I am reading my third Francis Chan book, Crazy Love, and though I have yet to finish it I came across a few quotes that I love. Chan has a way of being honest like no other writer I have read before. Below is one of the quotes I am talking about.
Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?
This is a deep and serious question. This questions doesn’t just touch on the simple things like not getting a job or the love of your life leaving you. This question goes to the deepest parts of our sorrow and pain. These questions apply to the times when we lose loved ones or are devastated by some other great loss.
With that in mind let us reexamine and reword the question. Lets instead ask this, “Can you worship a God that allows your child/husband/wife/parent/grandpa/grandma to suffer a great amount of time and then die with no semblance of dignity?” This is a question that many people have to ask. We are tempted to answer a quick and simple “yes” or “no” without thinking about it. Its anything but a simple “yes” or “no”. For one to come to a conclusion you must work through the idea or equation to come to an answer.
For example, in math class at school I was always told to show my work. It was not good enough to simple put the answer down. I could have easily cheated and taken someone else’s answer or just guessed and gotten it right. However, when required to show my work the teacher was able to see my thought process played out on paper. The teachers could see that I had to think about the answer, not just blindly put down what I thought was the right one.
The same thing applies to this question. If you simple answer, “yes” or “no” without really working through it you will soon find yourself lost and wondering if God is really good. This isn’t always bad. Sometimes we need horrible situations to occur in our lives to MAKE us work through this question. We see this happen to Job in chapters 38-42.
Job is known for being a godly man that both feared and loved God. In the story Satan doesn’t think that Job will still worship God if all the good things he has are taken away. So the Lord allows Satan to take what Job has. His family, his property, etc. Though Job never gives up on God he does begin to question God. Then in chapters 38-42 we see God tell Job to put his big boy pants on. If Job wants to question God He is more than happy to answer but Job won’t like the rebuke. From chapter 38 thru 42 we see God rebuke Job for doubting His goodness. Job then repents for doubting.
I think when Chan wrote this question he knew it would be hard one to answer. Its not meant to be simple, its made to make you think. Can you worship a God that doesn’t have to explain Himself? Can you worship a God that you must have faith in that He is good?
For me its sometimes hard to trust that all things work out for His glory. I know His is good and when I begin to doubt I pray for guidance, wisdom and a pair of big boy pants because I know its hard to hear but I need to hear Him say,
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
(Job 38:12-15 ESV)