Posted by: matt25 | December 18, 2010

If God Is God, I Am Not In Charge

A few weeks ago I responded to a facebook thread which was a discussion between a few atheists and Christians about the existence of Jesus.  I don’t wish to discus that and mention it only to provide the context for  this blog  as it was brought back to my attention today and it evoked the following response.

My granddaughter died last week and I am brokenhearted.  My sorrow has been debilitating and it is a heavy presence over my every waking moment.  I prayed for her to be born healthy, but at 28 weeks her little heart stopped beating.  I can’t begin to describe the depth of pain that my family and I are living through. I have a friend whose daughter was kidnapped and murdered even though  I and hundreds of others prayed for her safety.  I could go on and on.  I don’t understand the why of it at all.  But, in spite of all this and even after reading what Trixie said, I still have a personal relationship with my savior Jesus Christ.

There were other instances that what I prayed for worked out as I asked.  As for inexplicable circumstances.  I personally know of a young man who was miraculously healed and brought back from the brink of death.  I know of a young girl whose extremely poor vision was miraculously corrected.  One day coke bottle lenses, the next 20/20 vision.  My Aunt witnessed a miraculous multiplication of hosts at communion.  I could go on and on here as well.

I think that one of the issues many people encounter in the struggle of whether to believe or not believe in God can be traced to an understanding of prayer and what it means to have prayer answered.  We might, and many do, think that having prayer answered is all about affecting the outcome of a certain situation by asking God to make it go the way we want it to.  But intercessory prayer is only one small aspect of prayer.  To think that is all there is to it is to reduce God to some kind of cosmic pet that we have control over, and can demand to jump through hoops and expect God to comply.  In this view we are greater than God and if God does not comply it is proof of God’s nonexistence.

But the opposite is true, if God made everything go as we demanded and we were the masters of God, God could not be God, but would be something less than we are as humans.  So the fact that God “appears” not to answer our prayers at times is not proof that God does not exist, rather it leaves open the possibility that there is a God who we can not exert control over and have dominion over.  It argues that there might be a God that is so far above us as humans that we cannot hope to fully understand the ins and outs of divine response to prayer.

I was drawn back to this thread today because someone “liked” my earlier comment.  Perhaps it was just a coincidence but perhaps it was something more.  If nothing else, a chance for me to wrestle with my personal pain.  I  do not think it is up to me to convince anyone of the reality that underlies my faith.  Each person who reaches rational adulthood must choose their own path in this messy world full of flawed human beings who, like it or not, all have free will and make decisions that all impact upon each other.  For none of us lives alone.  We are in community with each other for better or worse.  This world is chaotic.  It is difficult.  It is filled with pain and intolerance and hatred.  It is also filled with healing, and compassion, heroic acts of sacrifice, joy, and understanding.  So believe or don’t believe, it is your free choice to make.

As for me and my house.  We will serve the Lord.



  1. […] injury at 28 weeks I wrestled with God about my prayers for a healthy baby which I wrote about in If God Is God, I Am Not In Charge.  As I held Brooke I could not understand how anyone could claim it was okay to choose to kill her […]

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