Wednesday, November 4, 2009

God Makes Mistakes

I generally refrain from posting anything on here about my relationship with God or my struggles with faith. However, I have had a light bulb moment recently and I really wanted to write about the truth I am just coming to realize.

God makes mistakes.

Now, stay with me here. I know this is not what we (especially me in the religion I was raised in) are taught to believe. But, this idea is one I have been playing around with for a while.

For a little background, I have always had issues with death. I guess mostly the finality of it all. Death is permanent and so devastating to the ones left behind. Losing Todd and then my dad so close together just seemed unfathomable to me. I could not even find my way up much less understand why God allowed them to die. I also have issues with what I perceive as what is fair and just. I always want things to be fair and justice served. I have suffered so much already and I play by all the rules. I am a good person, I do what I think God would want me to do so why do I have the child with severe heart defects? Should not the couple who flaunts all the rules and what is right pay the price? Why would the couple who does not even want a child, who is selfish in their very being be rewarded with a perfectly health child? But in reality all that thought process has done for me is make me miserable, self righteous and judgmental.

Yet, still I question if it is fair for a 3 year old to be beaten to death by the child's mother's boyfriend? What did the poor innocent child ever do to deserve a short life filled with so much pain, misery and shattered innocence? Why did not God strike down the man beating the child before the child paid the ultimate price? Why are children the world over being abused and debased? And of course this extends out to countries in civil war and genocide. Innocent, vulnerable people filled with pain and terror and then death. Where is God then? Why do babies and children get cancer and suffer horribly? Why are babies born with birth defects and genetic diseases? Why do I have a baby who looks perfect on the outside but has a horribly defective heart that causes other issues? A baby who may not live past 1 year of age. A baby who CANNOT be healed. A baby who if she reaches adulthood will face a whole host of other health issues on top of the idea that death is imminent and questions of WHY ME?

Because God makes mistakes.

And the idea is born.

I have recently begun reading "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" by Harold Kushner. I am particularly intrigued about Kushners' thoughts and interpretation of the book of Job. Job, a righteous man. A true believer in God who even when God takes everything away from him still believes and worships God. Why would God strike down a man who is absolute in his faith and worship of God? Many thoughts prevail but as Kushner notes there are three basic principles that apply. "1. God is all-powerful and causes everything that happens in the world. Nothing happens without His willing it. 2. God is just and fair, and stands for people getting what they deserve, so that the good prosper and the wicked are punished. 3. Job is a good person." Yet, as Kushner points out, we cannot possible think all three principles at the same time when Job is being struck down and suffering. Job cannot possibly be a good person if God is making him suffer because God would only make the evil and wicked suffer. Therefore you must believe that either Job is a bad person, God is not fair and just or that God is not all-powerful.

The more I was thinking of Job and the three principles the more I was coming to the realization that God makes mistakes. I still absolutely believe that God IS all-powerful. However, I do not think that Job was a bad person and I am coming to believe that God may be just and fair but it does not apply they way I (we) would like to see.

God makes mistakes.

The more I tossed this idea around the more it began to make sense to me. See, as I understand the teachings of the Bible, God made us in his own image. If God did indeed make us in his own image and we are not perfect and we can fail and we can make mistakes does it not stand to reason then that God is also not perfect, that God can fail and that God can make mistakes? He is in charge of the entire world...can he possibly keep his eyes on everything at all times?

This then leads me to my next thought.

God is merciful.

I think God is merciful because He knows He makes mistakes. If He is perfect and everything that happens is sanctioned by Him, then why would he need mercy? He would tell us that He does know and sanctions all and that we just need to deal with it. Period.

I don't believe that anymore. I think God knows he is fallible and therefore he extends mercy to us in a way to "make it up" to us. Mercy to me is that Carolena does look perfect on the outside. She is not still in the hospital and did not undergo any heart surgeries in the first week of life. Of course I think God extends mercy in many different ways. I think God knows exactly how much we can handle. For some, even though terribly tragic, the lose of their child is God extending mercy to the parents.

Which brings me to my last point. Faith.

I know God does not perform many miracles. Even Jesus when He was with us on earth did not perform all that many miracles despite how many suffering people pleaded with him to do so. Jesus, nor God, performed the ultimate miracle in saving himself from being executed for no real crime. Jesus was teaching us that we must have faith because God is not just going to step in and perform a miracle just because we ask or pray for one. Even though God does not answer our cry for a miracle when He makes a mistake (therefore being just and fair in correcting what He did) we must still have faith that God exists, that He does know what is happening and that He will have mercy on us when He makes a mistake.

