From Adam (pseudonym for all persons)…
I know you are very busy, but I just wanted to discuss a few things with you from your famous book. This is my form of prayer, so I don’t expect you to answer, but you might say I am choosing to…
Seek the Lord while he may be found,Isaiah 55:6
call upon him while he is near.
Honestly, Lord, I really only have one simple question – are You involved in our lives down here? I mean to say, is it true what is said about You? You know, lines like…
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.1 John 3:1
You see, there are a number of times in my life when I find it hard to believe everything I have heard. There are a lot of good and holy people who say nice things about you, like how generous you are. But I sometimes find these comments hard to believe, especially during the difficult times in my life. Even if I did not listen to anybody else, but only read what has been written about You in Your own book, I would have to say there are some things in there that are difficult to accept. I actually think You might need some new editors and maybe a new version of Your famous biography, You know, the Bible.
I mean there are lines like these…
Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:7
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Philippians 4:6
I mean really, I believe You care for me, and it would be great to live without anxiety, but sometimes the circumstances of life do not support this idea. I know we humans are all going to have tough times, and I also know trials can make us better. But seriously, there are those other times when I really do not see the value of some of the things You allow to happen to us, and You do allow all things – correct? I mean everything is in Your hands. Right?
In his hand is the life of every living thingJob 12:10
and the breath of all mankind.
I guess what all this boils down to God, is that I really do believe you exist, and I do hope that I am living my life in a way that pleases you. But just how am I supposed to respond when it appears that you really are not taking care of things? How am I supposed to understand the often-confusing things that happen in my life or in the world around me that do not appear to represent the actions of a loving Father?
This ends Adam’s prayer to God’s. Many of us may have similar questions to the ones Adam is posing here.
Maybe the best response to these questions, for those of us who grew up with loving fathers, is to remember that as children, we did not always understand the way our fathers did things.
We did not always appreciate the things we were denied, or the tasks we were given, or the difficulties our fathers sometimes allowed us to experience. As it turns out, our fathers may have made some mistakes along the way, as we all do. But in truth, for most of us, it appears our fathers were right more often than not.
The difference here is that our Heavenly Father is perfect; He does not make mistakes. And so what He requests of us, and what He withholds from us, and what He allows to happen to us in this life is always in our best interest. That is one of the hardest lessons for us to learn in our relationship with God.
If you have a moment today, you might take the time to reread the Biblical verses in Adam’s prayer. You will discover that God is not interested in providing us answers that only lead to additional questions and more confusion on our part.
Instead, He prefers to remind us that He is God, and we are not. And if we want to find peace and calm in the midst of the often-chaotic circumstances of our life, we would do well to remember that God is always God, and we are always His dependent (not independent) children.
We might also seek to seek meaning for the CHAOS we so often experience in this life – Creator Has Another Outstanding Solution.
This was the lesson Job had to learn when he questioned God in the midst of his own trials, which in fairness, were far more daunting than what many of us experience.
Then the Lord answered Job [and us] out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?Job 38:1-7
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
If you are familiar with this section from the Book of Job, you know this litany of God’s power goes on for two lengthy chapters. Every verse lays out God’s accomplishments, His glory and His majesty. If you have occasion to doubt God’s ability, you might read chapters 38-39 in full.
But then in Chapter 40, God poses another question to Job, and to us.
And the Lord said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?Job 40:1-2
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
So, what is our response? What do we want to ask God about? What action of His would we like Him to explain to us?
No doubt there are many things in our lives that frustrate us and cause us to question God’s beneficence, a word which means charity, mercy, and kindness, with a strong connotation of doing good to others. But at the end of the day, can we really question God’s motives?
The whole point of this reflection is not to remind us that we are remarkably dependent creatures. Many of us came to that realization a long time ago, and if you have not, well, life is a great teacher.
The main point, however, is not that we are dependent creatures, it is about who we are dependent upon. Whenever we experience difficulty in life, we need only remember one simple truth. God is always God.
Copyright © Deacon Mark Danis
Image credit: “Creation of Adam” (detail) | Michelangelo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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