Questioning the Integrity of God

This is a re-post of a note I published September 19, 2014 on Facebook. I am transferring my notes from Facebook into my Float the River blog.

There are few things in life more painful than to have our integrity questioned. When things don’t go as planned. When someone is hurt, offended, or disappointed in us (no matter the context). When our actions in any given context are questioned. When our performance is judged sub-par. The pain is especially grievous when the questioning and doubt come from those who love us and supposedly know us the best.

It has happened to us all in some way, at some time, and we know intimately the pain that shoots through our psyche when we have experienced such episodes. Honestly though, we all know we deserve it. Our actions are never perfect, our motives are so shifty and shaky that we ourselves can’t assess them with 100 percent objectivity.

This was brought to mind as I was reading Mark 4 and came across the story of Jesus calming the storm. Mark records Jesus making three statements that overwhelmed and flooded my soul in the power of their simplicity.

Mark 4:39-40
And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?”

“Hush, be still.” (If I thought Jesus was even a bit passive-aggressive I might think he was talking to the disciples as much as to the waves!)
“Why are you afraid?”
“How is it that you have no faith?”

These simple statements were the response to the disciples who cried,

“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

So much wrapped up in so few words.

You don’t care!
You can’t be trusted!
You are so selfish…you are sleeping and we are stressing!

How quick they were to charge Jesus as guilty. How quick to impugn His character. How arrogant to think they had it all figured out from what was visible to them.

…and so am I.

When in the course of life pain pierces us unexpectedly, agonizingly, unmercifully, and in our short-mindedness, unendingly we…ok, I…cry out, not TO God, but AGAINST God.

God how could you?
Why would you?
Can’t you see what you have done and are doing?
Don’t you know…don’t you care…won’t you do something?
…and in doing so I hold God in contempt. Throw a flag. Open an account to record His debt to me. Begin formulating ways He needs to bless me for taking me through “this”.

Mostly because I didn’t get what I wanted.
I got what I don’t think I deserved.
God blessed someone else more than He blessed me.
I didn’t get the recognition I deserved.
I was good and I was given bad.

Uh huh…

If people doing that very same thing to me, in my imperfections, in my self-willed immaturity, in my fleshly sinfulness cause me to hurt to the deepest level when I am at my best imperfect and at my worst GUILTY, how does that grieve our Lord, our Creator, our Savior when we do that to Him?

He wants me to cry out TO Him. He wants me to plead for wisdom, mercy, strength, perseverance, and help. Jesus cried out to the Father in the garden. The Psalmist cried out expressing how he felt but never once wavered in his faith and assurance of God’s favor (cf. Psalm 13…one of my favorites).

How it must grieve our Lord and delight the enemy when we put God on trial in front of a sinful, dying world that He DIED FOR and render Him guilty. How much shame we bring His name and disdain to His sacrifice for us.

Maybe the most important words in Mark 4 really are “Hush. Be still.”

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