In ancient times, people believed the gods to be in total control of everything that happened. If the weather didn’t co-operate for farming, the god of the fields was meting out punishment for some wrongdoing. If the harvest was abundant the same god or a different one was rewarding hard work with prosperity. Problem – it didn’t work. The good still had difficulties.
In Jesus time, the Jewish people transferred this same understanding to their one God. The goal was to please God and everything would go well. Problem: It didn’t work. The good still got sick and their crops failed during a famine.
Today, that simple belief that we can blame God for every problem is still with us. If we break a bone, we ask, “Why did this happen?” We search our hearts and our past, for the mistakes we’ve made that would cause God to punish us. We lament, “There must be a reason God would do this to me or let this happen to me.” Problem: It doesn’t work. Just as in ancient times, good people get sick, greedy people sometimes do well. Why then do we blame God?
The 23rd Psalm tells us God is with us “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Jesus said, “I will be with you always.” (Matthew 28:20) Never does he say: “Believe in me and your life will be totally smooth.”
In my book “Fireweed”, the main character Renee learns that this fundamental belief in a “Mr. Fix It, God”, totally failed her. Her Mom was a good person who cared for others yet she was killed in a car accident. Throughout the book Renee comes to understand God, as her companion, her teacher, her guide, her support, her comforter.
As parents, we can’t fix our children’s life. As our parent, God doesn’t “fix” our lives either.
I invite you to let go of those old beliefs in a cold punishing God. Celebrate our wonderful loving God who travels with us, helping us to become the best we can be.