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April 21, 2020 12:53 pm
Children often ask the best questions. When only 9-years-old, our oldest son asked me, "How can I trust God to care about my hurts when I see what He allows Mom to go through?"
For a lifetime, Paul Young wrestled with that kind of question and more. That journey led him to write the hugely popular book, "THE SHACK." The question "is God Good?" serves as the centerpiece for nearly everything he does in his writing and speaking.
That's why I invited him to call the show and talk about this ...as the world tries to wrap it's collective mind around the concept of a good and loving God in the midst of the COVID-19 virus.
At the end of the interview, Paul quoted this poem and we felt the whole poem should be included in this podcast.
Healthy Caregivers Make Better Caregivers, and part of being healthy is trusting the goodness of God...even when faced with heartbreaking loss and challenges.
'Kind of Way'
I know that you know.
So I should probably confess it.
Not because it's a bad thing.
But because it's normal
and necessary to admit
you've disappointed me
and continue to.
Although I don't mind as much
Still, there were many times
Followed the rules.
Gave my two mites.
Did all the things I was told would work
and others certified
with charismatic conviction
to do more
But still, nothing.
like I believed
like I prayed for.
I underestimated you.
I wanted to believe
you were containable
in the 'my way' kind of way.
kind of way.
Then I recalled
that on a dark but necessary day
you took yourself
and my kind of way
and the cosmos
to a cross.
Then you went missing for three days.
And my world fell apart.
All my hope exhaled a forsaken surrender,
and my heart broke
and my dreams broke.
My kind of way
kind of died
And there you were
alive and the same
but not really.
A resurrected form of you
that even took familiar friends
And that's what you keep doing.
To this day
you keep failing and disappointing me
in the best kind of ways.
Every time I think I've got you
where I think I need you
you disappoint and disappear
and turn up incognito
on a familiar path
at a regular meal
in an average garden
with a spark in your eye
that demands my attention.
You invite me again
to put my hand in your side
embrace you and kiss you
and get to know you again
in a new kind of way.
Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you.
I'm Gracie Rosenberger, and in 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me. But over time, my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with hope for more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis we purchase and ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated limbs.
All of this is to point others to Christ.
The source of my hope and strength, please visit standing with help.com to learn more and participate in lifting others on that standing without.com. I'm Gracie. I am standing with hope and in hopes of caregiver heroes a little journal Sears exam 131 to be a part of the show 877-652-7558 776-4567 55 it was roast help with my wife Gracie of her new record, resilient genre. If you're with us hope that you will usually with us are going old Joe that beautiful voice of yours. Listen to my favorite people in the whole world is a guy that wrote a book that affected somebody people around the world is the circuit is Paul Young W him Paul Young.com. If you will go to his website is also good. Another book out called of the lies we believe about God.
And as I've been watching all the dialogue going on across the country and threw up in watching the stories and the bids and all the stuff in. You know, again we come back to this. This constant questioning of the goodness of God.
And so I wanted to reach out to someone who has wrestled with that issue and helped a lot of other people wrestle with that.
So my friend Paul Young is agreed: the show.
Thank you Paul for this.
It is great to have you with us. I so appreciate what you do will thank you. You know that that is the question the goodness of God. It always comes down do we trust do we think that God is good. Do we think that he is is all that we would hoping to be when we see things like was going on with the virus of what's going on with this and so forth open that up a little bit and just talk about that because that is the that's almost the crux of everything you do is write it.
Those who don't know any of my story.
You got understand it.
I I am not someone in an ivory tower not experienced the loss of that happen in this world. We had a six-month period where first my 18-year-old brother Stephen, was killed and three months later Kim and I just been married to about a year and 1/2 and and her mom goes into routine surgery has a massive coronary impact of the whale course of three day three months after Stephen was killed and then three months after Shirley died my five-year-old niece was killed the day after her birthday and the very things that are just not in control, almost thick dark in your control, but but one thing to cause pain and loss and suffering when when you're the perpetrator, which is also true you know I done my share of that and and and I don't say that with with any pride whatsoever. If I can go back and change one time I hurt somebody I I would cost me in all this thing about the shock and all the smoke and mirror stuff. It if you know you learn to live with regret part of grieving and not part of Shane shameless and other centerpiece of my life so I shame and fear.
I think those two things and fear is always connected to trust.
If you and fear is also the antithesis of love right because perfect love cast out here and down until all these questions and I got I grew up with a very angry father.
I didn't ask to have an angry father.
