For those of you who haven’t heard the phrase of my title… It was a slogan popularized by president Harry S. Truman. It was a sign on his desk and reminded him to take the ultimate responsibility. A trait that hasn’t been characteristic of presidents for decades now.
The Blame Game
We all do it. In the wake of something not to our liking, we’re unsettled until we can assign blame. It’s as if the blame piece of the puzzle is necessary for us to make sense of things. Once we have our story straight, (whether it’s accurate or not) we regain our equilibrium. In my view it’s the blame game of 2020 that has become the most effective tool the enemy is using to divide and destroy us. And it’s the oldest tool in his bag.
Blame dates back to the garden. You’ve heard the old joke… “Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the serpent; and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on!”
The skill comes naturally
As a young mom, it happened almost daily… I’d hear crying from the back seat of the van and look in the rear view mirror at Ian, the guilty red-head. With my glare alone, he’d quickly deflect… “she started it!” I promise, I didn’t knowingly teach this skill.
Isn’t that how all unrest begins? Someone, something is to blame?
Our country is outraged by the fact that the virus has not behaved itself. As states are opening, some faster than others, and more cases are being reported, we’re concerned. Wait… why? So we blame the bad news on the narrative we want to be true. It’s because of the riots and protests. Or perhaps because of states opening too early. Maybe it’s because of all of us who are so stupid we don’t wear masks sufficiently or properly.
What if NONE of those reasons are to blame? Just maybe we don’t get to know the reason. It’s a virus. And so far, we humans have been unsuccessful taming it. This pandemic is a disaster no matter who or what we find to blame.
I remember our family’s disaster when Ian was hit by a car. My feelings were similar. I needed to know where to direct my outrage. There was the driver of the car, of course, but the police report blamed Ian too. (pedestrian inattention.) Ultimately, God took the hit. After all, He could have prevented it.
When faced with disaster we want to understand it. We want a reason, a divine reason even. Somehow we think that if we could understand it, we’d be able to make sense of it. In my experience it doesn’t work that way. Just ask Peter, Gideon, Moses, David, Mary, Abraham, Sarah and even Jesus. (and just about every other person in the bible)
God allows Disasters
God doesn’t CAUSE calamity, but He does allow it. What disaster has God allowed in your life? Is there some outrage simmering just below the surface you don’t know what to do with? The way I see it, even if you’ve found someone or something to blame, the buck ultimately stops with God.
And that revelation is very good news.
First, God can handle our outrage. He has broad shoulders and understands our pain and suffering. He never recoils from the bad stuff, rather He is in the middle of it. Instead of retaliating for our misdirected anger, He offers His presence. Compassionately, He longs for us to lean on Him and walk with Him every labored step of the way.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Second, because God is good God won’t waste any part of any disaster. There is purpose in this mess. Every death, every riot, every gun shot, every bad decision, every bankruptcy, every stupid tweet, every hurtful post, every tear, everything, is under the Lord’s sovereign control. Because He is God, He works His purposes out perfectly using ALL of it for our good and His glory. God is ALWAYS faithful. Not just in non-pandemic times.
Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Third, He offers His peace that passes all understanding. Ultimately, when we wave the white flag and stop the futile effort of muscling our circumstances, He grants us peace. A peace that makes no sense. We don’t surrender to a pandemic. We surrender to God in the midst of a pandemic. And there is no more peaceful place to be.
Philippians 4:7 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Dear Sovereign and Loving Father, Thank you for being the right and trustworthy place for the the buck to stop. Even though you didn’t cause this pandemic, you have allowed it which can be confusing. Forgive me for trusting myself to think that I’m able to handle life through any situation. Forgive me for questioning your character when I can’t or don’t understand your ways. Help me to embrace your presence, trust your purpose and know your peace. I love you and trust you.
GodsGotThis, Debbie Hucke