Why Doesn't God Do Something?

for the week of January 14, 2002
by Rubel Shelly

Worry is a killer. Anxiety is a thief. Fear is a betrayer. Worry kills peace of mind, anxiety steals tranquility from the heart, and fear betrays both courage and hope. Yet someone would have to be a fool not to recognize that our world is filled with menacing and scary things! Right? So why doesn't God do something?

Terrorism is at work of late on every continent of our world. There are injustices perpetrated in public view practically every day. The persistent threat of things such as poverty, hunger, disease, and pain can drive one to the very brink of despair. So what is God's response to all these hazards?

In a commencement address at Pepperdine University School of Law last year, Michael Josephson told of a young man who was about to give way to despair in the face of life's dark side. He went to a place of worship and prayed: "Oh, Lord! I don't understand. How can you allow all this injustice, pain, and cruelty — and do nothing?" Sensing no reply, he repeated his lament in an audible voice. "God, how can you do nothing?"

Then he heard a tiny voice from somewhere behind him. It said, "God didn't ‘do nothing.' He made you!"

And that is God's word to and about you today. He put you here to make a difference in this imperfect and too often sinister environment. It isn't someone else's problem to address. It's my problem. And yours. God will turn us into his instruments and do something to make things better — if we will cooperate.

If yours is one of those dog-eat-dog work environments, you can stop your own barking and biting. Others just might follow suit. If not, you have still done what God wanted you to do. You can model a healthier spirit that honors the Lord.

If your family is living under a pall of darkness, sadness, and rancor, break the cycle. Don't wait for someone else to change or behave differently. Take the initiative with kindness, gentleness, and pardon. Drain off some of the poisonous atmosphere by doing something more constructive than accusing or blaming.

If you need a healthier spiritual atmosphere, either find a way to initiate it in your present situation or find a new setting where grace overshadows guilt and forgiveness trumps failures. Souls cannot thrive on abuse and trepidation.

God hasn't left you to your circumstances. He has given you the power to chose new paths and do affirming things. Is God urging you to "do something"?



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