If we have lived long enough on this spinning ball of dirt and water, we have many opportunities for pain, disappointment, and hopelessness to set in. Something will happen that shatters our hearts and many times our world. And “it” can come in varying forms too: illness, job loss, broken relationships, sudden death. What often happens is this: we do the unthinkable, something unutterable even to our closest of friends. We blame God.
When “it” strikes, we are faced with a decision. We either fall to our knees in anguished prayer lifting hearts and souls and lives up to the God who made us, or we stand with knees locked and necks stiff in the face of our trial and pain pointing a rigid finger heavenward at the all-loving, all-knowing God of this universe.
It’s a game changer.
Our response to “it” can wreck us or revive us. It can cause us harm or help.
Ultimately we DO have control over what we choose to do in the face of our “it.” And our decision will mark us deeply.
Just for the record, I’ve done some God-blaming myself so I can honestly say, I speak from experience.
I’ve fallen to my knees in desperation seeking His face, not to blame, but to listen and receive.
And I’ve blamed God.
Here’s what happened. You decide if it was worth it to me or not.
1. I forgot where I was from. Quickly, when the blame was focused on God, I lost sight of my home, my true, eternal residence. This temporary, fallen, sick, sad world became my new location and where I chose to reside, forsaking the hope set before me because of the pain and disappointments in front of me. I forgot this is a fallen world full of trouble and sin and evil.
I mistook earth for heaven.
2. Who I idolized, who was on the throne of my heart and the focus of my devotion shifted. The One seated on the throne was de-throned as soon as I pointed my finger in His face and thought I could do a better job at managing my own life. King Jesus was replaced with Queen Me. Ironically, the Big “It” didn’t like to share the throne and I was shoved out of the way. “It” became the new ruler of my mind, heart, and emotions. (“It” always takes over, even when we think we are the one in charge.) “It” became my idol, the thing I cried over, fought with, dreamed and thought about, hated, despised, and even ignored, knowing it was still there. “It” ruled me.
3. I began to see God in a different perspective, the constant unanswered questions of “why….why not….what happened….what were You thinking….” changed my vision. Like looking through a kaleidoscope of blacks and grays and murky whites, all I could see after the blame set in was my disappointment in God. Disappointment in Him changed my view of Him. The One True God I once revered and once trusted, was reduced to a magic genie in a bottle that I had held in my hands, demanded of, spoke my wishes and desires to….who then failed me.
4. Blaming God taught me how to strategize. How to plan. How to control my circumstances, my emotions, my heart. I moved from a once enjoyed realm of trust to a despised, what-I-thought-necessary realm of control. Disappointments lead to blame. Blame makes no room nor need for trust. “It’s all up to me now” became my unspoken motto.
God proved to be “untrustworthy” in my life so I was left with no choice but to control everything in my reach. I took the driver’s seat and booted God over to sit shot-gun as my passenger on life’s road. And how did that work out for me???
If you have tried it, you know the answer.
If you are in the midst of hogging the driver’s seat, you know how difficult it is to navigate on your own the road of life. There are way too many ups, downs, sharp turns, and unexpected hazards to even attempt to drive the car much less not listen to the ONE WHO KNOWS THE ROAD AHEAD.
I forgot this truth: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:38-39
5. Blaming God caused me to believe the lies of distorted truths. I began to see God as sadistic instead of merciful. When “it” happened, I accepted the lie, “I should have done more. I could have done things differently….” Then that quickly morphed into, “God, You should have done more. You could have done things differently.”
I believed horrible lies like “God is just; therefore I must pay for (this or that sin) by losing (this or that important thing that I love.).”
Or my all-time least favorite lie, “My faith isn’t big enough; therefore God isn’t willing nor able to take care of this situation or problem I face. This suffering is my own fault.”
I forgot there is a REAL ENEMY, as Scripture says, that roams around like a lion looking for the ones to stalk, taunt, cull from the group, waiting for the weak and hurt, so he can pounce and devour.
And seriously??? God “owes us” something???? He paid for our lives with His own Son’s life. How much more do we need for life on earth and life eternal?
I couldn’t see that the big “it” reduced Biblically-based truths to nothing more than subtly twisted, turned around fallacies.
6. My attitude towards God changed. My attitude became “God, You owe me because I ______ (read my Bible, quoted all the healing verses, prayed and worshiped two hours today, fasted, called in others to pray, etc.).” I expected God to do what I prayed for Him to do, like the magic genie, because after all, I am His child.
I forgot The God of the Number of My Days has every say in my life if I have chosen to devote it to Him. He can release me from pain and suffering in the blink of an eye or choose to WALK WITH ME THROUGH IT to accomplish His great plan for me.
Why else did Jesus promise us (see John chapters 14-16) that IN THIS WORLD (the one you and I still reside in) there will be trouble, BUT Jesus overcame the world and sent the Holy Spirit to help us get though our “its” with His Presence, Peace, Comfort, and Guidance? Jesus promised this because He knew we would NEED the Holy Spirit’s help this side of heaven!
In a nutshell: there is trouble, the world is fallen, and we need help!
7. Doubt replaced belief. Honestly, I don’t know when or where I picked up this bit of craziness, but when “it” showed up and I blamed God, I wondered why He hadn’t followed through on His end of the deal.
Maybe it came from this popular belief that I tried to cling to in times that life didn’t make sense, when I felt scrambled and confused and was grasping for something to make it right. It goes something like this: “I am a Christian; therefore I am immune to trials and pain, I am invincible, and I am untouchable.”
I’m sorry but that is simply laughable. I held an unspoken, unconscious expectation, through erroneous teaching and/or personal interpretation of Scripture, that God owed me a spiritual SuperChristian costume that would deflect any enemy attack from the moment I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Now I need to pose a question:
When did reality (the stuff and happenings in our present lives) begin to dictate what we believe about God and who He is?
It is built in us to blame, to cast the responsibility of things gone wrong somewhere, anywhere but on ourselves. To point the finger away from us and towards another.
Adam blamed Eve. “She did it.”
Eve blamed the snake. “The snake did it.”
We blame too. “______ did it.”
When God’s name goes in the blank, I’ve learned from experience, that’s scary stuff.
But when we face our humanness and our inability to control a situation or person or event, we see the truth, this inevitable fact. There’s not a thing I could have done to alter or change this “it.” I am human, frail, helpless at times.
Then we can come face to face with, or choose to look away from the next truth. God is sovereign, all powerful, all knowing, all loving.
Until the finger of blame comes out to silence this truth.
When we allow the blame to surface, grow, and multiply, blame will be the very thing that shapes God into nothing more than a genie in a bottle and strip Him of any power in our lives. Though He can never be stripped of any of His great attributes, they can become distorted and morphed into evil right before our very eyes.
In our attempt to control the uncontrollable, we lose our trust, our hope, our way, and grope blindly looking for the truth. We trade TRUTH for lies. We trade GOD helping us through our “it” for managing it all by ourselves.
May I remind myself and you:
We still live in a fallen world.
Jesus Himself reminded us that in THIS world, there would be trouble, but we are to take heart. He overcame the world. He did so by dying, rising again, ascending to heaven to sit right by His Father and then sent the Holy Spirit to HELP US THROUGH our “it!”
This is not heaven. But one day, all who believe, will call that place home.
With no more “its!”
No more blaming!
No more finger pointing and questioning!
Romans chapter 1 (from the Message) says it best:
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
I am sure many who read this will not agree, and that’s ok.
But to the few who do, press in and press on. With God on your side, you can’t lose.
Blame destroys. Hope revives.
Finger pointing damages. Trust renews.
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