In January of this year, I wrecked my first car. It was a 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan LE. I totaled that thing beyond any form of repair. No one was hurt, but what was hard on me was that I knew until I got another car, going to church wasn’t possible. For a while, I was lost without that weekly conviction. I craved the environment where everyone was peaceful and glad to serve the Lord, and I missed the sermons that used to tug on my heart. For a while, it felt like my faith was circling a drain. I was praying and reading my Bible, but something just felt off. Nothing about God felt right, and for the first time since getting saved, I didn’t feel His presence in my life.
I had become accustomed to seeing God EVERYWHERE; in my studies, in my music, my life, my actions, and I was used to seeing the sunset from my kitchen window and imagining God as this powerful artist behind a canvas, just painting nature. God was everywhere. And then, just like that, I didn’t feel it anymore. My prayers were prayed with a doubtful heart. At the time, I was studying other religions and talking to people of other faiths to better understand what they believe. And the more I studied in this rut of faith, the more I thought, “Where is God? Where has He gone?”
In Matthew 4, Jesus embarks on a 40-day journey through the desert on the outskirts of Jerusalem and more specifically on Mount Quarantania. While he’s out there, he’s fasting and praying, already suffering because, remember, Jesus was human. Satan knew that Jesus was hungry and tired, so he went out to tempt him. Satan said, “You’re the Son of God! Turn these stones to bread.” Jesus, despite his hunger, resisted. Two more times, Satan tempts Jesus, but Jesus never gave in. He resisted until the very end. And once it was over, God sent angels to him with bread and told him to eat. I can’t be positive, but I’m willing to guess that that bread was probably like New York pizza by today’s taste standards.
Now, God didn’t send Satan after Jesus. God actually sent angels out with Jesus to protect him and watch over him. He knew Satan was coming, but he did not send for him. He didn’t say, “Go tempt Jesus. Make it hard on him.” He simply knew it was coming, so God protected him and kept him strong when hunger and fatigue were overwhelming him.
My grandmother, last month, lost her entire check when her money fell out of her pocket. She said, “I don’t understand why the Lord would have that happen.” Often, we hear the questions of, “Why does God make things happen?” or “Why is my life so hard and bitter if God is real and is supposed to love me?” “Why can I not go to church?” God can prevent things from happening, but He doesn’t cause them. So why not prevent them?
Why would a teacher not test his students at the end of their study material? Why would soldiers, firefighters, or policemen not go through training and conditioning before being called to duty? Does a professional athlete eat junk food and watch television for the weeks leading up to the first game of the season? If all this is the case, then why shouldn’t God test us just to see what we know? How else do we know what areas of our faith or our knowledge need to improve?
So many people are lost and blaming God. “God, why did you let me wreck?” “God, why did you let my house burn down?” “Why did you let my child get sick?” “Why did you let my mother die?” Shouldn’t the question be, “Satan, when will you go away?” It’s easy to blame God when He is so almighty and so powerful… Unfortunately, Satan also has power. One day, he will be defeated. The tears will be wiped away, and there will be no more pain. But until then, will we continue to allow God to be our scapegoat?
Maybe you’ve been tested and tried, and you’ve been blaming God. Maybe you’re lost and looking for answers. But know that God is not to blame. He is the comfort when we mourn, the light when it’s dark, the food when we hunger, and He is the answer to everything. Satan is the answer to pain; God is the answer for healing and guidance.
Ask yourself… Who’s really to blame? If it’s for healing, for strengthening, for love, for acceptance, for grace, for mercy, for comfort… Then, you can blame God.