There are a lot of things I believe about life, but I do not believe that “everything happens for a reason.”
I also do not believe that everything that happens in life is God’s will.
In fact, over the past few days I have had several separate conversations about the concept of God’s Will, and what that really means and how that affects our lives.
Here’s the thing. I believe in God. And Jesus Christ. Absolutely, 100% I believe in them, and I also believe them.
And one of the things I have been taught throughout my life is the concept of agency; the idea that we are free to choose for ourselves what we’re going to do and who we’re going to be. Freedom of choice does not mean freedom from consequences, of course. But, it means that we are in control. We get to make the decisions on what to do with the things we know.
It used to be a confusing concept for me, I’ll admit. Because, on the one hand we are told that God knows all things. He knows what we’re going to do before we even do it. So doesn’t that mean that what we’re going to do is already decided? Does that mean that we’re essentially puppets that are subjected to his whims?
No. It doesn’t mean that even a little bit.
Basically, the truth is that God knows us so well, he knows what we’re going to do. Because he knows us, not because it’s already decided. It’s sort of like when you are a mom and you make cookies and you tell everyone to stay away from them, but you know your kid is going to swipe one when you’re not looking. You didn’t make your kid do it. He or she did it on her own. You just knew that was going to happen because you know your kid.
It’s kind of like that.
The nice thing about God, or our Heavenly Father, or whatever you prefer to call Him, is that He tells us what He expects. He tells us the rules. He lets us know what He wants us to do. And then it’s up to us to decide to do it. Using the agency he has given us.
Of course, He doesn’t always tell us WHY He wants us to do a particular thing. And many of the reasons and blessings are not made known to us for a very long time. This is where faith comes in.
But, for those of us that believe in God, and that want to follow Him, we earnestly seek to learn His will so that we can follow it.
The trouble comes in the fact that other people have that freedom of choice, too.
Just because I believe a particular course is the right one doesn’t mean that the other person involved will make the right choice.
That’s really hard to accept sometimes.
It’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately.
Learning to accept God’s will is hard enough. But having to accept someone else’s choices? Sometimes that is physically and emotionally and mentally painful.
So how do we do that?
No, really, I’m asking. How do we do that?
I’ve been dealing with several situations simultaneously over the past several weeks. In each case, my wants have no bearing on the outcome. I’m waiting for other people to make decisions that directly impact my life and while I can definitely do things that will make them choose to NOT do what I want, I can’t really do anything to convince them to choose me.
It’s hard. And it’s uncomfortable. And it’s emotionally exhausting.
Like I said at the beginning, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of God’s will and the fact that He doesn’t make us do anything. He lets us use that agency to choose for ourselves to accept and follow Him or to not. And it occurred to me that while I’m stuck waiting and eventually dealing with the results of those decisions and accept them (or, hopefully, rejoice in them) God completely understands where I’m coming from. Because he also has to sit and let us choose. And then He has to watch the rest of us live with the consequences.
He can comfort us. He can help us through it. But He will almost never intervene. But, as weird as it sounds, it’s because He does love us. He loves us enough to let us choose for ourselves.
Oh how I sometimes wish He would intervene more often.
I thought I had a really great point when I started writing this post, but I’m realizing now that it’s just some senseless, vague ramblings. I’m sorry for that.
I guess the point is simply that I’m waiting right now. And I’m trying to prepare myself for whatever is going to happen in the coming weeks and months. And it’s hard.
But I know that my Heavenly Father knows how this is all going to play out. And even if it doesn’t work out the way I feel like it should or how I want it, I’ll still be okay. He loves me and He’ll protect me and eventually these difficult times will pass and things will be brighter and happier.
And in the meantime, I’m trying to be okay now. And to remember that these people have their agency because God wants it that way. And because He loves them as much as He loves me.