Daily Devotional

Having a Healthy Argument With God

Sunday, April 14, 2024
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If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, . . . applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight . . . and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. Prov. 2:1-5, NIV.

For five years I watched my mother slowly die from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that gradually degenerates the motor neurons, causing paralysis. Although the motor (movement) nerves are dying, the sensory (feeling) nerves continue to function, so every movement someone makes with their body causes excruciating pain. There is no cure. For the person with ALS it is like living in a glass coffin. Their mind is sharp, but their body becomes completely paralyzed, until they finally die of suffocation when the diaphragm stops functioning.

Watching my mother die this hideous death made me so angry. I prayed for her healing. When that didn't come, I prayed for God to take away her pain. And when that didn't happen, my faith faltered. How could a "loving" God permit such suffering? My mom had done so much good, especially for blind children, so how could God arbitrarily strike her down? Then I thought of Uzzah. He was only trying to stabilize the ark. Why did God strike him dead when he touched it?

One day when I was desperate, broken, and unable to go on, I opened my dust-covered Bible and read Isaiah 43:25, 26, in which God says, "I . . . am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake. . . Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together" (NIV).

I began searching the Scriptures for answers and arguing with God. Then I thought about the parent who tells a child, "Don't touch the stove; you'll get burned." When the child disobeys and gets burned, is it the parent who burned the child? No! And then it became clear to me. God didn't kill Uzzah. God knew His glory would destroy sinful human beings, and because the ark was filled with His glory, He in love warned them not to touch the ark. Uzzah disobeyed and suffered the natural consequence.

As I began to see pain and death as a consequence of sin, and not something caused by God, I began to trust. Now I know that God has the answers to our pain and confusion, if we'll just reason with Him as He asks us to do.

If you're confused about what has happened or what is happening to you or to someone you love, argue with God. His Scriptures and His Holy Spirit can provide incredible healing insight.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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