Friday, January 4, 2013

God Is Not To Blame

"For Thou, Lord, art good, 
and ready to forgive; 
and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."
Psalm 86:5
(KJV)

I believe the first step to receiving healing
from the Great Physician's hands
is surrender...
being still...
allowing God to do what He needs and longs to do
in order to heal our brokenness.

Walking through the valley has taught me this.
As long as I fight against Him and His perfect plan,
I never progress to the next step...
the next level...
of healing.


A friend of ours recently told me he injured his leg
by coming into contact with a heavy desk he was moving.
I asked him if it broke the skin.
He said no....
but the pain has been intense
and the soreness seems to be taking a very long time to heal.

I told him he must have suffered a deep bruise,
and that even though he can't see much evidence of the wound
on the outside, 
it must be deeply bruised on the inside.
The deeper the bruise,
the longer it takes to heal.

It made me think about life...
and the deep wounds we receive to our inward spirit.
We can look perfectly "together" on the outside,
we can appear whole....
to those around us.
There may be no outward sign...
at all...
of what has happened...
or the pain that still lingers.
But the wound is deep...
beneath the surface.
The hurt is intense....
under the facade.
Again, the deeper the bruise,
the longer it will take to heal.

When we accept the fact that we cannot heal ourselves...
that we cannot go under the surface and mend our own broken heart...
when we come to that realization....
then we are well on our way to the acknowledgement that 
we need a Higher Power.
That we need help....
from Someone way bigger than us.

Once we realize this all-important fact....
waving our own white flag of surrender...
to Him Who can do all things....
is the first step to the healing we so desperately need.


One of the things that stands in our way of accepting His help
is that too often we are bitter towards Him.
We blame Him for what has broken us.
We unjustly and unfairly project our resentment
upon and towards the One Who created us....
when all along God had nothing to do with it.

Could He have prevented others from inflicting the bruise?
Of course.
Could He have stopped you from taking the wrong path...
even though it was the path you really wanted to take?
Yes.
Could He have strong-armed you into being the person He designed you to be...
instead of allowing you to choose your own way,
make your own decisions,
live your own life?
Absolutely.
Could He force us all to be righteous, completely-submissive-to-His-will robots?
Without a doubt.

He has given all men free will....
to do and act and live as they wish.
He will not cross the boundary of our will.
No matter what.
It is a parameter that has been set,
and God will not muscle His way beyond it.
Though He has all power,
and though He could intervene...
at any given point....
He respects our own ability to choose.
He gave us that...
instilled it into the equation....
remember?
He prefers that we live in love and harmony and peace.
But, He will not force us to.
Would we really want it that way?
To be forced...against our will?

To take away the free will of those who have hurt us
would include the relinquishment of our own freedom to do as we choose.

To stop the actions of those who have hurt you
would have meant He used force to make you comply to His wishes, also.

God is not a respecter of persons.
He treats us all the same.
If He took the free will from one,
He would remove it from all.

We do wrong things,
take dead-end routes,
 perform selfish, mean-spirited acts,
inflict hurt on others.....
all on our own.
To take that ability away from us,
would be taking away our free will.

We need to stop blaming God for what people have done to us.

He has what we need.
He IS the Source of life...
and healing...
and peace.
But, we cannot accept what He so freely offers and longs to give,
as long as we are angry towards Him.

The second step to healing....
is forgiveness.
Just letting go.

We all go through our stages of "why God?"
and "how could you let this happen to me?"
and a million other questions.

He understands.

Then there comes a point of releasing that anger...
of realizing He doesn't purposely set out to see us cry...
and hurt....
and grieve.

We have heard much about God forgiving us...
He is a God of love, and one of my favorite verses is
today's passage,
"For Thou, Lord, art good, 
and ready to forgive; 
and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."
Psalm 86:5


He is ready to forgive.
How precious these words!
He wants to forgive.
He stands waiting...
with wide-open arms....
hoping we make the choice to come to Him.
But, He will never force us to.

We can all agree that God is forgiving...
that He is ready...
even eager...
to forgive us.

