Something. Something they (we, I) don’t have at the given moment in time.
And God provides. In fact it is one of His names (as well as a place) in the Old Testament (Jehovah-Jireh).
But there are times He does not provide as we wish- and yet loves us and out of love does or does not allow us access as we may deeply desire.
Make no mistake, we have access to Him, His love and His grace whenever we are willing to surrender our own little kingdom and false deity to Him.
THIS is the dilemma many find themselves in and from it alone decide they have found (or been found) by the real, genuine God Who is (“I AM”) —or that this spirituality is all an illusion, a sort of mental/emotional “suggestion” brought on by others, by circumstance, by wishful thinking and a sick UNreality, a cruel untruth not worth spending time, thought or effort on.
All this, at times, on the basis of what they did or did not “get” when they desired, gave their all, expected, perhaps even prayed for whatever it was they wanted for themselves or their loved ones.
In several of his amazing letters written to believers the apostle Paul writes about crushing moments and gives his own view (and I think rightly) of often horrid moments.
Consider just two such passages:
First- 2 Corinthians 1
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
GK- Paul does not say God is not merciful though the pain was apparently extreme for him and those with him. Yet he writes it is for other’s comfort that we sometimes suffer though this is not a welcome truth nor what any of us would enjoy. Some may say it’s a cop-out, a false excuse for suffering. Some are bitter to the point of chucking God, faith and a whole lot of people right out of their life as a result of the pain involved in relationship and the burdens of this fallen world, sin, sickness and natural disasters. But there is another aspect of extreme importance:
12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
GK- Wow. Check the heart-attitude, the dna, the m.o. in Paul and his fellow ministers, their focus on the character/nature of Jesus and considering the Christians in Corinth while going through devastating trials. This is mature spirituality 101 and I dare say I have not reached it nor have plenty of my fellow believers. God help us grow up!!
I will finish with one of Paul’s summary comments on life often laced with pain, disappointment and injustice in which he offers more sane reason to the matter, just a few chapters up in the same letter:
2 Corinthians 4
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you.
13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The old preachers said “No cross, no crown”. If we are not willing to -be- faithful when persecuted, and if we only follow God when we get what -we- consider FULL ACCESS to whatever it is we are requesting, we (as I have often and shall often repeat) are effectively our own false God.
I will never lie to people by telling them “Come to Jesus and all your pain and struggle will end” because it just isn’t true. You may lose a boatload of friends, get fired from your job, neighbors and family think you have fully lost your mind, even others you thought solid Christians be somehow insulted at your desire to follow Jesus according to His Word… for many think that fanatical and stupid.
Welcome to the real world. Welcome to dying kingdoms vs. the only eternal one, with the only eternal King Who will eventually roll this world up like a scroll. The question is not “Where is God?” The question in all this is: “Where are you?”
Things to consider when you don’t get the access you believe you should.
Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn