Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God is All-Powerful.

When explaining this characteristic, Chan goes straight to scripture, referencing Colossians 1:16:
"...all things were created by [God] and for [God]." However, Chan's view on how some of us...dare I say, many of us...acknowledge this divine characteristic, is a much needed reality check.

"Don't we live instead as though God is created for us, to do our bidding, to bless us, and to take care of our loved ones? Psalm 115:3 reveals, 'Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.' Yet we keep questioning Him: 'Why did you make me with this body, instead of that one?' 'Why are so many people dying of starvation?'... The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He's God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving." p. 33

I think that calling this a reality check might be a severe understatement. For me, it's more like a slap in the face! I recently found myself asking one of these very questions when I was in Nicaragua. When first entering La Chureca, I was brought to tears. The picture at the top of this posting was taken during our tour of the dump. These four homes represent the typical living conditions. I had never seen such poverty in my life. As hard as I tried to contain my tears, I couldn't.
Now that I've had more time to process my thoughts and emotions on that day, I've come to realize two things. First, my heart broke to see children living in such horrific squalor. Children should feel safe. They should be fed, clothed, protected. Since leaving La Chureca, I have asked myself 100 times, at least, "Why?" Why would God allow these children to live like this? Why not me? One of the women on the trip summed it up pretty well. She said that the answer lies in the fact that "We will go." We are willing to help them. We are willing to leave the safety of our homes, the comfort of our familes to do whatever we can to help these children.
However, this dovetails into the second thing I learned during my time at La Chureca. I'm not living my life the way God wants me to. Some people equate God's "all-powerful" characteristic to that of a chess game, where our life here on Earth is God's game and we are merely pawns for his enjoyment. Others see this "all-powerful" characteristic as proof that God doesn't exist. Their rationale is based on the fact that bad things happen in this world and if God truly existed, He wouldn't allow such atrocities. But here lies the truth, my friends. God is all-powerful. And, yes, he does allow the most unspeakable things to happen in this world. But, He has bestowed on us the awesome gift of Free Will. We all have a choice. We can sit back and watch these horrible things happen, thankful that we are so undeservingly fortunate to live where we live and how we live. Or, we can stand up and prove ourselves worthy of serving an all-powerful God. Think of it as a parent watching a child suffer through a difficult decision. We want so desperately for our children to make the right decision. But, ultimately, it's their choice to make. Sometimes, they make the wrong decision, and we still love them. Sometimes, they make the right decision and we are more than eager to say "Well done!"
During the last night of our missions trip, I shared with the group that my greatest desire is to hear those words when my time here on Earth is complete: "Well done, my good and faithful servant." The problem, however, is that I don't feel deserving of such accolades. And, if I keep living my life this way, I won't.
Those that know me, understand that I hold myself to a very high standard...which I blame on my parents! Many times, friends have pointed out that I'm too hard on myself, citing that I do more than most people...but here's the thing: I don't compare myself to other people. I'm only driven by the conviction God places on my heart.
I found this youtube clip yesterday and I think it really speaks to what I've posted here...and it just so happens to be from Francis Chan!

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