June 2010

Fifth In Five-Week Series on “The Problem Of Evil and Suffering

There once was a young college studentwho’d recently graduated and desperately wanted to be sold out toGod.  So, he went into his room, sat down in the middle of thefloor, took out a piece of construction paper and began cutting out theletters “L-E-T G-O-D.”

After finishing, he stuck each 6”-highletter on the back of his dorm room door with some wadded-up pieces ofscotch tape.  Then, he sat back down with a legal pad and penand began writing down everything he was willing to do for or surrenderto God.  When he finished, he bowed his head, closed his eyesand waited—somehow expecting there to be some inward affirmation orvisible acknowledgement of God’s approval.

But, nothing happened.

He didn’t feel anything.  Hedidn’t see anything.  It was like the heavens were closed andGod’s ear unhearing.

So, he wadded up his list and startedall over again.  And, then, he once again bowed his head,closed his eyes and waited.

But, nothing happened.  He didn’t feel any different.

In frustration and increasing despair,he jumped up, ran out of the room, slamming the door behindhim.  For several hours he wandered around outside pleadingwith God to show him some hidden sin in his life that was preventinghim from being totally sold out.

But, nothing happened.  No clap of thunder orlightning bolt.  No earthquakes.  No loud voice fromHeaven.  Nothing.

In dejection he slowly walked back intohis room, quietly closing the door and fell in a heap in the floor,weeping profusely.  But, shortly thereafter he looked up atthe door and began to laugh—for suddenly he discovered the “secret” for “letting God.”

What was it?

When he’d previously run out of the roomand slammed the door, the “d” in God had fallen out, leaving theletters “L-E-T G-O.”

There it was.  The Answer:  “Let go.”

Surrender.  Positiverelinquishment, not passive resignation.  Trusting God to beGod and resting in the assurance that He loves you and will use EVERYTHING in yourlife—both good and bad—for your good and His Glory (Romans 8:28).

Even pain and suffering.  Evendeath.

Although Job suffered tremendous anguishof mind and agony of soul through his physical afflictions and “friends’”accusations, he still retained his faith and said “Though He slay me, yet will Itrust Him” (13:15a).  He also went on to say “When he has tried me, I shallcome forth as gold” (23:10b).

Even though he couldn’t understand whyeverything was happening to him and even though he sank down deep indespair when “the thinghe greatly feared—the death of his children— came upon him”(2:1-25), he still trusted God.

Likewise, even though Elihu laterrebuked him for his self-righteous attempts to vindicate himself(35:1-16). . .and even though God Himself reminded him of Who He is andwhat He has done (38:1-39:30; 40:6-41:34), which caused Job to “cease talking, abhor himself andrepent in dust and ashes” (40:4-5; 42:6). . .he still knewGod loved him and was working behind the scenes in his life.

Thankfully, Job’s story had a happyended (42:7-17).  And, so shall ours as we “let God be God by letting go andletting God.”  Suffering is inevitable;faith/trust isn’t.  That’s why it’s important for us to cometo Him in childlike faith and absolute surrender.  Only thenwill we sense His Presence with us and have His Peace in ourpain.  And, only then can we live today with hope and face thefuture without fear.  God bless you.

(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-maildevotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box582, Coushatta, LA  71019 or e-mail him atpressingon@hotmail.com).