But, what about us forgiving God?
Are we ready to forgive...
Him?
Sounds like a strange thought....
who are we to hold a grudge against Almighty God?

But, it is true.
We absolutely harbor bitterness....
towards the One Who loves us more than we will ever understand.
We blame Him...
for every bad thing that has ever happened to us.

Therefore we block our only Channel for healing....
and we remain broken....
because of our own walls of defense.

Burying the hatchet...
that we have so long carried....
in anger towards our Creator...
is one of the wisest steps we will ever take.
Until we do,
we will never heal.
We will continue to hurt and ache and the soreness will never go away.

Unforgiveness is a prison house.
It hurts us more than anyone else.
It holds us captive...
in chains...
and shackles that clang with every step we take.
It eats away at our inmost spirit...
and erodes every shred of happiness we possess.
It is ugly...
and mean-spirited.
To imagine that we could possibly harbor such intensity of emotions 
toward the One Who gave His life for us...
is, well...
almost unimaginable.

But we do.

I believe the main reason we blame God 
is because we all believe...deep down....
that He can do all things.
That He could have prevented the bad things
that have happened to us.
That He has an all-seeing eye, 
and He watched as we were being wounded...
and did nothing to stop the blow.

These things are true.
He is Sovereign.
He has all power.
Nothing happens that He does not see.
Nothing surprises Him.
Nothing escapes His all-seeing eye.

There are two reasons I'd like to mention 
that explain why we should never blame God...
why we should never harbor bitterness in our hearts toward Him.

The first is the reason I mentioned earlier....
the fact that He allows us to choose our own way in life.
God won't force anyone to live the way He intended them to live.
He will not cross the boundary of our free will.
People make the choices they make.
People don't always follow Him.
People are very bent on taking a path other than the one He planned for them....
People are flawed and human.
People can be harsh and violent and cruel.
To blame God for the things people have done to us
is completely unwise...
and extremely unfair.

It is like pinning a crime of violence on 
the innocent bystander who witnessed the crime. 

It is absolutely unjust...
to blame the witness...
for the actions of the perpetrator.

The second reason we should never blame God
is that He is good.
He is love.
He has only the best of intentions.
He has no ulterior motives of deception.
He is all good.
He has known about you from the foundation of the world,
and from that moment to this...
He has loved you...
with all His heart.
His great heart is moved with compassion
every time you grieve.
You never cry a tear...
that He doesn't witness.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says this,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future."


He has an amazing design for your life....
plans that surpass your fondest dreams...
but He will not force you to cooperate.
He could.
He can do anything.
But, He doesn't.
Instead, He gives you the choice...
just as He gives everyone else.

Can you stop blaming Him?
Can you find it in your heart to forgive...
to realize He is not at fault?
To open your heart...
to what has been there all along...
love that is deeper and truer than anything you've ever experienced?

After you come to the realization that God is not to blame...
after you forgive Him...
and accept His love for you...
you will wonder why you waited so long.
You will see the absurdity...
of blaming a just and holy God...
for the bad things that have entered your life.
And you will find a peace....
how can I describe it?
It is healing....
from the inside out.
It starts at the point farthest from the surface...
at the deepest beginning of the bruise...
and it works its way out...
washing over every speck of pain...
cleansing the wound....
flushing out the ugliness.
Until you feel complete...
and whole...
perfectly healed.

Then you will hold within your grasp an amazing capacity....
to forgive others.
To let go of the bitterness.
To release the need for revenge.
To relinquish self-defense.
To realize God already knows the truth...
of what happened...
and He is the Only One Who matters anyway.
That it just isn't important anymore.
That peace is worth so much more...
is so much more precious....
than protecting and defending the wound...
one more second.
That to nurse it another moment
is just not worth it.
That the amount of energy you have expended
could have been so much better placed....
and you won't make the same mistake again.

It is a new year.
A time for new beginnings.
It is time to surrender...
to Him Who possesses the power to heal.
It is time to forgive....
to stop placing the blame of guilt...
on the guiltless.
To forgive the one(s) who are actually guilty.
To let go...
of every negative emotion.
To hand them over...
to the One Who loves you more than you will ever comprehend.

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