Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What Is God Doing Up There?

My friend Kevin attends a Catholic church. He told me that on Palm Sunday his church did not provide the normal children’s classes because they were having a special mass. That meant that Kevin’s four-year old son sat during the entire service between Kevin and his wife.

The mass was about an hour and a half long. Kevin said that his four-year old son had been great for about an hour and fifteen minutes of the mass and then he started to get tired and restless. At the one hour and twenty minute mark, the four-year old looks up to the front where the priest in his robes has his hands up in the air saying something and the little boy says with a stage whisper sigh, “What is God doing up there?”

How many times have we felt like that tired little boy. Life’s tedious, mundane, and somewhat obscure circumstances take place and sometimes we sigh, “What is God doing up there?” Or conversely, life is assaulted by tragedy or terror and we cry, “What is God doing up there?”

It’s a legitimate question. I believe there are good answers. However, I’m nowhere close to knowing what all those answers are to all of life’s questions. God doesn’t always tell.

Why the senseless shooting rampage at Virginia Tech? Why the seemingly endless strife among Iraqi factions? Why did my friend’s wife have an affair with another man and leave her husband? Why is my hardworking and talented friend unemployed, again, for the third time in three years and now facing bankruptcy? I could go on.

In my experience God has sometimes answered those questions for me and sometimes He hasn’t. I’ve also learned that God is always more forthcoming with a different question. “God, what do you want me to do in light of what’s going on down here?”

God does not always respond to “why” questions. I’m learning to trust that it is because of His wisdom and love for me that He doesn’t always answer “why” questions. God usually does answer the “what do you want me to do” questions because that is a primary way that He changes my life.

He may want me to pray for someone’s hurt or need. He may want me to give my money toward something. He may want me to put my heart and compassion at work in someone’s circumstance. All of this serves to change me and form my life into something more like Him.

What is God doing up there? Caring. Grieving. Loving. Guiding. Providing. Correcting. Judging. Disciplining. Working. Delighting. Redeeming. And infinitely more than I can imagine.

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