Even after having angry father and his father before him, but you know the abusive disciplinarian is an got passed down the line and dumped on on me and my brothers and then and then sexual abuse as part of my childhood and tell you know that all the things that happen in the world, so that on the one side, let me tell you about a conversation that I had with fast seven of my grandchildren. We have 12 altogether, all from a age 12 to-year-old twin and hand-me-down. I do a class. Now you know because were in quarantine and all that kind of stuff so doing a lot of stuff online and things like that so I I do a class for seven of my grandkids every Tuesday afternoon and in a couple weeks ago on our Tuesday afternoon I started with the question so do you think God made virus and and I wanted to ask that because I think a lot of times is all that adult conversation going on and the children are just trying to assume something and adjust so that they can think about it and is like when parents fight and the child assumed that their fault right if there is not a conversation that don't have a chance to process anything and don't always think that there you know it's partly their fault so you know, obviously they're aware of how much courage and and change that this virus has infected. The word advisedly on the on ice during that period of time and so I do think God made virus is a coarsening of their immediate response is no you know because because covert the virus and viruses are bad and I said okay.
So if you don't think God created viruses where you think they came and you know to to them by kids have been around enough churchy thinking that their immediate responses it out like think that the creator adult so I don't think that viruses you know or something that he thought up and then there thinking about it. They go like that.
It must've been like Adam and Eve and I think you know you know what, let me tell you something about viruses.
If a worker viruses human being could not live on this planet and in fact viruses.
Their main job is to take apart bacteria and we need bacteria for all kinds of reasons on this planet but if bacteria had already read in no long time and that one giant bacterial slimeball and and once the bacteria had eaten all the natural resources. Everything would die on this planet. And so viruses have a very important job. In fact, no they take apart bacteria and those little pieces of bacteria float up into the sky are thrown up in the sky by a volcano or an earthquake or an and those little people. The bacteria are the main centerpiece for our water system.
If we do not bacteria floating in the sky. Pieces of the then we wouldn't have rain would not know.
We would never delete they they are essential to the water cycle and there's another thing. And so there thinking about this and it's like I said so and I I really think God made virus and then then why are they hurting, why are we living in a world where viruses you know are hurting people so that's a good question and I mean there asked the question of theodicy, how do you have a God in the world that is full of loss and you know we we know that the whole earth the whole cosmos is groaning and we know that human beings there in amazing be they they have power and authority. I mean, they can say no to love you know they can say no to kindness, they can say no to treating the planet well and and and it's like you know there's a lot of things that we've done that have impacted how this planet works until a lot of you know a lot of the is because we have not in love related to each other you know that takes you back to something really simple and that is Mrs. I got this from Robbie Zacharias who I love dearly become incomes from the same denominational background I'm a missionary kid creatures. From the same denominational backgrounds rally and I grew up in an Asian course. He grew up in India and I heard Robbie talking one time. He said you know when it comes to creation. God only has four real choices and and I agree with them. I have never thought of for one but the poor choices are among the created universe, or likely choice number one is I'm not going to created all like now I can do it. And because God doesn't need creation, God doesn't need to be worshiped. God doesn't need anything that's accepting right. This is not a God who could be served by human hands that that that God needed anything. So God could have said no we are not agree, and that's choice number one choice number two is God could create just a machine like everything works by natural law, so gravity in the strong and weak nuclear forces and one big massive mean and that's all talkative and just machine the third choice is to also create human beings who think they have an ability to choose, but actually don't write so if the machine but human beings they think they have an ability to choose, but there are actually part of the machine there just a very intricate and complex part of the machine felt so in that kind of a universe we would be no wiser. That is, that we would we would think that we were making choices that actually everything was programmed and thought the machine with the degree of complexity to it that the third universe. The third possibility of creation .1 is to create a universe in which there is natural law that is things like gravity exists then and in the universe is created. This unbelievably magnificent being called a human being who can say no to love. I mean actually say no and and it's like that of the four choices is the only universe in which love is even possible. We are in it and and this is a God who had such incredible respect for the human creation that God will never take away that ability to say yes or no because without it there is no relationship, and there is no law, and that is grounded in the relationship of Trinity, the father son and Holy Spirit, and there is another element to the new. This is a God who submit by nature and on a testament one to another, God not asking us to do anything that is not already part of the image and likeness of God and the reality of relationship within the Trinity.
And so God and people say no this is a God who's in control. Well, God was in control and attempt until he creates a being who can say no and then what is God do God submit that be all right. Your choice actually matters now, and I thought about that a lot and I think that if there was a way that God could have created a universe in which we would have the ability to choose, and we would have never chosen to say no to love. We would be in that creation but were in the best creation possible for will to exist and love to exist and relationship to exist and it comes with this magnificent capability of saying no to love and it comes with this terrible capability of saying no to love and and we do and we have and we continue to and when we say no to forgiveness and no to kindness and noted gentleness.
We are denying the truth of how we are created in the image and likeness of God, and God knows I am going to I'm going to submit on the neckline that I never leave you or forsake you something to climb inside of your no and went to work without violating your ability to choose as coerced as your will, already. I am going to work to read your will so that you have the capacity to say yes to love yes to forgiveness and and people who struggle with the idea that God could submit to us. They don't understand the cross.
If there is anything that the cross yells out, it is this is a God who submit to human the bill so the symptoms of that were sinners in the hands of an angry God and remove those sources from some of the conflict that is its God in the hands of angry sinners patted Alan Baxter Kruger I think you for the correction of that because a Journal note genitalia. A source things poorly, but this is when we got to quick break were talking to Paul Young over the shack and also the book lies we believe about God.
