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A minister once relayed a conversation he had one day with a female medical assistant in a doctor’s office, as he was waiting to see the doctor. The woman recognized him because she had occasionally attended his church, though she was a member of another church.
“I want to tell you about my experience,” she said. “I got saved in the Assemblies of God Church … I gave my life to God … and guess what? … Life tumbled in! I developed a heart problem. My husband lost his executive job … and he recently died of cancer.”
The minister says he tried to mumble a few theological sounding explanatory words about God’s mysterious ways, thinking that was what the woman wanted. But she went right on with her story, indicating that she had repeatedly asked God, “Why me?” “And what do you think God told me?” she continued. “‘Why not you?’ That’s what God said. ‘Why should you be spared all the crises of life that everyone else must go through?'” Then she wound up her story saying, “One day I said to God, ‘Lord, you’ve forgiven me. Now I forgive you.'”
It might seem the height of arrogance to say that we are “forgiving” God for anything, but in my way of thinking, this woman was on to something. I think her faith is great and that it is not just a series of theological propositions, it was far more: is a relationship, and as in all relationships, it is one that changes and can tolerate challenges. It is vital because it is honest. After all, we’ve all been angry at God many times for things that happen to us or those we love. We can choose to fume over those things, or accept that fact that God knows better than we do and that we can full trust Him for one thing: that He will only and always do what is best for us. Even then, we may need to “forgive” Him rather than let our anger and bitterness consume and destroy us.
PRAYER: While we know that we really have nothing to forgive You for, I am thankful that You understand and can handle our disappointment in Your decisions from time to time. Keep us from the anger and bitterness that would keep us from relationship with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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