DayBreaks for 10/10/17: Confidence Builders
From the DayBreaks archive:
Patrick O’Boyle once recalled the late-1940s Hyde Park “Speakers’ Corner” appearances of Frank Sheed, a Catholic author and publisher, with these words:
“Sheed could be devastating with hecklers. Once, after Sheed had described the extraordinary order and design to be seen in the universe, a persistent challenger retorted by pointing to all the world’s ills, and ended shouting, “I could make a better universe than your God!”
“I won’t ask you to make a universe,” Sheed replied. “But would you make a rabbit—just to establish confidence?”
I suppose much of the human problem stems from the crazy idea that we could do things better than God. We think we would make a world where there was no evil, no pain, no suffering; a universe where there are no hurricanes or stars that go super-nova – in short, we just think we could do better than God in just about everything.
Have you ever really stopped to think how stupid such a thought is? We who are as finite as a speck of sand in the entire universe are so proud and pretentious as to think we actually know better than God. Hogwash!
But when it comes to my own life, I’m really prone to think such things. “God, having me suffer deprivation isn’t good for me.” “God, there no good reason for what just happened to me!” “God, I’m a faithful child of Yours, and things like this just aren’t right!”
Maybe, when we have learned enough from life that we can see the interaction and inner-connectedness of every human thought and every human action on every other human, we would begin to get the tiniest bit of understanding about why things happen. And, if we could see the eternal salvation that has come to who-knows-how-many-souls through hardship (which is usually God knocking on the top of our skull trying to get our attention!), we might think differently.
At a Bible study I was teaching this past week, we were discussion Joseph and the period of time that he was left rotting in the prison after the cup-bearer was restored to his duties in the palace of Pharaoh. It doesn’t seem fair to Joseph. How could the cup-bearer forget the man who had interpreted his dream? But, he did. I’m convinced we should see God’s hand in that rather than just mere human frailty and forgetfulness. Did Joseph have to learn more patience? Did he need to learn to trust God more? (Remember that Joseph had no inkling whatsoever that he would soon be the #2 man in Egypt.) As I pondered those thoughts, another thought came to me: perhaps Joseph was left in the prison for another year or two (or longer) for the sake of some other human being, nameless and faceless and lost to humanity for about 3000 years now, who was also languishing in the prison?
God’s ways aren’t our ways – but God can make rabbits, elephants and entire universes in the blink of an eye. That should be a confidence builder for us to trust Him to know what is best for our individual lives!
PRAYER: Father, thank you for all the things you’ve done to give us confidence in you. Help us not to be so wise or smart in our own eyes that we think we can even begin to know better than you what is good for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.