Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Understanding God

A friend at church loaned me the book, 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. This book isn't turning out to be what I expected at all.

I had in mind this was a happy, cheerful book filled with images of Heaven and encouragement for getting there. I'm up to about page 100, and Boy, Was I Wrong! If you've read the book, maybe you'll understand my thoughts on this. But I've really struggled with the WHY of this book... as in why did God give this man a vision of the glories of Heaven and then allow Him to suffer excruciating pain as he did?

Okay, before you fuss at me, realize that I do trust God - no matter what! I know He is sovereign and I trust Him completely. I also believe that He has the right - as King and Creator of the entire Universe - to do what He chooses without regard to what we piddly humans think. But I also know Him to be love as the Bible tells us He is in 1 John 4:16. And I believe Him to be capable to change ANYTHING He chooses. So my question is why didn't He stop this man's suffering? Why, in fact, did He compel another Christian to pray for Don Piper and then resurrect him after he had been dead for 90 minutes, only to allow him to suffer tremendous pain? I have to wonder WHY.

Now as a pastor, you may think I need to keep my questions to myself. But I'm a firm believer that God knows my heart (He knows everything!) so even if I keep them to myself, He knows they're there. Why shouldn't I be honest and voice them as I search for answers? I believe I can. God's big enough to handle my questions. He knows my heart and attitude are respectful. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to understand.

It came to me as I was considering this issue that many non-Christians struggle with this same question. They don't understand God, they don't know Why He acts a certain way, so they dismiss Him and refuse to serve Him. As far as I'm concerned, there's no basis for that attitude.

I love my husband, but he does things I don't understand. Does that mean I shouldn't love him anymore? Of course not! Nor does that reasoning apply to my sisters or my son, or anyone else. In the words of Mr. Spock, "it's illogical."

So don't get me wrong! I may not understand God. I may question why He has acted a certain way. I may want to know Him better and feel it's a losing battle at times. But I Trust Him completely. And that's never going to change. Hopefully, when I finish the book I'll have a better understanding of Mr. Piper's situation. But even if I don't, I'll still trust my Lord. But that doesn't stop me from honestly wondering Why.


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