O Me of Little Faith

God created Adam and Eve to love him and serve him. He put them in a lovely garden. They failed to follow the one rule he gave them, so he kicked them out and closed down the garden experiment.

God chose Noah to survive a catastrophic flood, because Noah was the patriarch of the one righteous family left on earth. After drying out the ark, Noah failed to live up to that righteousness when he planted a vineyard and got drunk. Drunk Noah ended up exposing his, er, olive branch to one of his kids. Family values.

God chose the people of Israel to worship him and represent him to the nations of the world. They failed to represent him very well when they decided to worship, instead, a golden cow.

God wanted the Israelites to trust him for his provision by giving them manna and quail for food. They failed to be properly grateful, and complained about God’s provision because, seriously, who wants to eat that much manna?

God chose Samson to be the judge of his people and bring them back to faith, giving him superpowers and a long-haired secret weapon. He failed to use those powers properly and failed to keep his secret when pressured by his super-hot girlfriend.

God chose David to be the king of Israel. David failed to act either kingly or godly when he stole a peek at Bathsheba’s bubbles, got her pregnant, and then offed her husband.

God chose Elisha to be his prophet after Elijah died. Elisha failed to represent the Almighty very well when he used his prophetic prowess for personal gain. If, by personal gain, you mean using a couple of she-bears to maul some boys who had teased him about being bald.

God sent Jesus. Jesus chose Judas Iscariot to be his disciple and learn the ways of the kingdom of God. Judas failed to understand most of that kingdom stuff and sold Jesus out for a few silver coins.

Jesus chose Simon Peter to be his disciple. On the darkest night of Jesus’ life, Peter denied he even knew him…when pressured by a teenage servant girl.

Jesus failed to convince the rich young ruler to give up his possessions and follow him. Jesus failed to impress his hometown of Nazareth with his claims to be the Messiah. Jesus failed to fulfill the Jews’ expectations of what their Messiah should be and do. Jesus failed to convert the religious leaders to his revolutionary teachings.

Jesus failed to live past 33. Because the people he came to lead — and save — decided to kill him.

If anything, the Bible makes it clear that God the Father and Jesus Christ his son — who taught that the first would be last, and that the meek would inherit the earth — are well-acquainted with failure. God chooses people who fail. God uses failure to accomplish his purposes.

God is a God of failures.

Therefore, I have concluded that God is a fan of the Chicago Cubs. And the events of the past weekend have caused heaven to weep.

“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.” (A. Bartlett Giamatti in “The Green Fields of the Mind“)

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