Thursday, June 13, 2013

God's will

I must admit that whenever I hear people talking about God's will I inwardly cringe. Not because I don't believe in God's will, but I do believe that God is blamed for many, many things under the guise of it being God's will. Have you ever noticed that when something good happens in our lives we toot our own horn about the choices we made, but when something bad happens it was God's will.

We've all heard it; when someone we know becomes ill, or someone dies, or loses their job or their house; it is often said that it must be God's will. But don't worry, where God closes a door, He opens a window. (An encouraging way to remind someone to look for the silver lining in their current storm.) I beg to differ. God is all powerful and can truly do anything He wants to do, but God is also righteous. His decisions are beyond our understanding, but we have to remember that He gave us agency. Sometimes our outcomes are because of our own choices, not because God wills for these things to happen. 

Maybe blaming things on God's will gives us some measure of comfort, because then it's not our fault that these bad things have happened. It was God's will and He will helps us through it. It is definitely true that God will help us if we ask and trust Him, but blaming everything on God's will can ultimately turn people away from God. It can appear that since God's in charge of everything and we have nothing to do with what happens, He must just be unfair or play favorites. Therefore some people would rather not believe in God than believe in an unfair God.

To me, saying everything is God's will is like blaming the car for running out of gas. The car gave all the signs that it was low on fuel. The odometer showed that it was time to refuel, the fuel gage was on empty, the low fuel light came on, and the bell dinged; yet the driver chose to ignore every sign and continue driving without refueling. Most of us would look at that driver and shake our heads as he/she blamed the car for running out of gas. Obviously, it wasn't the car's fault. Yet, when it comes to our own lives, we're quick to blame things on God's will and ignore our own part in the situation.

Now there are times when circumstances are beyond our control, but that still doesn't mean it was God's will. For instance, when Hostess closed and thousands of employees were left without jobs the conflict was between the board and the bakers' union. Unfortunately they weren't the only ones who lost their jobs. Many, many other employees suffered too. Sometimes our circumstances are due to someone else's choices. That still doesn't make it God's will.

Lastly, sometimes it is  God's will. (James it talks about this in the New Testament.) But I think far more often, our situations are due to people's choices. Be it our own choices or the choices of others. The greatest part in all this, is that no matter the "why", God is willing to be there for us; always! That's the kind of God's will I do like to talk about.