Sunday, April 25, 2004
God is so much bigger...
Here's an open letter response I just sent to our email list. I really don't get why these letters are sent by well-intentioned Christians, except to say their good intentions don't have to translate to sound theology or real understanding of who God is and what He's about:
- praying mom [firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote:
My friend the mother of 3 is in need of all the prayers she can get right now for her and the kids. she is in an emergency situation and if anyone can help please contact me. I would not be asking you this but this is an emergency. She has really been having a rough time. She once again has been in the hospital due to a blood clot. She lost her house she was renting back in December and moved to a trailer but over the last week she has been told by the landlord that her grandson wants to live there so she has until the end of May to find another place to live ... [original post here]
I hope that everything works out in this situation, I really do. Having said that, I really don't like posts like this, because it's so untrue of how God works in our lives. Do you think this is an emergency for Him? Do you think He's unaware of the situation, the needs, the real deep things going on? You mention that if "you can't help then pray hard" - the only real, meaningful, and lasting help that'll make any difference here is God's intervention. I don't think He responds to anonymous emails quite the same as He draws near to the heart that is drawing near to Him.
"Suffering" is not a bad thing; instead, it's a tool to draw us to Him, to rely on Him and seek Him with all we've got. I can hear the desperation here, and I hope it's drawing us to Christ, not to His provision. Sorry to sound so harsh - I don't even know you or the situations you're writing about. But things like this perpetuate something in the church in America that needs to be flushed out: that God is a cosmic fireman, ready to save us from our own mistakes and misfortune, but that we don't really have to live for Him. That might not be happening here, but the stereotype is strengthened by doing this.
If someone is led to help, please help. But the biggest thing is to pray; the only thing is to pray, and to trust that God hears our prayers because we're living righteously, not because we're "praying real hard". He will help as much as it brings glory to His own name and draws others to Himself. I pray for spiritual awareness, sincerity and courage above any other "help" that might be "needed".
peace to you - rick