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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How could a loving god...

I'm a Steelers fan. That's no surprise to those who know me. I live in Pittsburgh. Why people are shocked is beyond me. So, I watched the game with anticipation this past Sunday afternoon as the Buffalo Bills about took it to us; as a perfectly thrown ball fell through the hands of talented Buffalo player Stevie Johnson, wide open into the end zone during Overtime that should have ended the game and sent us home despondent had he caught it. I leapt for joy, and did the Steelers dance with my boys (we won't go into that). But then the humanity began to settle in as I watched Stevie sit on the sidelines dejected and defeated. We all have the ability to let our comrades down, don't we? It's a sick feeling.

Stevie has a twitter account and was very honest about his feelings after the game:

I think it's safe to assume he's not talking to his Receivers Coach...
Stevie has simply posted, for the world to see, a thought that is often too common in the human psyche: "If I speak highly of God often enough, He has the responsibility to make my life run smoothly." Or maybe, "If I honor God, He must honor me" I'm not saying these are the thoughts in Stevie's mind, just that it is an easy emotion to possess: entitlement.

I was reminded last Sunday in church that we read in Isaiah 53:10, "The Lord was pleased to crush" His son, and we think of the suffering Jesus endured. God, having the foresight to know what freedom and glory and victory would come from His Son being crushed, was pleased to do it!!! Now I don't believe this means the Father sat down with popcorn and watched as you and I are pleased with a good movie. But in times of great sadness, one can shed tears with a smile because of the HOPE that we have! God knew the outcome of this apparent tragedy. I've heard it said that "God allows what he hates to accomplish what He loves." (If I could remember who said that, I'd give a reference. When I can't recall, I just say it was John Piper.)

When you feel like crying out to God in frustration, remember two things:
1.) God can handle your anger.
2.) Jesus' suffering that God willed. Then compare that to a dropped football.


Dan Gross said...

Amen Aaron. I know I was taken aback when it was pointed out, and it's a shame when Christians make news for saying things that are ill-advised, but I love how Kurt Warner took the lead in responding in a Christian way: with grace. His @'s to Stevie, combined for easier reading:

@StevieJohnson13 Hey, man, we all have those moments! I had way too many of them... Keep ur head up, U will b on other side next time! I asked same thing when released in STL & benched 3 times, But then God did his thing... Be ready! Enjoy watching you play! Last thing... Keep representing the 'Lucky 13'!

BTW, the "God allows..." quote was from Joni Eareckson Tada (I'm no scholar, I googled it ;) and it is so true. The skeptics are keen to grasp tragedy and say "How does a God that supposedly loves us allow X to happen?" Well that's part of the answer. Only He knows the big picture, we only see our small role in it.

And lest it sound like I'm saying a football drop was a tragedy, no. It was a small mistake in a game. But it obviously meant a lot to Stevie...a moment you dream of since the days of playing playground football w/ friends. But he'll likely have learned more from having dropped the pass than he would have had he caught it. And I'd rather he learn it now while the Bills are fighting for draft position than a couple of years when they are fighting for playoff position...

Melody Joy King said...

A good word, Brother. A great book that has and still is helping me get my mind around this subject is "Trusting God Even When Life Hurts" by Jerry Bridges. Awesome truths from God's Word expounded upon beautifully and intelligently. I always come back to Job when I think about and wrestle against suffering. Mary Beth Chapman (Steven Curtis' wife) has an awesome quote on her blog that says "Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude." Oh that I would remain consistent in trusting and praising God in joy as well as sorrow. A work in progress I am, to be sure, thankful that God's not finished with me yet!:0) Many blessings to you and yours Brother.

Life Lived said...

amen to that..isn't funny how we make up our own spiritual equation:
loving God+giving Him face time=EASy life..
not quite,life usually gets harder..but you get His heart in return and that makes it so very worth it! great post...