What if I disagree with God?
It STILL hurts. Surprisingly so. One moment I was reading through Acts 6-7 and the next, I was quietly weeping over events from 5 1/2 years ago. Obviously, my heart is still struggling with God choosing differently in regard to a lost opportunity we faced as a family. There is no denying it- I could not fathom His reasoning nor could I fake agreeing with Him.
I have always said that though I’m not an intelligent person, I am a logical one. I know it is unrealistic (not to mention unbiblical) but I like it when “life” and might I add God, makes sense to me.
Back then I found myself pleading “WHY NOT, Lord?! Why couldn’t this have worked out?!” and those same words echoed again today.
Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some from what is called the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and disputed with Stephen. But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking. Acts 6:8-10 HCSB
Reading about how wonderful Stephen was and then knowing the end result (his martyrdom) conjured up those old feelings.
Why did You choose that for him? Why would You cut short His potential and opportunity?
In my mind, his death was premature. He was not able to reach his full potential nor was the kingdom able to reap the extent of a long term ministry from him. Stephen had so much to offer. I can’t help but think of what life would have been like had he been given more time on earth.
It seems like such a …….. waste.
If I am honest, that word can really stick in my craw. I just can’t make sense of it. This shows me how I have not fully processed my own grief. For this, I’m grateful because it reveals my vulnerability that can give the devil a foothold.
How so? Because I can get “stuck” in this place of disappointment as I allow this moment of disagreeing with God to develop into something worse- temptation.3 Temptations to avoid and 2 lessons to learn for when you cannot understand God's reasoning nor agree with Him choosing differently. Click To Tweet
3 Temptations From When I Disagree With God
- Confusion leading to obsession
- Grief leading to despair
- Resignation leading to resentment
My logic tries desperately to understand God’s will. That is where I can get trapped in the miry clay of my own reasoning. I begin to dwell upon the matter, thinking that surely there is some manner of sense to it if I can just figure it out. When this happens, Proverbs 3:5-6 MSG immediately comes to mind as God instructs me on how to process my frustration.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Once before, God showed me how an explanation would never be enough to satisfy my pain from when His decisions disagree with mine. He brought back to my memory the times I had held my child for the nurse to give them their vaccinations. If I could have logically explained to my precious child how I was holding them down to experience pain for the future benefit of being immune to disease, it would not have mattered. Their little two-year-old brain couldn’t have understood the benefit/purpose of their pain just as I could not fathom the greater purpose in our pain.
God gives just the right Scripture to address my confusion when I come to Him. Striving on my own to make sense of heartache only ensures my grief turning into despair. I begin to sink into the futility of life out of my control. This verse in Proverbs helps me recognize that though life may be out of my control, it is NEVER out of God’s sovereign control. I am comforted in knowing that He does not waste any of my pain, that it isn’t random or meaningless. If He allows it then it must truly be valuable in some way.
Without this mindset, my resignation over events in life contrary to my liking can quickly escalate to resentment. I noticed at one point even a subtle layer of anger creeping into my heart. It felt like the “waste” of what could have been for our family was becoming a root of bitterness in me. That was when Job came to mind.
Job’s downfall was trying to make sense of what wouldn’t make sense, especially to the one suffering, this side of heaven. He did not curse God or stop believing but he did “demand” an accounting over what had happened. As God answered him, he was utterly humbled and recognized his mistake, as did I.
I remember the moment well when I was still struggling to make sense of the lost opportunity, even after many months. God suddenly popped the question into my mind, “Gretchen, can you walk this path because you love Me?”
It caught me off guard but I latched onto the concept and pondered it. I thought to myself, “Though I don’t think I can be at peace with this heartache because it seems like such a waste, I think I can out of the sheer fact that I love You. Yes, THAT makes sense to me. I can do that.”
God doesn’t owe me anything except His righteous judgment but for the blood of Jesus Christ. Job learned that he didn’t follow God out of what HE deserved from it but out of what God deserved. There’s a big difference and it offers me freedom from any resentment I may feel.Learning how to trust God when the life He ordains doesn't make sense. #walkingbyfaith #shebelieves #assurance #whynotLord #peace Click To Tweet
Just as time yielded the fruit of faith in Job’s life, so it would for me/us over our circumstances. God offers another verse to explain how to process life when I don’t agree with what is happening.
Now I’m sure of this: the sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 Voice
2 Things I Learned
- I can accept moments where I don’t agree with God’s choices because I don’t need to fully comprehend His reasoning in order to trust Him.
- I can walk this path because I love Him.
So I take this opportunity from reading about Stephen’s life to process my own, recognizing that pain needs time to heal and there are no mistakes in God’s kingdom. Though I may not understand God nor always agree with His decisions, I am ALWAYS surrounded by His love and faithfulness. It just may be in heaven before I truly grasp the full measure of this.
Until then, I will keep following hard because I know, He is worth it!
Here is one of my favorite songs for times such as these.