MORE: Discovering the God of More When Life Gives You Less
In his book MORE Perez discusses how despite the grief that strikes us every day, we must remember God is looking after us.
Excerpt from Chapter Five: Cold & Rainy
Storms hit all of our lives. Now, I am not predicting that a storm is coming and I am not watching for a storm on the horizon. Storms just come. When Katrina hit New Orleans, it wasn’t because New Orleans was a sinful city—if that were the case, why didn’t it hit Las Vegas instead? When the tidal wave hit Japan in 2011, it wasn’t because God doesn’t like the Japanese people or that they had somehow brought the calamity upon themselves. When the airliners hit the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, it wasn’t because the victims deserved it any more than a child stepping on a land mine in Cambodia is being punished for something she did.
We live in a world where bad things happen to people whether they deserve it or not. We live in a world of less. Whatever the insurance companies might call these, they are not “acts of God.” They are random occurrences that happen in a world corrupted by sin, and that corruption does have repercussions, but not because some people deserve it more than others. God is not the cause, but He is the cure.
In the book of John, Jesus is asked an insightful question. When He and His disciples come across a man who was born blind, the disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). Jesus’ answer is, in a nutshell, “Neither” (John 9:3), “but,” as I might paraphrase it, “as long as we are here, we might as well heal him.”
Jesus wasn’t looking for whom to blame, but instead wanted to see that “the works of God should be revealed in him [the blind man]” (John 9:3). My paraphrase would be, “Neither of them sinned, but this happened so that the God of More can show up!” God didn’t cause the man to be born blind; it just happened. But when the man connected with Jesus, He was more than willing to heal him. What Jesus is saying here is that it isn’t about the cause, it is about the cure.
God didn’t cause any of the things that were happening to us any more than He was responsible for Lazarus dying. But whether or not Lazarus was brought back to life again, Mary and Martha were better off for having Jesus with them. Jesus was touched by both their grief and their faith. More than being a God of solutions, He is a God of compassion. He cares enough to be with us in our tragedies and storms and to connect with us in both our lowest and highest moments. The solutions don’t always come the way we want, and sometimes that leaves us with big “Why?” questions. But He always comes when we seek Him with our whole hearts.
More from Beliefnet