A big objection to God is quite obvious – where the heck is he? While most believe God is spirit and therefore not visible, we should at least see him working more in our lives, right? I mean we’re down here slogging it out in the trenches. Can’t God show us some love?
Our lives are hectic. We work. We play. We buy stuff. We have to fix or replace that stuff. We work more to pay for that stuff. We live in a world engrossed in consumerism. No matter what our problem or desire (health, weight, height, hair color, clothes, skin color, relationship) we have products and solutions.
Our retail lives deceive us. We think we’re in charge. We think we’re in control.
When things go bad and we ask, “Where’s God?” we’ve got things a bit mixed up. The question should be “Where are we?” Have we been living for ourselves, or for God? My bet, if we’re honest, is we spend a lot of time focused on ourselves. Put another way, we’re not on God’s side. Yet, we think he should be on ours.
Of course God wants what’s best for us. He works hard to get our attention. However, if we don’t spend time with God (whether through prayer, meditation, community), how will we know when he’s talking to us, let alone working in our lives?
The well-respected Medieval monk Thomas a Kempis writes this:
False liberty of mind and overweening self-confidence are a great hindrance to heavenly visitations. God is generous in granting us the grace of comfort; but man does ill in not returning all to God with gratitude. This is why His gifts of grace cannot flow freely in us, because we are ungrateful to the Giver, and do not return them to their Fount and Source. God will always give grace to those who are grateful, but what He grants to the humble is withheld from the proud.
We can overlook the monk language and get his point. We think for ourselves, not for God. We’re confident in our own abilities, rather than trusting God. We’re not even thankful for the gift of life – let alone a “visitation.” And we wonder why we can’t see God’s grace?
Many statements like these have been interpreted as God being a jerk. It’s fairly obvious it’s the other way around, and always has been. Give God a chance, He’ll blow you away.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson