As people, we want solutions to our problems.
From the age of teenie tiny, we fall down and we want something done. A kiss from Mama or a band-aide. If it’s a super duper ouchie we want both.
As adults, band-aids look different, kisses do not have magic anymore, and we want bigger answers.
A month or so ago now, my sister and I were shopping in a store and I heard a baby scream Mama. It touched me because it was a voice I recognized. It was a voice I was created to respond to. It was my daughter’s, but she wasn’t crying for me.
I’ve tried to put this experience into perspective because I truly believe that there is a purpose in all pain, but the message is a shattering kind of conviction.
I never realized until I was able to bottle that particular feeling, the perspective (on a significantly smaller scale) what a day must feel like for God.
How many times have I fallen and cried for something else while my creator watched in the background?
When we have a problem, we want an immediate solution and sometimes there is just not one. Some things are and always will be out of our control.
The first chapter of Job tells of this blameless man that is well respected and wealthy. He had an abundance of children and even more joy… and Satan steps on the scene.
The Lord asks where he had been and he said, “oh you know, around. Here and there.” God brags on Job and Satan says basically of course he adores you; you’ve given him no reason not to. The guy has everything. Right then God gave Satan permission to access all that Job had, His only request being he spare Job, himself.
God had just bragged on Job minutes before He allowed catastrophe in his life.
Satan struck his livelihood, his home, and his children in a few short sweeps and Job responded in a way that most of us do not.
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.” Job 1:20
If it is so easy for a mom to understand how painful it is to hear your baby call someone else Mama, why is it not just as easy for Christians to understand God’s pain when we reach for something not God.
Just yesterday, a tiny piece of paper was laid in my lap to make me aware, but it hurt… and instead of pausing to hear God speak through that moment, I picked up my phone and called my husband instead.
My first instinct was to run into the arms of my husband, and not in the hands of my God.
Disclaimer: God made sure I knew how He felt about it later.
This is a tiny example of something that we do on a much larger scale maybe as often as daily.
We fill ourselves with all sorts of things when we are hurting. Sometimes we fill our arms with the love of our children while some of us fill our plates. Some of us fill online shopping carts
me, and others fill ourselves with words and opinions. Some of us hand our broken hearts to man after man, just praying this will be the one that makes it all better, and so on and so on and the cycle never breaks. God has to stand back and watch us cry out for things that are no good. Even the right things in the wrong order are bad things.
Your children cannot be the single reason for your joy; it creates too much pressure on them and their little souls. Your husband cannot be your only foundation; the Bible says a cord of THREE strands is not quickly broken, not two. and carbs? the good ones can make any rough day manageable but I’ve never had a roll heal me.
God intended to be our primary source of life. Sometimes children die, husbands leave, and rolls burn. Jesus is the only One that was ever given that is guaranteed to never be taken away. It’s not always fair, but it is biblical.
We were created to hear One voice, but reality is we hear many. We were created in the image of God, to pull strength from God, and to stay safe with God and instead we create ourselves to mirror images from the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, we find strength in encouragement from things not our Bible, and we build walls around our hearts and lives to protect us… what we don’t realize is the very walls we build to keep us safe are the very ones that trap us.
God granted Satan permission to pursue Job’s things, but He also limited him. He said go after all he has but do not touch him. Satan will always have the desire and power to attack us; its his business, what he will not always have is God’s permission to allow it.
The agony that Job felt came from many different causes, but it all started with Satan. It always does. We’ve got to learn to stop blaming people for our pain. It may feel like they are the source, but really they’re just the stimulus; and Satan always wants to act in a way that will make us blame God instead of use Him for comfort. That’s why it feels so good to run to something else.
God will not always act like we think He would and should. Some problems really never have a solution, but I do believe they all have a revelation. I had to think about it, pray over it. God, if I cannot have an answer to why this is… what can I have? and He whispered “a revelation”
So naturally I googled it, because all of life’s real problems are naturally solved on google… and google said a Revelation is a divine disclosure or the action of making new or secret information known.
ehhhh, that was good, but God, what else, a little louder please… “look harder”
Revelation originates from the Latin word revelare which means to lay bare.
Job had everything taken away and he tore his clothes, shaved his head, and worshiped.
Bare and thankful.
Just because God is not responsible, does not mean that He is not aware. No matter what the source of pain, it has to pass through the loving and wise hands of God before it can touch us, and God? In the end, the access of our lives to Satan that causes us pain is not ever to gratify the devil but to glorify our God.
Since the cross, pain brought freedom, and since that is the gospel, I’m sure that concept hasn’t stopped.
In the words of Lisa Harper, “I don’t know why God allows us to suffer, but I do know that He makes Himself accessible when we ache.”
We can make God standby and watch us run to things, to people, that were never meant to save us… or we can call His name instead, because He already has.