Sometimes It’s Just Life

There was this man I knew when I was attending a Messianic Synagogue in Northeast Philadelphia. He had a gentle disposition, a real heart for God, and one other thing, which we talked about now and then: he felt that everything that happened to him, good or bad, was from God.

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Now, we all know that God is in charge- no question about that.

I, myself, have been in charge of people most of my career, either through given authority as a Marine Corp Officer, or by assumed authority, meaning I was always the “Duty Expert”. And in that position, I learned long ago that being in charge doesn’t always mean taking charge.

(Off the topic: tomorrow is my 68th birthday, and now when I say “long ago”, it is much more literal than I care to think about.)

Back to the main point- what I am saying is that very often, when you have people under your authority who are expected to perform their duties, even though the “buck stops here” means in your lap, there are a lot of other people handling that particular buck before it gets to you, and it is just a part of life that sometimes the buck gets mishandled.

As a retired IT professional, one who started as a programmer and ended up on the hardware side of the house, I can tell you absolutely that in any system, the weakest point of that system will always be where there is human intervention.

Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people- that is not necessarily God, or the Devil- it is (I believe) more often than not just… what… happens.

Look at all the people who do not really know or worship God (even some who think they do) as they go through life. We know that God will allow us to walk away from him, and that he hopes we will repent and return, but in the meantime, when we do not do as God has instructed us, we are on our own.

God will allow you to remain unprotected by him if you chose to ignore his commandments. Yes, he will still bless those who reject him, and sometimes hold blessings from those who accept him- after all, he is God and knows what he is doing.

Job and his friends learned that, the hard way.

We are told that God will bless those who bless the Jewish people and who obey his commandments (Genesis 12:3 and Deuteronomy 28, resp.), yet we are also told that God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy (Exodus 33:19), so when good or bad happens, you need to ask yourself “Is this God, or just life?”

If you ask me, I’d say it’s probably just life.

My friend, the one I told you about at the beginning, once had his car break down. His explanation? He went shopping on a Saturday because he was out of food, and so as punishment God killed the clutch on his car.

Maybe God did, but I have to say I really doubt that the creator of the universe, the Lord, God, Almighty, savior and forgiver, and Judge of the world, went out of his way to destroy that guy’s clutch because he had no food and went shopping on a Saturday.

That seems a little extreme, doesn’t it? I mean, God could have just made him wait for a long time in line (that is almost a form of purgatory, in and of itself, right?), or had him run out of gas, or something not quite so expensive.

Or maybe, and I think much more likely, the clutch was going to break, anyway, and it just happened, as so often does in life, that it just happened to break right after this guy went shopping on the Shabbat.

Just like yesterday, the hottest day of the year so far for us here in Melbourne, Florida, that the motor of our outside AC unit decided to rust out and stop working. Not God, not the Devil, just life. “Murphy’s Law” in action.

Didn’t Yeshua ask who wouldn’t lift their donkey out of a hole on Shabbat? (Luke 14:5)

Does anyone here (and please comment on this, if you don’t mind) think that God will punish every single infraction of the Torah, every single time we have one?

I don’t.

If my job has me constantly on the road (as my friend’s job did), and come one Saturday morning I find there is nothing to eat in the house so I go to get some food, I believe that God is compassionate enough to give me a break and not punish me for traveling and spending money on the Sabbath just so that I can eat.

And for the Devil, well- why would he attack me if I was being sinful? That just doesn’t make sense, as Yeshua pointed out when he talked about a house divided against itself in Matthew 12:25.

No, the Enemy of God will not bother you when you are sinning. In fact, he will help you! The only time you can expect Satan to come after you is when you are doing something wonderful for God’s kingdom and encouraging others to seek God.

And even then, whatever happens may just be life. I’ll go on record saying that, as far as I am concerned, things that happen to you or others is more likely the result of just being alive than it is some form of divine, or devilish, interference.

When something bad or good happens to you, don’t sweat it. If it is a good thing, thank God anyway. If it is a bad thing, don’t automatically think the Devil is out to get you or that God is punishing you. But…if it is bad and it continues to happen, well, then maybe you should practice a little self-reflection; you know, just to be sure.

As for me, when either good or bad things happen to me, more often than not, I believe it’s just life.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with everyone you know. Subscribe to my website and YouTube channel, buy my books, and join my Facebook group called “Just God’s Word” (please read and agree to the rules).

And I always welcome your comments.

That’s it for today, so l’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Comments welcomed (just be nice)