Our Crummy for His Glory
Written by Heather Shelley
“God took my house and my car to get my attention because I had started to stray too far from Him…and I’m so grateful.”
That is an exact, word-for-word quote from someone who “came back to God” after years of wandering, drinking and searching for meaning. Between you and me, what she said hurt my heart a little.
Is that what you really think of Him?
Sometimes, really crummy things happen to really good people. And it bums me out, because really crummy things shouldn’t happen to really good people. But, they do. And when they do, I find myself searching for the answer to one question: WHY?
It’s always the same question…WHY that…WHY them?
WHY? Unfortunately, there isn’t always an answer. Wait. Sometimes there is an answer, but not an answer we might like.
Take that woman who lost her house and car. In the middle of her life-changing-crisis, she found her way back to God…thankfully! BUT…she didn’t want to see WHY she lost her house and her car. She blamed God, because He can’t defend Himself and, well, it’s just “easier” that way. She didn’t want to see that she had spent her money on booze and other sundries that tore her life apart. When the money’s been spent on bar tabs and parties, there isn’t much left for car payments or house payments. She fell behind and just couldn’t catch up. When she realized it too late, she frantically went searching for help and – thankfully – someone guided her to back Jesus. She had fallen too far behind to save her house and car, but not too far to save her life. Praise God!
So incredibly grateful for God’s amazing forgiveness and grace, it saved me from the mess I’d made of my life, and now this woman was getting that same grace and forgiveness! But she thinks God took her house and her car to “shake her up”…like an abuser would a child. In reality, God’s not an abusive parent. This woman chose to spend her money on things that destroyed her life. She made a willing and conscience decision to buy alcohol over making house payments. She purposefully chose to buy drugs rather than make car payments. God didn’t take her house or her car.
She chose, in effect, to sacrifice her house and car to her addiction. An addiction that made her believe her bad decisions to sacrifice two basic and fundamental human needs was the right choice. She believes God took her house and her car. What she can’t see is how God can use this crummy situation to make her life good again! He didn’t need her house or her car to free her from her addiction. All He requires from her (and from me and you) is the willingness to give our lives to Him. He can repair our brokenness and make us instruments to bring others – just like us – back to Him.
Yes, there are times in our lives when our faith is tested…and some of those times are not our doing, contrary to the way they were with this woman. When we find ourselves in crummy situations, we ask God for help. But, does God orchestrate crummy situations so we turn back to Him? Hmmm…
Did God take this woman’s house?
Did God give my friend’s 8-year-old daughter cancer to bring the family closer to Him?
Did God give my friend’s husband a massive brain tumor, causing great pain and unimaginable suffering, then kill him to bring the family closer to Himself?
Honestly, in my heart, I say “no”. Is God capable of doing all of those things?
We want to see God as a kind and loving God, but we also need to remember that “wrath” falls into His list of descriptors along with benevolent, loving and omnipotent. But…do I believe God causes pain and suffering in our lives for His folly?
Though I can say that God can, does and will use each of the terrible situations in each of our lives for good, and will bring Himself glory in the process. How? Well, only the God of the universe knows how He’ll use the crummy situations in our lives to bring about goodness and glory. All we have to know is that He will.
Ah-ha…here’s the hard part: trusting completely that He will get us through whatever crummy situation comes our way.