Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Faith That Didn't Work

Facing deep disappoint in how God had ordered her circumstances, my friend seriously considered trying other religions. Her sorrow added weight to her voice as she bitterly told me, "Christianity doesn't work."

At that point, she needed compassion rather than theological discourse, and the Lord gave me enough sense to simply share her grief (Romans 12:15). In time, the Lord enabled her to accept her situation, and He restored her faith in Him without any assistance from me. He never granted her request, but He taught her to love and trust Him even when He chose not to meet her expectations.

Throughout the years since that painful conversation, her pronouncement that "Christianity doesn't work" has troubled me. I don't like the underlying attitude that following certain behaviors places the Lord under obligation to answer our prayers according to our specifications. Yes, I'm well aware of my own horrid attempts at manipulating God when John had cancer three years ago...and I feel great shame over my fist-shaking tirades against Him. Like my friend, I had to repent of wanting Christianity to "work."

Sometimes, the Lord kindly answers my prayers favorably, as He did by pulling John through his heart attack and cancer surgery. At other times, He chooses to disappoint  me in order to accomplish His greater will. In those hurtful times, He reminds me that He created me to serve Him. Whether Christianity "works" for me or not, may I be faithful to use my life for Him.

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