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Bearing with God!
- Jacob Ninan
It is one of the biggest challenges of inter-personal relationships to bear with other people's weaknesses, differences, irritating mannerisms, inexplicable behaviour, character flaws, etc., and to continue to love them. One of the things that help us in this direction is the fact we ourselves are ridden with faults that others have to bear with (Col.3:13)! But even though some will hesitate to acknowledge it openly because of a vague fear, isn't it also difficult for us many times to bear with God and His ways? It is not because He has weaknesses or character flaws that we have this problem, but because we are so different from Him and we fail to understand Him (Is.55:9).
God is certainly one who has no fault. He does everything with precision and perfection. His thoughts towards us are only for our welfare and never for our calamity (Je.29:11). He is always planning good things for us because He treats us as very valuable persons (Zec.2:8). Yet there are times when we get offended with Him because we cannot understand what He is up to.
Think of how Jesus deliberately delayed His going to see Lazarus when He heard about his sickness (Jn.11:6). We know from the end of the story why He did that, but can we really blame Mary and Martha for getting upset before they came to that point? How would we feel if we prayed with fasting for 21 days according to (what we knew was) the will of God and were clueless about what God was doing? This was what happened to Daniel (Da.10:12,13). What would we think about God if we were in Jerusalem and heard about how James got killed after having undergone special apostolic training with Jesus as one of the inner core of disciples? Would we not wonder why God wasted such a good resource person (Ac.12:1,2)? How would it affect us if we were in the family of James and John? Aren't there many such occasions where we could get offended with God?
When we are in the middle of situations like the above where God's ways hurt us personally, it is different from what we understood and agreed to when we were doing a Bible study. Satan also knows how different things become for us when we get touched personally (Job 2:4,5). Then all that we have believed, confessed and proclaimed get placed under test. We can imagine how our faith in the forgiveness of our sins and in eternal life gets tested if the doctor tells us that we have a terminal illness!
Our faith in Christ is the only thing that can keep our heads high through all the situations of life (1Jn.5:4). We place our trust in God, and our faith becomes stronger and stronger as we go through different tests in life. We become more and more convinced about the love of God towards us and His eternal wisdom and power. This enables us to stand without wavering when we can't figure out what is going on. We are also able to commit things into God's hands without getting worked up about what others are doing to us (1Pe.2:23). Let us reciprocate His love by trusting Him.