I heard an atheist on television pointing out that the universe is not an efficient engine. It wastes vast amounts of energy, he said. He didn't look at the cosmos and fall on his knees before its Maker in awe and wonder. He groused that the thing isn't Energy Star compliant. He judged the Maker of all things in the most petty, shortsighted way possible, as though God had designed the latest Volkswagen and needed advice on how to make it better.
The atheist illustrated the folly of man judging God.
Do you ever get upset with God — either directly or indirectly? For instance, who are you angry with when something unexpected comes along and knocks the timing of your day out of whack? We're in a hurry and really hate to have our schedules interrupted . . . even in small ways.
I heard Ray Beeson of Overcomers Ministries tell how frustrated he gets when another driver causes him to turn off cruise control. I can relate to this. You get the speed set exactly where you want it — either right at the speed limit or at the limit of what you think you can get away with. Someone pulls in front of you or slows down or moves over, and you have to tap the brake. At that moment, you're no longer maintaining best possible speed. You're going to reach your destination a few seconds later than expected. Horrors!
We're upset at anything or anyone who breaks our rhythm, slows us down, puts something unexpected in our paths. We like pushing the accelerator on our cars, not the brakes.
• Day of rest? Didn't that go out with the Old Testament?
• Twenty-four hour days? When God created the heavens and the earth, didn't He know how busy I would be? Why didn't He make the day twenty-eight hours long? I could use the extra time. (Last week I almost missed "American Idol"!)
Why are we surprised that the Omnipotent One whose existence is "from everlasting to everlasting," doesn't see life or time in the same way we do?
• Why is this kid bothering me? Oh, yeah, he's my son. Still, it seems a little presumptuous of him to come in here and start asking me questions as if I belong to him. How dare he interrupt my busy-ness!
• Why doesn't God let me win the lottery? Doesn't He realize how much good I could do if I had that money? It's inefficient that I'm not rich.
Maybe you've never won the lottery because you have the good sense not to play the lottery. Still, if you held Bear Stearns stock a year ago, a little warning would have been nice. God wouldn't have to expend much energy to help us get rich. And if He did, look at all the good we could do. We could fund missions, feed the hungry, heal the sick, comfort the dying, or, if we couldn't do those things, we could at least send money to enable others to do them. We could extend the Kingdom of God in dramatic ways.
Let's think about the logic here. We're saying God needs to give us money so that we can make Him rich. We should be thrilled when He chooses to use us, but we have to remember — we need Him. He doesn't need us. Instead of needing us, wonder of wonders, He chooses us.
God long ago gave a great deal of guidance on relationships, money, and all the other important things in our lives. You'll find that guidance in the Bible. He tells us how to fight earthly battles, but in battles, even people who do everything right, often get hurt.
God could stop it, of course. He could remove you from this world, take you home to heaven today, and you wouldn't have to face all these problems. It's important to understand that problems are among the main points in life. They're a big part of why you're still here.
A Man of God on the Rise
By his mid-forties, my friend, Marcus Vegh had accomplished more than most people would if they had several lifetimes in which to work. Most recently, he developed a global missionary enterprise like nothing else in history. He was finding ways, not only to reach the unreached with the Gospel, but to disciple them using modern digital tools to their fullest potential. He was a man of faith — driven, creative, intense, cutting edge. Even though he was not known to the public at large, many (perhaps most) of the publicly known evangelicals knew him. And if they knew him, they surely marveled to think of the ways God was going to use him.
When he was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer, Christian friends around the world went to their knees in prayer. God gave Marcus a host of miracles. He lived far better and far longer than his doctors ever imagined. And then, after clearly demonstrating His healing power,
God took Marcus home. Isn't this an egregious waste of resources?
No. He who is all-powerful cannot lack power. It is therefore impossible for the Omnipotent Lord to waste resources.
Remember Your Frame
How can we who know so little, judge Him who knows everything? This doesn't mean we should put our brains in neutral, or stop asking questions. It just means that if God is who He says He is, we're not going to understand everything He does. He may use someone for a task that you or I consider ill-qualified. He may remove someone from this planet that you and I consider almost irreplaceable, and He may choose a time we can't understand.
The Lord's work is more than a business enterprise. It's about commitment to Him and about His demonstrations of grace in our lives. Efficiency may be overrated, but grace and holiness are not. God's scoreboard doesn't look like ours. It's our job to obey Him and enjoy Him; to faithfully spread His word, seek first His Kingdom, and live in His abundant grace.
If being a Christian meant living trouble-free, he would take us from the altar to paradise the instant of conversion. He leaves us in this world, in part, so we can grow out of it.
John 17:14-18 | Romans 12:2 | 1 Peter 1:14 | 1 John 2:15 | Matt 6:33
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