When I’m really experiencing intense emotional pain I like to read the book of Job. This is the oldest book in the Bible and we don’t know who wrote it. It is a horribly sad story. Throughout this riches to rags story Job struggles with a question as old as humanity. If God is good and powerful why am I in so much pain? And why does that jerk who swindles widows out of retirement checks enjoy a long, happy life while he mocks God?
Other than Satan himself (duh!) the nastiest characters in the book are Job’s 3 buddies. As long as they keep their mouths shut and mourn with Job they actually helps comfort him. Then Job opens his mouth and curses–not God–but the day of his birth. Just like the hero in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Unlike George Bailey, Job is not taken through an alternate reality by a wingless angel. What happens is much worse. Or, at least if you have experienced anything like it, you may agree. Job’s friends lecture him on what a bad man he must be. Poverty, loss of loved ones, and sickness only happen to naughty people, right? God is a Santa Claus in the sky who give out goodies to nice people.
The interesting thing is Job’s friends sneer at him on his ash heap, thinking they must be better men because they still have wealth, intact families, and healthy bodies. Unbeknownst to them all, the reason Job is suffering is because he is an unusually godly man. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are clueless yet they talk like experts. After all, they aren’t in Job’s predicament so they must be pretty holy.
If only they knew the man they so freely passed judgment on was a spiritual giant. God knew that they
God of the Whirlwind.
Jesus told us not to worry because bearing today’s enough.
God’s all loving as well as omniscient.
If your kids went around grumbling about whether you’d be out of work tomorrow–unable to feed them–how would you feel? Not exactly a great Father’s Day or Mother’s Day present. If they went around telling each other how you were sure to ,let them wind up starving in the streets, some discipline might be in order.
Would your kids be able to do anything if you did decide to stop supporting them? I don’t mean surly adolescents (who could call the CPS) but small children in preschool who couldn’t read. We were called “God’s children” for a reason.
God wants to give us what we need before we ask Him.
There are parents who do abandon their small children and let them starve. This is called neglect. These parents are unusually evil though–our God is thrice Holy.
Face it, worrying is a major time sink. Not as fun as watching hour after hour of Leave It to Beaver reruns or staying up too late reading the latest frothy “Christian” romance novel. Every bit as addictive though. And probably more unhealthy–physically, spiritually and psychologically.
Most worry-warts are very neurotic. If you talk to your preacher or church counselor you may not want mind-altering drugs or endless hours of naval-gazing “therapy” as you over analyze your problems. If you can find the grace to quit worrying, you can quit the therapy and get on with living.
Let’s face it, worrying has no practical value either!
I need to apologize. My attitude in writing this post was bitter, unloving and sinful.
The reason I’m not deleting the whole thing? For one thing my critiques of the article were perfectly true, but unloving. Most importantly, I want to show that I’m also a sinner in need of mercy as well as grace.
A lot of singles are leaving the church now. I refuse to leave because the Bible says we are not to forsake the Assembly. That said, I dislike going, find it a miserable drudgery and act of penance, and strongly suspect most of the real church members–the smug, sanctimonious couples who count–would just as soon we all leave or better yet vanish from existence. But I digress.
My real issue is with an article written by Matthew Cochran published in The Federalist. http://www.thefederalist.com/2014/06/09four-myths-about-the-helpless-single-woman/Despite (possibly) good intentions, it’s obvious to this single woman that Cochran is clueless about his subject matter.
Cochran addresses a previous article he finds disagrees with written by a single woman. While Matthew Cochran is a man who hasn’t likely been single since his teens he feels he knows all about this subject. After all, he is married and has a Y chromosome. Therefore he must be a spiritual giant.
Hear are the four statements she made that he considers mythical. (Warning: I have indulged my satirical impulse and grossly exaggerated some of Cochran’s statements. If you want to know his exact words please follow the link.)
- We’re Victims. Yes, regardless of what God hands you, considering yourself a victim is counterproductive. But according to Matthew Cochran we’re a bunch of sinful lepers who deserve to be marginalized because we were not “proactive” in seeking out husbands when we were younger. This has got me scratching my head. What were we supposed to do? Set out deer traps baited with homemade pies? Cochran fails to remember that back in the 80’s and 90’s when there were more men available for us Gen-Xers, it was considered unseemly for girls to even tell guys they liked them unless the guy said he liked you first. If you asked a guy out he would assume you were easy. The only way to “get a guy” was to be thin, blonde and perky. A severe eating disorder was a bonus. Wear a whole mess of caked on make-up. And tight revealing clothes. (Those mini skirts showed Christian guys how spiritual you were. Ha ha.) It helped to be an airhead, or at least conceal any intelligence or common sense God blessed you with. You also had to be a social adept, saying “yes” when you meant “no” and vice versa. Lots of brainless, boring small talk that was absolutely meaningless white noise. Guys didn’t have to prattle stupidly, but girls did, plus you had to giggle all the time when nothing was even funny! Some guys at college complained about this, but they always dated the giggle geese. If you weren’t pretty enough or couldn’t figure out the “rules” to the dating game in a month or so you were disqualified and no guy on campus would date you. Ever. So, rules have changed over the years. Despite Cochran’s desire to pin all the blame on spinsters there have been a lot of changes recently we haven’t all been able to keep up with. It’s easier to assume that bad things only happen to those who were asking for it. Just ask Job’s buddies. (I wonder if Cochran’s wife proactively pursued him. Most conservative guys get scared by aggressive husband-hunters and call them unfeminine.)
