Wednesday – August 13, 2015; Romans 9:19-24
19 You will say to me then, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; 23 and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.
In today’s reading we are asked “…who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God?”; and yet isn’t this what many of us do…argue with God? Personally, I believe that arguing and being disappointed with God are very human things to do.
God truly is a mystery to us and we humans tend to get frustrated with things we do not understand…and sometimes our first response is to push back instead of trying to accept that we are not in charge and have no clue what God is up to.
I have often marveled at God’s judgment (or sense of humor) in my becoming a single father. When I was younger I was too irresponsible to be a good cat owner, and I have often found myself arguing with God over why I wound up being a single parent to a lively young daughter! However, over time it has worked out, and I have learned a lot about being a parent, life and how to be a better person.
Being a single father has caused me to give up some of my ambitions and hopes…well okay not so much give up as change them, giving me new priorities in life…changing what really matters to me; this has helped me to grow as a person, as well as giving me the gift of building a strong bond with my daughter…so I guess that God really did know what he was doing!
Yet, I still find myself questioning God about things that are happening in the life of my small family; especially when things do not always go my way…which is quite often as it turns out! I have questioned God when I found myself overwhelmed by my responsibilities as a single parent: from having no time for myself when my daughter was younger as between keeping her occupied, making sure she was clothed and fed and educated, to the middle school years when I drove her from friend to friend, sporting events, and school activities, to the teen years when she acted out and indulged in dangerous behavior which gave me more than a few grey hairs.
In addition to these troubles, we were also having money troubles. Having changed priorities in life has not necessarily helped my career path, and as a result things have not gone well for us financially; and this has caused me to take issue with God at times when I have found myself struggling to pay my bills, not to mention keep my house, buy food and keep my elderly car running.
During these times God and I had many ‘discussions’ about why we were facing these challenges…after all, hadn’t I done the right thing by choosing to raise my daughter, staying sober, and finishing my seminary degree? Yet, the more questions I asked the more I felt like I got no answers, and I became frustrated! There were even times when the Almighty and I were not on speaking terms as things in my life just seemed to keep slipping lower and lower (and I actually slipped on the ice and wound up badly hurt…two years in a row)!
While I may have been upset with how I felt that God was doing things, and even stopped praying for a while, I knew in my heart that it is never God’s Will that we should know pain or suffering; and I never gave never up on God’s grace and love, after all how could I be so angry with God if I did not believe in God?
The good news is that God never gave up on me either, and is strong enough to take our anger…just as we do not turn away from our children due to a burst of anger, nor do stop loving them due to their bad behavior. Even in the midst of these struggles, when I felt God’s back was turned, I did get a lot of support and help from the people who were close to me and some who were not. And in the long-run, in spite of my own mistakes things did get better for my daughter, and are starting to get better for us financially…though we still have a long way to go, I have faith that we are on the road to recovery…and even it will prove to be a long road, I know that we do not travel it alone, but that it is God who walks with us, both directly and through those with who we share our lives and our faith!
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for forgiving us for the times when we question you or even argue with you. Help us to accept your Will, and to remember that it is never your intention that we should know pain or sorrow; and that when these things come upon us you do not cause them but give us the resources to learn from them and survive the hard times. Thank you for giving us your love and grace so freely in Christ, and help us to share these gifts with each other as we travel through life together.