God is Not the Bad Guy

January 31, 2013 — 2 Comments

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I’ve recently found myself uttering the three most difficult words following a bike accident which resulted in a fractured elbow.

When something difficult happens, it is interesting the spin people attempt to put on it.

I was in the doctor’s office receiving my diagnosis, when I mentioned to the nurse, “there goes my Cape Argus ride.” The Cape Argus is the largest timed bike race in the world with 30,000 riders held in Cape Town each March.

Her response was, “Well things happen for a reason, you never know why.”

Interesting.

Whether she was talking about fate or God, it still does not quite add up.

Did God push me off my bike, breaking my elbow? Is God the bad guy in this story?

Did I ask God to help me ride the 10 miles home safely following the fall? Yes.
Do I believe God is going to teach me something as I ask for help repeatedly? Absolutely. (I figured that one out in a few minutes.)
Can I benefit from the slowdown required to recover? No Doubt.

But, do I think God caused me to fall?

Sure, He could be the cause.  He can do anything and does have the bigger picture in mind. Although I think He has better things to do.

Herein lies the root of much debate. When bad things happen, is God to blame?

Do I blame my malady on God or on poor balance coupled with a bit of wind?

We easily laugh off this incident as minor, because it is.
But the same question lies at the root of war, natural disasters, rape, and other horrible experiences on this planet.

Who do we blame?

The Bible is clear on a few points:
1. We broke the planet. When God created the planet, it was perfect. Man lived in perfect relationship with God in the garden (Genesis 1-2). We were given one rule; which humans promptly broke. God did not make the mistake, we did; forever changing the planet as sin and the resulting death entered (Romans 5). We must never forget, who broke the planet. Sometimes, the best answer to life’s challenges is to remind ourselves life on Earth is not as God intended. Sin has corrupted things. One day they will be made right again (Revelation 21-22).

2. God promises to work for the good of those who love Him in ALL things.  Whether He is the initiator or the responder, hope and peace come from knowing God is actively working on the behalf of believers. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

3. God has the long-term result in mind.  Not only does He work for our benefit, He does it from the perspective of being outside of time and space. He can know how an inconvenience now will benefit us in the future, He is not merely hoping things work out for us. He knows and in that we can trust.

4. We have an enemy, who although defeated, is still real.  While not blaming every skinned knee or broken bone on the devil, we do have an adversary who is out to “steal, kill, and destroyed (John 10:10). defeated , but real

If we find ourselves blaming God or questioning Him, we may be the ones who need to change, At the very least we may need to adjust our questions.

Consider the alternative.

Serving a God who makes mistakes or must sit idly is a far more fearful perspective.

We can trust in the goodness of our God even when do not have the perfect answer to all our “why” questions.

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 21 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God