- Biology Changes a Woman’s Behavior. Cochran also thinks that we imagine we can have babies in our nineties like Sarah. We don’t realize how quickly our biological clocks are ticking without fellows like Matthew Cochran to remind us of the fact. Thus our rebellious desire to stay single. His solution? Panic and husband hunt for crying out loud! “Proactively” chase anything in pants, while armed with nets and tranquilizer darts. When guys see you hunting for something with a pulse to drag to the altar they won’t be able to resist your charms. We all know how men love desperate, clingy women. Right?
- There Are No Good Men. Cochran counters we’re all just too picky. We only want to date Brad Pitt clones, bad boys who drive around on motorcycles. I never have gone for Alpha males; I always liked Nice Guys. But they didn’t feel likewise, hence we never dated. The fact is, out of all the churches I have visited recently, there were 0 single men over 20 attending. It’s either marry a pagan or steal another woman’s husband. Both unacceptable. According to Cochran, we are single because we all are addicted to hard core porn and watch so many Hollywood movies we confuse them with real life. News flash! I hate television shows and almost never see movies. If I had my choice of any Hollywood hunk I would choose none of them because their godless lifestyles sicken me. As far as porn goes, I avoid “Christian romances” and the tripe by Nicholas Sparks–so no I’ve never read 50 Shades of Grey. “…it is time to find new media and social circles before writing off many marriageable men who already feel invisible.” Where are these many marriageable men? What alternate universe does Matthew Cochran inhabit? Any marriageable men in my church or community must not only be invisible but inaudible and unregistered by any other bodily senses as well. More likely they don’t exist. No doubt Cochran would blame us for that too. It’s always the single woman’s fault!
- Singleness Is Holier. Now begins Cochran’s real virgin bashing. He starts off by saying that celibacy is impossible therefore we must all be a bunch of harlots. If you say that you’re still a virgin you’re a lying hypocrite as well as a harlot because no one can go without sex! (Some Christian married men must lie awake at night fantasizing about the wild sexual escapades they would have if they were still bachelors. Then they pin their lustful thoughts on Christian singles. That’s called projection in psychology.) He goes on to say that even if you are one of those ascetic weirdos (aka virgins) with that gift nobody wants you must spend your days perched on a pillar in the desert. You’re of no use to God or the Church at all and are vastly inferior to wives and mothers spiritually as well as every other way that counts. Apparently Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, weddings and all our marriage seminars have failed to convince you that you’re a bunch of pathetic losers and a disgrace to the Kingdom of Heaven. Get lost Mary of Bethany! Martha’s the real hero after all.
Pardon me while I go vomit.
On Facebook once I saw a person asking what one word we would use to describe God. Talk about a tough order. It would be easier to sum up the known universe in one word, because of course God is infinitely more complex than His universe.
Is God love? Of course God is loving to his human creations, but He is capable of hatred. Intense hatred. Hatred of sin and anything evil. Calling Him love would be much too simplistic, though He is that.
Is God power? He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere. “And everywhere that man can be, Thou God, art present there,” as it goes in the old hymn, I Sing the Mighty Power of God.
Still omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent as God is, none of these are His chief glory. His crowning glory–the only characteristic repeated three times in the Bible is “Holy.”
When Isaiah saw the LORD lifted up in a vision, the blazing angels called seraphs worship God by saying over and over to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD God almighty. Heaven and earth are full of His glory.”
One night, I was half asleep and started to have one of those weird dreams that come on the stage of consciousness. In this dream I saw a very complicated puzzle, a labyrinth or maze that seemed hopeless to solve.
Then a mighty hand appeared and solved the puzzle. But it began at the end and went to the beginning. The Owner of the hand knew the puzzle that well.
I realized that the hand belonged to God and He knew the puzzle both ways. Nothing catches Him by surprise, because–after all–He designed the puzzle in the first place.