Choice

I just wanted to share this with everyone. This article was written by Rebekah, a young college student from our church. She posted it to her WordPress blog and I thought it showed such wisdom and sensitivity to God’s Spirit, especially for someone so young. I wish I would have had such wisdom and insight, not to mention an ear for God at just 20 years old. I hope it blesses everyone else as much as it blessed me. If it does bless you, pass it on. If you click on the word “choice” below, it will take you to her blog. She only has a few more posts there now, but she writes and thinks way beyond her years.

choice. 20091228

Filed under: Uncategorized — farfallabella @ 0838

My work shift definitely started with a bang last night. Not the gun kind, but the got-stuck-in-the-middle-of-a-fight-between-close-friends kind. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say by the end of the first 3 hours of my evening, I was NOT a happy girl. And for the NEXT 3 hours, I sat at my console having an internal prayer session that was more of me blaming and berating God for what had just happened. Why would He let something so utterly ridiculous happen? People were lying, using other people, abusing their trust…so much was wrong with what had just happened. And the more I thought about it and the more I talked to God about it, the angrier I got and the more I started talking AT Him. After all, I work at a 911 center. So it was kind of like, “And you know, God, while we’re at it, what about THIS and THAT and THOSE PEOPLE and…” and the list went on and on and on. As time went on, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my friend Justin about something very similar. Very recently, he asked me a pretty tough question: “If God loves me so much, why would He let all those things happen to me? Why not stop me BEFORE I ruined my life? He had the power.” I was speechless at the time. Oh, but I was far from speechless last night as I continually ranted and raved inside, begging for an answer.

I wasn’t prepared for what He had to say.

When I finally tired out, I sat silently. I had run out of things to say, complaints to make, and accusation to sling His way, so I just sat there, staring at the computer screens with nothing left to offer. True to form, He showed up. (I don’t know what YOU believe, but I’m Pentecostal, so what I’m about to say might rock your world a little bit. Bear with me…) In the silence, there came that still, small Voice: “Because I love you.”

…I’m sorry, God, but WHAT did You just say?? Because I KNOW You didn’t just tell me that You let bad things happen because You LOVE me.

…but I felt an affirmation in my spirit. That was REALLY what He was telling me. The God of the universe, the One who created all things great and small, the Lover of my soul…told me that He let bad things happen to me because He loves me. I don’t know about you, but I found this INCREDIBLY difficult to believe. If someone I love is about to do something that I know is gonna hurt them…I TRY TO STOP THEM!

“I do try to stop you.”says the Voice of Truth, but I’m not ready to listen. I continually turn His last statement over in my head, and I’m angry. And the more I mull it over, the more hacked off I get. If He lets bad things happen, that means He’s not stopping the bad things. Moreover, if He doesn’t stop me from doing stupid things that He knows are going to mess me up royally, that will hurt me, that will leave me scarred for life, then how can He possibly justify it by saying He loves me? And for crying out loud, what about the OTHER people that I’m hurting; doesn’t He love THEM? I’ve drug my family’s name through the mud SO many times…

And suddenly, there’s another realization: other people hurt ME. Why? …because He loves them? Wait a minute…what happened to loving me? Suddenly I feel so small, and so guilty, and I know I’m missing something. But what?

“Free will.” I shake my head. I know I have free will. He promised not to ever infringe upon it. In fact, He died on the cross so that I would be able to choose what path… My ENTIRE train of thought comes to a SCREECHING halt. That’s it. That’s the answer. Free will. We have free will. God lets us hurt ourselves and others because we have free will. He gave us the ability and the RIGHT to choose, and we abuse it, and He lets us. Oh my…

Cue the guilt trip in my heart.

As humans, we are so often looking for someone else to blame. We don’t want to be embarrassed, we don’t want to be in trouble, and we don’t want other people to be angry or disappointed because of us. It’s human nature. We make mistakes because we’re not perfect, and then we blame it on something, anything, as long as the person or object taking the blame isn’t us. “I couldn’t get you that paperwork because Joe Blow over there broke the fax machine.” “I ran off the road because some moron in a big white Dodge pickup looked like he might be coming over in to my lane.” “I crashed into the side of your house because my friend made me drink alcohol.” We have so many excuses, and when bad things come our way, we’re so quick to brush off the responsibility that it can hardly even be called brushing it off. It’s more like throwing it full force into someone else’s face. How many times have we done something stupid and blamed it on someone else? How many times have we done something we regret and chalked it up to circumstance?

How many times have we made the wrong decision and blamed it on God?

The truth is, we are CONSUMED by the desire for independence. We so desperately want to have control over our lives that we throw our very existence into chaos, somehow still maintaining this delusion that “I got this!” As young people, we talk often about how we can’t wait to get out of the house and out from under our parents finger. At school and at work, we grumble about our authority figures being unfair and inconsiderate. We fuss and complain about being pulled over by the cops, even when we KNOW we were doing something wrong!! We have issues with authority and being told what to do, every one of us, and when we’re called out on it, guilt and panic wash over us, and we’re so quick to throw our brethren under the bus…most times without so much as a second thought! Why? Because we kick and scream for independence, and refuse to admit that we fell flat on our butts when it was handed to us and often even blame the person who GAVE us that independence. “You knew I couldn’t handle the pressure, so why’d you assign me that project?” “You knew I wasn’t ready to be on my own, so why’d you let me move out?” “You knew I was doing hardcore drugs, why didn’t you DO something?”

“God, You knew and had the power to stop it, so why didn’t You?”

Wow. Hang on, let me repeat that:

“God, You knew and had the power to stop it, so why didn’t You?”

Folks, all our lives we’ve asked for freedom and then became angry with the One who loved us enough to give it to us. That’s like wrecking a car because you weren’t paying attention to the road and then blaming the DMV for giving you a license to start with. Doesn’t make much sense.

God loves us so much. So so painfully much. He loves us so much that He lets us make our own decisions. Sometimes, those decisions are good. Sometimes, those decisions are catastrophic. Every time, He’s there whispering in your ear.

Will you take time today to listen to the still small Voice that’s trying to guide you? The One saying, “Please don’t do this,” or “You should go do that,” or maybe just “Will you wait just a little longer?” Or will ignore Him and then blame Him when those things happen? And when other people hurt you, will you forgive them as you want God to forgive you? Will you trust Him to work the terrible situation out for the absolute best? Or will you become angry and bitter because He gave them the same freedom, out of love, that you’ve been given, and they abused it the way the rest of us, you included, so often do?

The choice is yours

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I am an ordained minister and I have been called to a ministry that will serve the Pacific Northwest and will eventually plant or restore a church in Northern California.

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