How many times have you heard someone ask, “How could God allow this to happen?” It’s a good question, considering that God can do anything, is everywhere all the time, knows everything, and hears everyone’s prayers.
Well, the answer is pretty simple: being able to do everything doesn’t mean God will do anything.
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God has a plan for the human species; he has told us what that plan is, and how it will come about, and even what to expect. The only thing we haven’t been told is when it will happen.
This plan, however, doesn’t rely on what we want or when we want it. Asking God to help you, to help someone else, or to help the country is fine, and often God will intervene if it fits within his plan. But if what we ask doesn’t fit in his plan, or isn’t going to make any difference, he may decide that it isn’t going to happen. Or, in some cases, what we would never want to happen will be allowed to happen.
Terrible things people do to other people, such as war, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Hunts, the Holocaust, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, school shootings… are all acts of violence that are sinful and destructive. If God is really a loving and compassionate God, who is in charge, then how could he have allowed these things to occur? And what about all that is happening now?
Again, the answer is that he doesn’t micromanage the world. As horrible and significant as these events seem to us when they happen, in the long run, in the scheme of things over the millennia during which humankind will exist, they are just a momentary hiccup; a blip on the screen; a fart in the wind that stinks for a second, then is gone.
Our lives are nothing more than a mist (James 4:14) and what is our lifetime? Maybe 70 or 80 years? (Psalm 90:10) Even as long as Methuselah lived, when compared to eternity, his life passed quicker than the blink of an eye.
God may decide, in his perfect wisdom, to intervene for you when you pray to him. He may make something that is, even to us, relatively unimportant happen for you. For instance, many years ago I was a Salesman and was in a real slump. I prayed earnestly for God to help me get out of the slump, and asked that he show me I am doing right by helping me to make a sale. And the very next pitch resulted in a sale. Now, you may say that was a coincidence, but it wasn’t just the next pitch, it was the next three pitches. From no sales for a while to three in a row was enough for me to believe this was an answer, and I thanked God for his intervention. My need was so minor, so small a request, so insignificant in the stream of eternity, yet God did do that for me.
That isn’t micromanaging, though, because when God does intervene, it isn’t all the time. Anyone who has been a manager, a GOOD manager, knows that part of the job is to teach your people how to be managers, as well, and to help them develop their skills. Since most people do not learn by listening, you have to allow them to make their own mistakes, even when you see it coming a mile away, so that they can learn the hard way, which is (I believe) the best way. Very few people learn when told how to stay out of trouble, but when they get in trouble and suffer from it, they remember that. Oh, yeah…they remember that absolutely!
Micromanagers don’t allow that- they will never let someone make a mistake because they have to be in on everything. That’s why micromanaging denies people the opportunity to learn how to be better, and it makes them feel insignificant, unimportant, untrusted, and often results in losing good people instead of keeping them. In the long run, micromanaging is self-defeating.
I don’t want this message to go off on a tangent into management theory, but if you agree with my dislike for micromanagement, then you can also see why God will allow many things to occur, things which as a human being we can’t fathom the reason for allowing it.
We see things on a linear plane: we identify the world based on our personal experience and interpret events based on a finite understanding of the universe. We are in the flesh, stuck in here with a very limited ability to comprehend anything. God, on the other hand, is spiritual and infinite; he doesn’t work on a linear timeline. He sees the world, in fact, the entire universe, on an eternal level. We see the past and the present but God sees the past, present, and future. He knows what will happen and he will intervene as is necessary in order for his eternal plan for humanity to be fulfilled.
Being able to do everything doesn’t mean you will do anything, and God’s choice to allow us to manage ourselves is how he runs his business. As the ultimate manager, God has given us his Employees Handbook, which we call the Torah, and when we act in accordance with the corporate culture and lifestyle, we will receive bonuses (they are called blessings) and have a long and prosperous career, resulting in the best retirement plan that could ever exist, anywhere.
Oh, one other really great thing about how God manages humanity: you get to choose who you will work for! There are two Supervisors God has running the show: one is Yeshua (Jesus) and the other is Satan. We get to choose who we will work for.
Yeshua has rules and regulations that you are supposed to follow (the Torah) and he will help you overcome your failings to be a better human being. He will give you rewards on earth as you improve, but you get nominal pay and sometimes the job is very difficult, requiring great sacrifice. His retirement plan is for you to live in peace and joy, basking in the glory of God, for all eternity.
Satan, on the other hand, will allow you to do whatever you want to do. He will give you worldly power and rewards that you probably wouldn’t get working for Yeshua. However, his retirement plan places you outside the presence of God and you will suffer burning torture in hell throughout eternity.
So, nu! God has provided two different career paths for you, and although he is managing everything, he will not micromanage your life or your choices. It’s all up to you, but don’t ever forget this caveat: your choice is not set in stone until after you stop working (die), so when you choose your Boss try to remember that your retirement is going to last much longer than the job.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!