometimes we are called to rise up and initiate change that needs to happen on a much larger scale. 

We so easily become complacent in life when we are comfortable. If I had not endured terrible injuries and a drastic life change from taking Cipro for a UTI, I never would have known that such an evil existed. The realization that hoards of people were suffering and it wasn’t just me, was terrible. I do believe God put me in a place for such a time as this. Bringing the truth of this evil out, has been and continues to be an honor and I am thankful to get to be a part of it as well as thankful to join many others who had already lit the torch for this cause. I know I’m certainly not the only one who has answered this calling, but I believe that we are responsible to send out the warning cry. If we all viewed trial as a mission statement, can you imagine the good that God could accomplish through us? Your present trial may just be your calling. 

Bond…Your mission if you choose to accept it…is to make a positive change on this earth, one problem at a time. Oh and Bond…bond your heart to God and drive your stakes down deep in faith.

Proverbs 4: 19-26 

18. But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

19. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

20. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

If your trial feels just too big. Ask God, why am I here? What would you have me to do in this gravity of darkness, and above all…please protect my soul in the midst of these waves?

I love you each. Huge hugs!

Trials


4 thoughts on “Your mission…if you choose to accept it

  1. Dear Amy,

    This message was very much needed! I look forward to each and every blog post you write. I see them and usually wait to read in my morning quiet times (so I can ponder). I usually weep with each one. You have touched my heart in so many ways. I wake in the middle of the night and think of you and start praying for you. I admire your heart and wisdom and how you are dealing with this hard hard path you are on. I love you, my sister in Christ! Praying for a total healing for you! xoxoxo

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    1. Therese, your message made me weep. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. You touch my heart as well. I am so incredibly overwhelmed by the many souls I’ve been honored to interact with through all of this. I am just so thankful for such wonderful people in my life. I love you as well. Huge hugs!

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  2. I think he called you to this ~ to bring his Word through your experiences to life. Nobody wants to see another suffer, but when I see what the Lord does in your life I can’t help but to celebrate because your light shines brighter all the time. Thank you always for allowing God to work through you.

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    1. Thank you so much. God has definitely been teaching me through writing. I pray about each blog post and what I should learn. Every time I feel like God shows me something I need to focus on and learn in a deeper way. I look forward to it and really thank Him for showing me what I need to see. It brings me a ridiculous amount of joy when you guys comment that it was something you needed, because I need it too. I am always excited to see how the post will unfold because I myself don’t know how it will all roll together until I am writing it and inevitably something is put before me that suddenly makes it all make sense to me. It’s like watching a gift be gradually wrapped and finished with a bow. A gift from God to my heart. It’s just so awesome that God unites us in our hearts. He is just so awesome. I love you guys. Huge hugs to you!

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