How can a good and loving God allow this thinks this is an issue I see some people asked Musson part one is nine years old. He said why should I believe that God cares about me when I see Woody last month deal with the hard questions and manuals can often ask this question still thinks they knew will be brought back to Kuwait. Here, the family took Chelsea's exam 130, 18 775-6755 if you would be part of the show is greasy. I lived was voiceless with. She's getting stronger and she's singing more in Jesus. She thought the COBIT in the cove. Got beat of the scripting, the surgeon, but she did. She thought she thought, well thought she has fought many things that she's dealt with since the being on this planet.
She single started office of hard knocks, which it she's done well with an individual for the prayers of others in the mail tomorrow I get to be tested and see if I get the antibodies and if I do they want to take those and distribute among the masses and so John and I have agreed that it is okay to share this great TV preacher quality here with any and absolutely value nothing attests to Peter the test they pass the test.
To quote Ricardo about what would talk with volume 1 of my favorite people in the whole planet and I heaved I've talk privately. Many times about these types of issues of trust in God because I think that we have this love that the the concept of these lies that we believe about God.
I had to caress with that myself in this and I think I probably always will, because I have this image of God that created it all the bad things that happened to me are somehow if we did throw a flag on the play and he some kind of cosmic referee to when we get the strange thoughts are his and is the whole country in the world really is wrestling with okay how can you have the conversation about good and loving God. When you see all these things grace you have wrestled with that for years and it out.
I took a picture of Gracie and as I put it out there on social media and I just was struck by how beautiful she she is not was is and I think that I came to this revelation that Gracie's beauty continues to increase and I think a lot of that is due to the fact that she is not striving with why God doesn't do something about her situation and is accepted that he's in the wheelchair with her. He's in the prosthetics with her. He's in the chronic pain with that which goes back to Psalm 23 gave the wealth of the Valley's a bit, I will fear no evil when you're not fearing that evil. It changes your counter this, because you are able to relax and trust and then I just watch this beauty emanate from her that somebody with her resume of suffering should not have enough see people with far less that don't have the beauty they have bitterness instead. And so I think that is as were the reason wanted you all the soap today Paul because that is the whole point of of the shack was learning to see beauty in the midst of great sorrow and in that great sorrow that's where he meets us when we stop striving with him somehow make that since of it but did God help. Why would you inflict this and in this that that tension that we have in our spirit of an MSA that right Paul about my and I get it right.
I have a friend that you know God rarely respond to a wide question and on the why questions are so enamored. But if you like. How do you want me to look at this is not a God who runs away from you know we brought the sufferings of the table and God fully joins without the tenant.
I want to read you a short poem by a friend of mine named David Pennington because I think it captures people what you are saying in so many ways and I think you'll love this David is young man in Australia that I think is in its 30 equipment a Masters degree. The singer-songwriter also pastor Dave Gupta A little kid and got he's got a poem called kind of way. And here is how it goes. I know that you know talking to God. I know that you know so I should probably confess it is really great. I had a really great way to start anything like so many times we don't even tell God how are you feeling about anything we don't tell God the truth we tell God what we think God wants us to pay and as a result, we can't build a relationship you know you need to be truthful about what you feeling and and sometimes it's like God, you know, what are you right now I don't feel like you're bigger than that no immediate action on it. Prayer right now. Are you in me are are you here, are you admit that you like those are those are questions that are out the lewdly essential to ask when that's where you are so so practical. I know that you know so I should probably confess it, not because it's a bad thing because it's normal and necessary to admit you disappointed me and continue to although I I don't mind as much now. Still, there were many times I prayed and I followed the rules and I gave my to my and I did all the thing I was told would work and others certified with charismatic conviction to do more, give more faith, more sacrifice, more lots more and still nothing. No breakthrough like I believed in, like, I pray for while I underestimated you I wanted to believe you were containable constrain about and reliable in the my way kind of way. The magician hitman slot machine dealmaker Kurt Shaker genie in a bottle kind of way and then I recalled that on a dark but necessary day, you took your cell and my kind of the way and the cosmos to Accra menu went missing for three days in my world fell apart and all my hope, exhale. The per second surrender in my heart broken my dreams broken my kind of way kind of diet again and then there you were alive in the faint but not really a resurrected form of you that even took familiar friends by surprise and that's what you keep doing to this day.
You keep failing and disappointing me and the best kinds of way. Every time I think I've got you where I think I need you disappointed disappear and then you turn up incognito on a familiar path or at a regular meal and average guard parking your eye that demands my attention and you invite me again to put my hand in your side embrace you and kiss you and get to know you again in a new kind of way you know that's a great estimate. What ensued. Volume you didn't disappoint.
Thank you very much for just realigning and reorienting our thinking here is far bigger than we can imagine this as he is in the city is not a team line is this is hope for the caregiver.
Thank you so much.
Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. Hopefully caregiver.com will see you next week