My son Jack has severe autism. If God could break through into our circumstances, why wasn’t he doing it now? Shouldn’t the King of the universe at least be fair?
This is the rock where so many of our ships wreck. It’s not really about miracles in the end, but about fairness. Equity. You don’t have to believe in the supernatural to feel a sense of cosmic wrongness around you. All it takes is a glimpse through someone else’s window—someone going through something really bad . . . or really good.
Either condition can arouse a protest:
“Lord, why did you make those people feel such suffering?”
“Lord, why did you bless those other people and not me?”
Some have tried to turn these discussions into mechanical, cause-and-effect relationships. You want to be blessed? Here’s how to be blessed. Pray these prayers and pray them this way; follow these steps and walk like me. God will answer your petitions as long as you follow the recipe.
Sometimes, it seems to work. The prayer is answered. The crisis ends, and the relationship heals. The fever passes, and the blessing comes. And when it comes, we think to ourselves, Maybe it really is that simple! Maybe if I follow this path, I will continue to be blessed!
Then the other shoe drops. The questions come. The broken thing refuses to be fixed, no matter how loud the praying or how right the living. Suddenly, all those outside assurances start to sour. From then on, it’s hard not to bristle at even benign displays of contentment or innocent proclamations of God’s generosity toward us.
“You think God’s blessed you with that promotion, do you? Well, congratulations on cracking the code.”
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