Monday, October 17, 2011
God or Santa Claus?
"Screw praying, it doesn't do anything."
These words showed up on Facebook a week or so ago. A young man frustrated with his circumstances. He had car trouble again. He had to walk again.
It made me wonder about our view of God. Why do we think God will fix all of our problems just like that? He is not Santa Claus. He provides so many things - peace, strength, courage and yet we still look to Him to provide the magic answer the instant we demand it.
The photo reminds me of how life smashes us down. We get overloaded by our everyday circumstances and yet do we really have it that bad? Here are some examples of real suffering:
My friend's father has leukemia. He is not old. He has been in treatment since May of this year. He had a bone marrow transplant last week. Praise God that a match was found.
One of my daughter's friends just had surgery for a brain tumor. She is only a teenager. She is now going through radiation and then chemo. She will miss the rest of this school semester. Thank God they found the tumor. Thank God she came through the surgery so easily.
My good friends lost their home in the Bastrop fire. They lost everything except a small suitcase of clothes, the wedding pictures and a few guns. Everything was gone. Thank God they had good insurance and will be able to rebuild. What about all of the other 1500 homes that were lost. Did they have insurance?
My good friend lost her 11 year old son to cancer. Will her heart ever heal?
Another friend lost her 19 year old son to a heart virus. Just like that he was gone. How does she go on knowing she will never see him again?
A tragic car accident, just driving too fast. Five teenagers are involved. Two require major surgery. One girl dies. How does the family of the lost girl go on? How do they face each day?
Life weighs us down. Life mashes us down. But our reward is in heaven. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 it says, "Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun."
Our life here on earth is not meant to be heaven. We chase things that do not matter. We toil to achieve greatness. There are problems. There are deaths. There are illnesses that cannot be recovered from. And yet, God is there, available to hold us up as we meet each challenge.
I want to be the type of person that recognizes God is not Santa Claus, but God does provide in big ways. I cannot imagine getting through my youth without God by my side. I cannot imagine getting through my miscarriages without God by my side. I cannot imagine raising teenagers without God by my side. Only He can hold me up when nothing else can.