Feb 19 2015
Give me what I want. And give it now.
That’s how a toddler behaves in a store when they whine to their parents for a new toy.
Their parents say no. The kid cries.
It’s not that the parent doesn’t love their kid. It just may not be the right toy or the right time.
To see images of war, homelessness, and the other ravages of sickness and poverty is to want peace, comfort, and health.
Seeing pictures of bombed out cities in Syria and Iraq drive us to ask God to end it all. Executions break our hearts. Genocide is virtually impossible to process.
Sometimes God answers us. Sometimes he doesn’t.
When he doesn’t, we can become undone and get angry with him – like a kid in a toy store.
And I understand how someone would protest and say, “A kid wanting a toy is way different than us wanting peace. God should answer that prayer!!”
But, even in that light, the two situations are more similar than they appear.
In the store, that toy means everything to the kid. It’s his whole world. They can’t see whether mom or dad has enough money or that more toys may make them spoiled. They can’t see the big picture.
God lives in forever. He sees the entire landscape of everything that has and will happen. To us, peace and comfort mean everything. It’s what we want for our whole world. We can’t see that God may have bigger things up his sleeve. We see suffering and too often think it means God is a monster.
Are parents monsters for not buying more stuff for their kids? No. And neither is God.
Just as a parent is loving when they deny their kids good things, so too, God remains loving even when he occasionally denies us good things.
God sees the big picture. He sees the whole picture.
After Job had suffered bitterly and made his complaint known to God, God spoke to him as a parent speaks to a child who has complained for too long – sternly.
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
God is huge. He’s not totally understandable. Just as a toddler doesn’t understand their parents, but can know their love. So we sometimes don’t understand God, but can still know his love.