Ok, second in my series of old-post re-visits. You can see the original here or you can read the context below:
The original post was basically asking the question, "how much of what 'happens' in the world is attributable to God - does chance exist? If not then how can we make sense of some of the things that happen in the world?"
The comments I received were extremely helpful. They pointed me to Job to see that God was sovereign in that situation. He had ultimate control. He didn't do those horrible things to Job, that was Satan, but God was in control of it.
I also made the following comment in my blog,
"I am toying with the thought that maybe, just maybe, this is supposed to be a bit ambiguous. Maybe we are supposed to not really know exactly how much control God chooses to exert over the world in which we live. Would us knowing actually make any difference to the way we live? Surely, even if God does leave some things to chance, we can still pray about it, and trust that God knows which situations to take control of and which not to? It would help to know, (and maybe some people think that they do know the answer to this - maybe I am just a bit thick!), but I guess that its part of our responsibility to just trust despite the fact that things seems confusing. Its a case of choosing to trust despite the ambiguity"
My current thoughts about all this are that chance does not exist, in the sense that God ultimately does have control over everything. However, the reasons why He allows some things to happen, the reasons why he chooses to heal one person and not another, the reasons why He can let someone die without them being saved and so on and so on......... are still a bit ambiguous. Most people will know that I HATE Christian cliches. You all probably know as well as I do that the answer to why God chooses the things he does allow or not allow are 'always for our own good' or 'will strengthen us' or are 'because we have free will'. The reason why one person gets an answer to their prayer while the other one is waiting and waiting and waiting, is often answered with - 'God answers all prayers sometimes He says no or wait'. That makes me cross though, because it leaves out the way if makes people feel. It's putting a reasoned out conclusion to a person who is often severely hurting, and just wants to be able to cry and be cross about it. I think my final conclusion to this is that I would agree with my own statement - "Its a case of choosing to trust despite the ambiguity". Not necessarily trying to answer the 'why' question because that will almost always leave you unsatisfied, but instead choosing to cry, scream, shout, and then finally, to simply trust. Hard, but probably true! Interestingly, I believe this is what you people have been telling me all along! Ha ha!