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When God Does Not Make Sense…To Me

Posted by Miriam Won on

The Bible holds stories that are difficult for us to digest either because, in our eyes, they are too gory, too unkind, too harsh or simply too annoying that God was ok with that!

In Genesis, there’s the story of the forbidden fruit and Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Why God would create this amazing garden and stick this tree right in the middle of it is beyond me. Adam and Eve, we are told, had everything they could ask for, and life for them and us would seemingly have had a very different narrative, at least from our very limited human perspective, if that darn fruit tree had sprouted elsewhere!

Then in the book of Job we are introduced to this wealthy father of nine, the wealthiest in his day. A man who honored God in all that he had. Talk about privilege. His six sons, who apparently didn’t need to work, took turns hosting monthly drink and food fests lasting several days, to which they would invite their three sisters. The Bible goes on to tells us how Job would pray for his children during these parties just in case they had sinned against God in the drinking that went on for days. God is so pleased with Job’s heart posture that God draws Satan’s attention to Job and allows Satan the freedom to take away Job’s earthly possessions.

This is a conversation that Job was not privy to other than the fact that he gets to live the impact of these losses. In a single day, the stock market crashes for him, literally. His entire wealth of 500 oxen, 500 donkeys, 7,000 sheep, and 3000 camels are either stolen or die in unusual circumstances along with all nine of his adult children and his multitude of servants.

Over the last nine months or so, I have journeyed with four mothers who have each lost a son to tragic circumstances. One of those sons was an only child. As I have watched their deep grief, I cannot imagine the anguish of Mrs. Job whose loss seems to have been orchestrated by God’s wager on Job’s love for him.

Then there’s the story of Mary: a teenager promised in marriage to an older man. A cultural norm, we are not told she resisted. However, when God sends an angel to her with a proposition that was not the cultural norm, teenage pregnancy outside of marriage, her response is amazing. My response would have been “wait, what?” but Mary’s response is “how can this be”? When God tells her exactly how this was going to be, she says “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 2:38

When Job receives all his crushing news, his heart posture is like that of Mary. He falls down to worship and in Job 13:15 his utterance “though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” is profound to say the least.

Adam and Eve’s story goes on to speak of their response when they disobeyed God (that fruit tree that God planted!). There is guilt, fear, and withdrawal at recognizing they had done something wrong. Yet the story introduces us to a God who goes in pursuit of them, asking them where they were (like he didn’t already know), asking them who told them they were naked. Outwardly they were exactly the way they had been since God put them in the garden, but their heart posture had changed in their response to their circumstances.

I find great encouragement in Adam and Eve’s story, because when my response to circumstances in my life reveals a heart posture that leaves God out of the picture, God himself shows up and pursues me with gentleness. “Where are you?,” provides solutions that I was not even aware of: “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” Garments of skin meant that some animal must have died, which was something completely new to Adam and Eve and the other occupants of Eden. Clothing them speaks to a tender and compassionate God who meets me where I am…in my nakedness.

It’s also a reminder that God does not leave me alone, even when my response is not like Mary’s or Job’s but more like Adam and Eve where I run away and hide and look for someone to blame.

“Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken……says the Lord who has compassion for you” Isaiah 54:10


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