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Following Christ is sometimes a difficult thing, especially when we are challenged to trust wholeheartedly in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. This fact is never more tested than when we go through pain and anguish.
It is in those moments we wonder to ourselves if God really cares or if He really does have our best interest in mind. Sometimes what we see (and feel) does not match up with what we believe and “know.”
One good example of a person who probably had some questions for God is Mary, the mother of Jesus. When we think about the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ, it is a bit startling to think about all that God was requiring from this young teenage girl.
How in the world can we consider God, the Father, to be a loving and caring God when He was asking Mary to do the unthinkable? In essence, God was requiring Mary to do a task that would destroy her future, decimate her reputation, disrupt her plans, and demolish any hopes of living a “normal” life.
Would a loving God truly allow a person to endure such agony and pain?
This is when we can get a good gauge of our perception of God. When we go through difficulties, most of us react with anger or withdrawal as we conclude that God has let us down. Things get worst when we begin to compare ourselves with other people whose lives are filled with blessings. We wonder why God isn’t pulling through for us as He is doing for others. As the feelings of disappointment and bitterness begin to mount, it erodes at our faith. Then years go by and we find ourselves in a place where we doubt if God even exists.
It is like the boat without an anchor. Without the moorings, it will slowly drift out to sea ever so slowly. We need these moorings in our lives. Sometimes it might have to come in a form that goes beyond our reason and human understanding. One thing is for sure. There are things in life that can be understood by reason and there are other things that simply cannot be explained fully by reason alone.
So, is God a cruel Father?
I usually tell people that I will give them an answer when God is finished writing the story of our lives. One of the things that God does so well is authoring the story of redemption in people’s lives. Numerous examples pervade all throughout the Bible. It permeates through people’s testimonies even today.
In fact, things become clearer as we look at the cross. What seemed like a display of God’s cruelty was quickly transformed into a demonstration of God’s love and grace. May we learn this lesson from the cross of Christ.