Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Free Will - Love it ? or Hate it?
Have you ever thought about how free will is like our computer ? If it works, I love it... but if it crashes, freezes, loses my stuff or gets a bug or virus I hate it!
Don't we have the same attitude about 'free will' ? If is serves our desires or purposes, we love to have it - but let anything go wrong and we are so quick to blame God with accusations and questions about why He allowed something or didn't do something to stop it.
I was taught a 'lesson' on my patio this week.
I love sweet peas. My mom always grew them when I was growing up and to gather a bunch of the delicate, ever so fragrant blossoms to bring into the house was always my delight.
I don't have a green thumb, things grow in spite of me, not because of me! Having tried to grow sweet peas before and failed, I had given up, but this year I found a new seed that had a protective coating around it to help it sprout and grow. I thought, for a couple of dollars, it was worth a try. As you can see the seeds did sprout and I have some promising shoots.
I have carefully tended them, watered them - not too much, not too little - fertilized them and knowing they need something to climb on, I leaned them on skewers and provided them with a garden mesh to wrap their tendrils on and climb, hopefully to the very top !
The other day as I was tucking the mesh close to each shoot and gently encouraging the short tendrils to reach out for the mesh, I wondered.... is that what God does for us ?
My sweet peas have free will ... they can grow or not, bloom or not or they can just refuse to climb. I can't MAKE them grow. But what I can do is encourage them to grow , I can provide for them everything they could need. I watch over them, every day checking to see if their tendrils are long enough yet to reach out. I hope every day that they have found my mesh. I know how excited I will be the day I see them begin to twist and twirl their way up the mesh and then one day cover it with a profusion of blossoms.
God has given man free will and in giving it He has to stand back and let man do what man will do. He hovers, encourages, puts up props, blesses us with good things .... but He cannot - by His own will - force us to do contrary to our own wilful desires. When men are evil, when bad things happen, it isn't God's fault - its man flexing his free will muscles to his own hurt and the harm of others. When man makes bad choices/decisions we all pay the price and suffer the consequences but it is not God who caused it nor God's responsibility to stop man from doing what he wills.
How patient and gracious is our God - and so desirous of our free will offering of love and devotion to Him - that He puts up with us. There is nothing He will not do to 'help' us grow the way He wants us to - the way that will permeate the sweetness of Jesus' fragrance in us and through us for others to enjoy.
"Oh, Lord, let me be a 'sweet pea' blooming in your kingdom."
PS... When my sweet peas blossom , I will update this post !- I have faith, (I think!)