I have no idea what will happen from here. I know God already knows what will happen and I have to trust in Him to know what is right for Carolena and for my family. I have to believe and have faith that God does have a purpose for everything that happens even when he loses track and mistakes are made. Carolena still has a very long road ahead of her with super scary surgeries and lots of risks but I have to have faith in God.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ash,

Nearly every day I wonder and question why all the suffering? ... especially when it involves children and animals. In reading the bible I've learned that the suffering has always been here. In the Old Testament you read about children being sacrificed ... I mean ... HOW CAN THAT BE? And why would God let his own son suffer on the cross and die like he did? I just don't think our human minds can wrap around the "why". I don't know about God making mistakes ... that's something I would have to ponder for a while, because it's just not something I've ever really thougth about. I know through all my years I have often wondered why some people seemed to carry more of the burden then others ... including myself. I have had my share of problems and hurt and sorrow, but all in all I have had a really good, blessed life. I have not gone through an inkling of what some others have. I do know that the sorrows, etc. that I have had to bear have brought me closer to God and have taught me what faith really is. Otherwise, I don't think I would have ever really known real faith. I do believe that only God knows the big picture and we don't. Thus, there is no way for us to really understand alot of things. When I was in about the third grade, a neighbor of ours died unexpectly of a heart attack. I was extremely close to this neighbor and spent alot of time at her house. When I got home from school that day, Mama told me about her death. She also explained to me that in this world there are worse things than death. She told me I couldn't possibly understand that right then, but that I would someday. And I most certainly understand that now. Maybe life is like that ... maybe we can't possibly understand right now, but maybe we'll all be able to understand some day.

Much love to you!

Aunt J

Lisa said...

Ashley,
I asked a lot of the same questions about Gabe and our situation that you have about Carolena and your situation. We have people in our family who are total human chemistry experiments [if it can be smoked, snorted, shot up, swallowed, etc. they do it], yet continue to turn out perfectly healthy babies. The worst part about it is that they have absolutely no desire to be parents. All we've ever wanted is to be someone's Momma and Daddy, and our baby is the one with a bad heart. My mom told me that God gives us these babies because he knows that we will take care of them and do everything we can to give them the best life possible. If he gave our babies to people who don't care about anybody but themselves, the children would never have a chance.
I firmly believe that children like Carolena and Gabriel are here with us for a very important reason. We might not realize what that reason is right now, or while they are with us, but we will eventually understand.
I wish that every new parent could see things from our perspective. Maybe they'd learn to appreciate their child even more.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura said...

I believe that God did create perfection. In the Garden of Eden even the animals got along and didn't turn on each other. Adam and Eve had a perfect environment with all their needs supplied. They didn't have to "work" for anything, just obey God and all would be well.

Enter Satan and we know the rest of the story. When people were tempted and succumbed, they were driven out of perfection, away from the tree of life that would make them immortal. Once they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they were no longer innocent, because they knew right from wrong.

God has always allowed us free will. I believe He does this because He WANTS us to love Him and respect Him without being forced to do so. It wouldn't mean much, if our obedience and love for Him were exacted by force.

I lay all the hurt, pain, death, sickness,and sorrow at the feet of Satan. He instigated the fall of man and in doing so, disrupted the perfection God had designed.
God could "make" us do right, but that would be a shallow victory in the full scope of things. So instead, He offered His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice, in order to procure a viable way for God and man to have a relationship, once more. Christ willingly laid down His life to secure that relationship.

I believe that God sees the whole parade of our lives, while we can see only the part of it that is right before our eyes. I believe that His sorrow for our struggles is just as profound as the sorrow we feel when we watch our own children suffer. He never promised us that life would be easy while we serve Him, but He did promise that He would walk through our trials with us...hand in hand and sometimes, even carry us when troubles are particularly heinous.

I believe that Carolena's and Gabe's heart issues are not lost on God, in fact, I believe He has walked this walk with us and fixed soooo many things that could have been so much worse for Carolena, in particular.

I don't know why we have to suffer, but I think to myself...who am I, to think that I should be free from the trials of life, when my Savior endured His own problems while living here? I believe He came here to live as we live, so that He can truly understand our suffering from the human perspective.

I don't know what God's purpose in all of this is, but what I do know is that I can trust Him and that all will be well, as long as I walk with Him by my side. He may not give me every miracle that I pray for, but He supplies His peace and His comfort, even in the midst of my anxiety and pain.

Finally, I believe that Carolena is a miracle! She has blessed so many people by bringing us closer to the Father as we have beseeched Him in prayer on her behalf. She has inspired us to be stronger and fight harder, because she is such a fighter. She has motivated us to reach out and help in anyway we can. She has widened our hearts as it has filled with love for her. And even if God decides to take her home, her presence there will drive me to be certain, that I am there too, one day. Oh, yes! In my eyes, it is miraculous when a tiny baby who cannot speak a word, can do all of that for so many people, just by being who God made her to be.

I can't imagine the struggles that you and Kevin have endured, Ashley and I have no disillusioned pretense that I ever could.

I wish for you God's peace and His comfort. Sometimes God calms the storm that rages about His children. Sometimes, He calms His child and lets the storm rage on.

Job, in his faithfulness, was tried and tested and finally blessed beyond measure because of it. You will be, too.

I want to end this with a disclaimer. These are just my thoughts and beliefs. I hope that maybe in some small way, something I wrote will bring you comfort.

Know that I love you all and still ever pray for the lot of you to be uplifted daily and strengthened for whatever may come.

Love and hugs to you all! ♥