God knows how to tend to the world’s problems | Church Corner

Does God has priorities? Why would God even need priorities? He gets everything just the way he wants it, right?

  • Thursday, February 9, 2017 11:29am
  • Life

Originally published Jan. 18, 2017

Does God has priorities?

Why would God even need priorities? He gets everything just the way he wants it, right? He has the wisdom to know how things ought to be, the power to bring it about and the authority to keep it that way. Lucky God.

And that’s exactly what gives us pause when we see something wrong or lacking in this world. “If God is really all-powerful and all-good, why doesn’t he prevent X bad thing from happening or make X good thing come about?” Whatever offending aspect of life we may have in view, we assume it can be fixed with no serious repercussions elsewhere. “If God is God, after all, He could do it.” Instead of pondering his sacred priorities, we assume he’s holding out on us.

A wonderful couple had chosen the perfect location for their house with woods off the backyard and a beautiful view to the east. They wanted everything to be perfect and having the necessary time, talent and resources, they began making it so. Their dream house had a chef’s kitchen; two-bay garage with separate, attached shop stocked with tools; oversized master with walk-in and built-ins; heated floors; separate hobby and rec rooms; golf-worthy lawn; flower garden with trellis, gazebo and water feature; and fancy electronics throughout. It was flawless.

And it stayed that way. Some nice places go to the dogs due to sloppy living. Not here. For three and a half years things were, for the most part, just as they wished them to be, envy of the neighborhood. Then year four came. The hobby room no longer functioned, shop wasn’t readily usable, garden was dead and the water had stopped flowing in the water feature. What happened?

Answer: they had adopted a 4-year-old and he became the new priority in their life. So the hobby room had been converted into a bedroom, dangerous tools locked up, water feature shut off (drowning hazard), a play structure was going in where the garden had been and, in general, things were getting messy. Good parents make tradeoffs – not because they’re powerless, but because the child needs its own measure of power; room and resources to grow and learn that would otherwise be used differently. Resources are sacrificed and freedoms restricted for a greater priority.

God has also made tradeoffs for a greater priority. You don’t have to strain your brain to recognize that a universe forced into perfection by his power can’t also provide true freedom to its inhabitants – it’s either going to be one way or the other, but not both.

From another viewpoint, imagine this same 4-year-old after a skinned knee, or a fight with a neighborhood kid demanding that, if his parents are good, they’ll never let these things happen again. A parent can’t isolate these two painful events from the bigger picture. This child would have to be protected from the outdoors (and all hard surfaces), from relationships and from personal responsibility. In other words, this protection would cost him nearly everything worth living for. Blood and scrapes affect the body, yes, but relationships, responsibility and interaction with the environment all affect the soul. No good parent would meet this 4-year-old’s demands, even if they could.

For more complex, yet very similar reasons, God, in his goodness, cannot grant us a world without pain and problems; the cost is simply too high. That perfect world we want? It’s waiting for us at the edge of forever, but for now, this present world is our nursery, our academy and our proving ground with all its challenges. Jesus joined us in the pain and problems, experienced them at their worst, overcame them and opened a doorway for us to that perfect world we yearn for.

All of that said, what could God possibly do better? Trust him! And the next time someone complains that God’s doing a poor job as ruler over this world’s circumstances, tell them they’ve missed the point: his role as father has always been his priority.

Steve Strombom writes from the Enumclaw Church of the Nazarene.

More in Life

Enumclaw welcomes new faces in schools, district office

Check out the new educators and other school staff.

Levy money to aid senior programs in Enumclaw, Black Diamond | King County

By 2040, more than a quarter of King County’s population will be seniors. Healthy lifestyles and social engagement are keys to living long and living well.

Program designed for families dealing with mental illness | Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation

The classes will focus on several different kinds of mental illnesses and the skills necessary to handle crisis situations, how to listen and communicate, and self-care for dealing with worry and stress.

Activities Program boasts big numbers, variety

The White River Communities Activities Program has activities for students in kindergarten through fifth grade all year long.

County animal services visiting local neighborhoods | Regional Animal Services of King County

All cats and dogs eight weeks or older in the RASKC service area are required to be licensed with King County.

Water birthing on the Plateau

Water birth is popular abroad but not yet widely available in the U.S.

Dive into the story of the average gig-employee

Your allowance was never enough, as a kid. Oh, sure, it bought… Continue reading

You’ll be up on your feet after reading ‘And Then We Danced’

You can’t stop your feet. They need to move, to tap-tap-tap, to… Continue reading

Proudly in defense of breastfeeding, in King County and everywhere | Public Health Insider

Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health—Seattle & King County, responded to the news that the United States government aggressively attempted to water down international support for breast-feeding through the World Health Organization.

My Favorite Martins

Steve Martin and Martin Short discuss bringing their two-man comedy extravaganza back to Seattle.

‘Bearskin’ is a thriller like no other

Sometimes, you just need to get away. Out of your element, far… Continue reading