Several articles are making the rounds on social media lately claiming that God is not in the details of our lives. Instead, the difficulties we are going through are of our own and others’ making and God has no part of them.
This belief is based on faulty reasoning. The idea that we are unable to separate causality from God’s involvement is foolish. Yes, often our experiences are caused by someone’s poor choices. (Often our own poor choices!) However, it does not then follow that God is not still involved in a very detailed and intimate way.
Heavenly Father placed us here on earth to learn to choose for ourselves and often we choose poorly, which leads to negative experiences for ourselves and others.
In my own life, these negative experiences have taught me the most about God’s love for all mankind, even the wrong-doer. When I turn to God during difficulties, I discover new compassion for someone who has wronged me, and I discover how deeply God cares for each of his children.
When I turn to God during struggles, I learn the trust and belief He has in my ability to overcome. I also learn to trust to His purposes. There IS a purpose to suffering. There IS a purpose to every, single life experience we have.
What kind of God would only be present for the cupcakes and rainbows of life? My God is there in the trenches of life’s battles. He is beside me, holding my dirty broken spirit and comforting my tears of sorrow.
I find the idea that somehow, we are incapable of holding complex, seemingly contradictory, evidence in our minds as we process this earthly experience insulting to our intelligence. We are children of GOD. Yes, sometimes we hurt each other as we learn how to choose wisely. Yet, that is when God is most present!
Think about it. As a parent, when my children are arguing and getting angry with one another, that is when I am most involved in helping to smooth things over, helping my children to see another’s point of view, and teaching them the lessons of compassion, patience, and sometimes endurance.
Let’s talk about the other concept behind this idea that God is not in the details of our lives.
God has placed us here to learn and to choose our own path and other than the really big decisions, mostly we are left to ourselves.
How rejoiced must Satan be with such a mindset! If Satan can get us to shrug and say, “Well, God watches over us from a distance.” How much easier for us to then slip into, “God is far away and unaware of me, so why bother trying to pray?” or “I’m not important enough for God to care about me.” or “This is such a small problem compared to the problems in the world, God doesn’t want to hear about this.”
Scriptures (Matthew 10:29-30) tell us that God is aware of the fall of a sparrow and has counted the very hairs of our heads, yet we would presume to say that He is not concerned in the details of our lives?
Who makes the decision as to which decisions are big enough to take to God? You? This seems a bit presumptuous to me. Who, am I, in my limited, mortal understanding to dictate to God what I will and will not consult with Him about?
“Yeah, sorry about that Lord, I know the scriptures have counseled me to turn to Thee in all things, but I figure you’ve got enough on your plate and can’t handle anything more, so I’ll take this one.”
God is our Heavenly Father and loves us. As a mother, I want to know every detail of my children’s lives. Unlike myself, God can actually be present in every detail and situation.
Even in the extremity of His suffering on the cross, Jesus shows His attention to the details of our lives. In John 19: 25-27, we read:
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold they mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
If, during the agony of His crucifixion, our Lord and Savior took the time to assign one of His disciples the care of His mother, then we can safely trust that He will take care of the details of our own lives.
Benjamin Franklin re-phrased an adage going back to at least the thirteenth century when he wrote:
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
We need to be sure and pray about the nails in our own lives, so that we are prepared when the battles occur.