“Dear God, I know you’re busy solving larger problems, but …” Have you ever started out a prayer this way? Perhaps, you’ve said, “I don’t want to trouble God with something so trivial. He has enough on His plate already.” Somehow, we’ve got it into our heads that God is some sort of cosmic plate spinner trying to keep all of the plates from crashing to the ground. God isn’t like that at all.
Contrary to how most of us seem to see Him, God isn’t trying to react to every event that happens in the world. He’s not waiting for you to say just the right prayer, think the right thought, or do the right thing before He springs into action at the last moment to keep our particular plate spinning.
Clear Away the Rubbish
What kind of God would that be? Just because we were given free will doesn’t mean that God now has to follow us around making corrections here and there in reaction to whatever choices we make. God is not at the mercy of our decisions.
A.W. Tozer wrote in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, that the most important thing about us is how we think about God. He goes on to explain that finding this out isn’t always that easy.
Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is. Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God.
Too often, we try to put God in a box confining Him to our own understanding. We begin to feel like our prayers are necessary to let God know when and how He should act. We quit talking to Him about the little things because we’ve convinced ourselves that He’s too busy to deal with them.
God’s is Never Surprised
If we really thought about whether God could be busy, we’d find how humorous that notion is. How can an infinite, all powerful, all knowing God become busy? He can’t. Here’s something else to think about.
God has never been surprised by any of your actions, or my actions, or anyone’s actions. Before the foundation of the world, He knew every possible action that every person who would ever live on the earth would make in every possible scenario. This is how our free will and His perfect will coexist.
That means God created man knowing he would fall from grace, knowing that most would go to hell, and knowing that Jesus would have to die on the cross to redeem man. He knew what Hitler would do, whether that child who died would reject Him or accept Him, and that your loved one would die of cancer.
All Things Work Together, But For Who’s Good?
Knowing all of this, God still chose to create this earth and put us on it. I’ll be honest. I don’t why. It seems cruel that so many should perish. Paul writes this in Romans,
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. – Romans 8:28-30
This doesn’t mean that God hand-picked which of us would be saved or not, but it does mean He knew who would choose Him. It’s to these people that all things work together for good. I thank God that I am one of these people.
Paul could pen these words with confidence, because he understood that God has already put every response, every reaction, everything needed to accomplish His will in place. Since we are still bound by time, we’re still experiencing His handiwork.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Bashed
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