My blog post for today got derailed. I had this inspiring little essay on how our dreams require hard work, but instead I’ve been pondering a recurring question.
You’re going to think this is crazy, but maybe I’m not alone.
I read this story about a woman whose marriage was pretty much over, but then miraculously she and her husband worked it out and learned to love again. It’s a story of victory and success. It offered hope that people can change and rebuild. But it brought a question back to me.
A few years ago I saw a movie about a family who survived a catastrophic incident beating insurmountable odds to finally all be reunited. It was beautiful. Amazing. And it left me sitting on the porch contemplating God.
Maybe you haven’t thought of this, and honestly I hesitate to bring it up, but here it is.
None of these people I’ve mentioned believed God helped them. So did they do it without him? How is it possible for drug addicts to rehabilitate without God’s help? Or cancer to mysteriously disappear? How did this woman find healing in her marriage? I’ve been told these things are the work of God so how are they occurring without him?
I feel guilty about these questions. I mean it’s not like I don’t want these great things to happen. It’s just that their apparent occurrence without God somehow brings into question all the times I said God helped me with this or that. I wasn’t just making that up.
Maybe I’ve been looking at it all wrong, though.
I see someone emerging from years of therapy healthier and happier and saying they did it all on their own, and I believe them. They get the credit.
Luck gets heralded as the reason the tree fell there and not here.
The system, the doctor, humanity. All those supposed miracles where no one’s praising God become the result of man or fate. And God’s not in the picture at all.
But that’s a lie.
Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above.
I’ve been letting that lady take the credit for her healed marriage, but who’s to say God wasn’t part of her miracle despite her disbelief. Maybe he brought healing to their love so they could perhaps one day understand the depths of his love for them.
I think I know where this all began. Somewhere I started thinking God doesn’t help people who don’t believe in him, but that’s ridiculous. One look at Jesus fixes that.
God heals the broken who don’t know him. He gives strength to the weak. He helps the lost. They don’t need to acknowledge him for that to be true. He’s reaching out to them.
So maybe they don’t give him the credit. That’s okay. It’s not the credit he’s after anyway.
God helps who he wants to. He knows what he’s doing. That makes sense.