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I just got home from surgery. The much anticipated nice, long Memorial Day Weekend isn’t going so swimmingly. Saturday morning I drove myself to the ER as my wife and baby went out shopping (thought I had gas). Later that night, I had an emergency appendectomy.

The interesting aspect I want to write about happened in the ER. As I sat there waiting to be called to check in and be examined (yes, I was in obvious pain) a family who brought their daughter in after a car wreck stopped and asked if they could pray with me and for me. Of course I said yes. You know what, the pain subsided for a while. Does prayer work? Yes. Some critics would say that them coming over just distracted me from the pain. Yes, prayer is a distraction, but a positive one and in either case, it helped alleviate pain.

I’ve now determined to not just continue praying for people, but to involve them if they are near and inform them if they aren’t.

I deserve a raise. I deserve to have a good job. I deserve to have a good family. I deserve to speed ahead and swerve back into traffic right before the lane ends. I don’t deserve the results of my bad decisions.

We as humans feel that we are entitled to benefits because of who we are. The thing is, as sinners there is only one thing that we deserve.

Feeling entitled can manifest itself when bad things happen to us. When they do, have you ever asked, “Why did this happen to me?” or said, “I don’t deserve this.”? Often God is thrown into this line of questioning. “Why did God let this happen to me?” What’s terrible is that the typical religious or non-religious answer is, “That’s just God’s will.”

While on the surface it provides a sense of comfort that God is in control, and God always is. By carelessly blaming God for an incident isn’t accurate and can ascribe false attributes to God. One of my favorite books, The Will of God, addresses this and how the term, “the Will of God” is thrown around carelessly.

An example of what I’m talking about….*(in the part below, this example is carried out)

When a young child dies of cancer and in comforting the parents, they are told, “it must have been God’s Will” – what does that tell the parents? Does it say that God killed their child? It is inside God’s Will only that God set the laws of nature and physics in motion but God did not cause that child to die. Man’s sin caused that child to die. Not the sin of their parents, but the natural sin of mankind. Cancer didn’t exist in God’s intended world. Sin was brought about by Adam and Eve. Yes, God allowed it.

Therefore, Dr. Weatherhead in The Will of God, suggests three “Wills of God.”

  1. The Intended Will of God – this is what God intends. God created man to commune with Him. Some choose not to. God intended Jesus to come to earth and be accepted.

*Children aren’t supposed to die; disease isn’t supposed to exist.

  1. The Circumstantial Will of God – this is God’s will inside the sinful earth. This is God allows us to make choices. Acceptance of Jesus without a choice isn’t acceptance. Since there is sin, this is what will happen. Jesus came to earth and was crucified.

*Disease was introduced after the fall of man

  1. The Ultimate Will of God – this cannot be thwarted. God’s purpose for Jesus on earth was to provide atonement for sins so we could go to Heaven. That happened.

*We have the opportunity to commune and live with God.