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Friday, May 04, 2007

For He wounds, but He also binds up; He injures, but his hands also heal. Job 5:18 NIV

Maybe one of the most difficult things about our faith is trying to understand the reckoning of God. As a student minister turned pastor, I can't tell you the number of times where a conversation with someone has gone something like this...

Person: "I'd really like to believe in God, but I just don't think He's very fair."
Me: "Why not?"
Person: "Because He allowed ______________(insert your own personal tragedy here.).
Me: "I know that's difficult to understand but..."

For 17 years of ministry I would try to help people understand why a good God would sometimes allow bad things to happen. I worked really hard to get them to see where I was coming from and what I was trying to show them. Then the accident that struck my family occurred. Suddenly, I was the one in the conversation above. I was the one who was asking those very difficult questions of God.

You know what I found? My answers to them were the same answers I found for myself. The same hand that chooses to allow injury is the same one that healed (is healing) my heart. It's a confusing (downright "befuddling") dichotomy. Maybe you've heard this expression. "The same sun that melts wax hardens clay." How can the same God who loves me with all of His heart (and I truly believe that) allow me to hurt like I have these 3 years? I have to understand the amazing knowledge of God. He sees the whole big picture of my life and yours and millions of others. He understands how all of that intertwines to play out for His glory. He even knows how the "hardening of one heart" might lead to the "melting" of many others.

In simpler terms, it's just like me and my kids. I am the same man every day. My love and heart for them does not change. I only want the very best for them. The same hand that administers discipline to their lives is the one that serves out the chocolate chip cookies (made because I love them--the kids and the cookies). The same lips that deliver corrective words are the ones that smother them with kisses before they go to bed at night. It's confusing to them sometimes, I'm sure. I can tell by the looks on their faces. But what they are learning (what I am learning about God as well) is that pure love brings necessary choices, not all of them are pretty. But all of them are done because the Father sees what the children need. Sometimes it is the painful sting of loss or hurt or injury. But the same Father that injures takes great joy in delivering the healing that we need. It has not been an easy lesson to wait patiently for the healing to come...but it has, indeed, been well worth the wait that was required.

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