Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blame

Yesterday I had a lengthy conversation with my BFF-RT. It seems there are so many around us that are hurting and in trouble. How do we help them? Sometimes I feel frustrated...there just appear to be no options on our part to help.

Yesterday's conversation centered on her sweet niece who is suffering from a serious bout of depression. Why her? Why so young? Who can we blame for this situation? Was it her fault? Her parent's fault? School pressures? There has to be someone to blame about this situation! BUT...maybe there is no one to blame...it's just one of those things that happen.

The truth is that God continually reminds me that HE has the power to change this situation immediately, so it doesn't matter if anyone is at fault, God is still in control.

“Teacher,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him.” (John 9:2-3 NLT)

In this scripture the disciples were looking for someone to blame for the blind man's situation. Maybe he was blind because he sinned? Maybe his blindness was caused by something his parents did?

The disciples, like me, asked the wrong questions...there was no one they could pin the blame on or point a finger to assign blame. It's so much easier to look for that "someone" we can blame. But Jesus said they were to look instead for what God can do! (John 9:1-4 Message)

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective." (Colossians 3:1-2 )

Look for what God can do!

God is faithful. He has everything under control and we are safest when we stay in obedience to Him! He wants to give good gifts to His children (Luke 11:9-13)...but He wants us to trust Him and be content in whatever circumstances we are in (Philippians 4:12). Not easy to remember in the midst of my pain!

Why do I forget that God is not surprised by my circumstances, or the circumstances of those I love? He could change them immediately...so instead of asking "Why me?' I need to ask "What does He want me to do in this circumstance?" "What is He trying to teach me?"

I expend so much of my energy looking for a way out of my pain...someone to blame and lash out at to alleviate my hurt. Yet, lovingly, God is calling me to expend my energy on deepening my relationship with Him. He wants to draw me ever closer in my relationship with Him to teach me to have His heart in all circumstances.

Life is hard! Yet, God's love shines on those of us who are seeking Him with our whole heart and His love also shines on those who are running scared from Him. "Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” (Job 2:10b) He loves us so deeply and He's looking to see how we will act in this adversity.

How will I try to "squirm" out of my trials? Will I choose to press into them and see God's hand on my life? Will I remember that God loves me...that He wants to show me my faults to enrich my relationship with Him? Or, do I let anger and bitterness take root? Do I believe the lie that something precious and essential has been taken from me? (I deserve so much better!) Do I believe the lie that there is no way out of this? I'm trapped in this experience?

I KNOW I have to monitor my thinking. How I interpret my circumstances will determine how I will react to them. Catastrophic thinking minimizes my blessings and maximizes my losses.

Everyday I am harvesting what I have previously planted and everyday I'm planting seeds I will eventually harvest. I need to plant new seeds to harvest. What I have sowed into my life in the past is what I am currently reaping. (Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6: 7-8)

Who's to blame? Is there an easy answer? I don't think so... Maybe this is my opportunity to "Look for what GOD can do!" Maybe the way I pray for RT's niece is to ask God to be glorified in the situation...not necessarily for relief?

Lord, I don't want to be distracted from my purpose or from the tasks You want me to complete before the “night falls.” (John 9:4). Show me how to pray for those that are hurting...

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