Wednesday, July 25, 2007

God's Presence 11 (The Hand of God)

Brother Lawrence starts out his seventh letter with some powerful words: "We have a God who is infinitely good and who knows what He is doing." (p. 41) Have you ever wondered if God knew what He was doing?
One of the primary questions people ask is: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" The problem with this question is that it infers that either God is doing the bad to good people, or that God doesn't stop the bad from happening. But people tend to forget that much of the bad that exists comes from people who choose to do the bad. And those who aren't choosing the bad can be a result of their actions. Bad also comes to those who make bad choices (but people don't want to take responsibility for their own actions, they would rather blame God).
Romans 8:28 tells us: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." If you have trusted God for any length of time, you have experienced this in your life; God coming into your life and bringing good out of the bad that has happened. And so with this in mind, Brother Lawrence says: "His perfect time is when you may least expect it....Thank Him for strength and patience He is giving you, even in the midst of this trial, for it is an evident mark of His concern for you."
Trials can make us strong. Trials can give us a spirit of perseverance. Trials help us to appreciate the good we have in life. Trials are a badge of honor, as we understand that God cares enough for us to allow us to go through the trial so that we can learn the lessons God wants us to learn.
This is why Brother Lawrence encourages us to communicate with God always. As we are constantly communicating with God, and letting God communicate with us, we will be able to know of God's presence, and God's work, and God's care for our lives. So we can know that we "have a God who is infinitely good and who knows what He is doing." We have a God whose hand is upon us, over us, around us, and works in and through us!