This season, like none other, feels like the heat has been turned up by God to boil out every bit of rights I think I have. If I ever thought I had a single right in this life, it’s being crushed and annihilated. I don’t say this in bitterness or with sour grapes; I’m just trying to come in line with the process that God is enacting. It’s like global warming for real! But the temperature adjustment is by God’s hand. He seems to be cranking up our levels of frustration, and I think I know why.
Microcosm and Macrocosm of I’ve Been Wronged
I want a use our websites as a microcosm example of my point, but the macrocosm expression of this is our whole world. Here’s the microcosm of where we’ve been wronged. I’m a little hot on this because I’ve been dealing with this all week, so sorry for any fumes.
Every internet development team that we’ve ever dealt with has repeatedly wronged us. From our initial updates to Web 2.0 all the way through to the present, we’ve been wronged. Promises are made, promises are paid for, and those promises are broken. The end result? We get the shaft. From trying to chase down web developers (while begging them to fulfill their commitments) to businesses just out right reneging on their obligations, we’ve been shafted. This all happens while they go to the bank with our money…smiling. It’s been a major source of frustration as well as a huge time suck. So why have we been wronged?
Been Wronged: Bits, Bytes, Money
God is always interested in the heart of a man. Bits of data and bytes of memory have as much importance to Him as pieces of paper promising monetary value. Though I get completely worked up with injustices and broken promises, He doesn’t seem as disturbed. Why, God, have I been wronged?
You can take this scenario all the way to our current political conditions. Promises made, promises broken, we get the shaft. No one’s mind is changed and common sense is relative. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, we just continue riding down the rails on this crazy train. Why have we been wronged?
Wait for it…! Here’s the answer. Who is God? If I look to man to do what’s right, I will be sorely disappointed. And why is the sting so great? Because it ‘s idolatry. Man has never been, nor will he ever be, my source. I can’t, nor can any man, defend my rights—I have none. Scampering about maintaining my rights, like a squirrel socking away nuts, is foolish. It’s also foolhardy to think that any man is going to do right by me just because of my rights. I have no rights that God Himself doesn’t maintain. At the end of the day, God is my source, there is no other.
So does this mean I just lie down like a red carpet rolled out for the world to trample on? No! What it means is I must first and foremost look to God to be my rights. He is my mediator, and an apt one at that. He is able to do more in a moment than I can do with hours of screaming. But in order to have this work, I must yield my rights to Him. He then becomes my rights. When His will is my rights, then I have peace. This is very difficult to reconcile with the statement “But I’ve been wronged!” echoing through my heart.
What if most of my frustrations have been my pushing against the hand of God? Is He looking for my face to turn towards Him rather than man and myself? Are these frustrations merely invitations to bring Him in to my difficulties? And what is the outcome of His involvement over my bulldozing?
Been Wronged: These Are Not the Rights Your Looking For
I went to Him the other morning and just railed about a situation. I wasn’t clean and prettied up; I was raw and angry about a company who stole money from us. I had called American Express and they could do nothing. The purchase was past the 60 day dispute window. The web firm said they wouldn’t do anything. They had our money but they no longer offered the service… so sorry. They lied to my face like Obi-Wan Kenobi – “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…” As if I would just say, “Oh, you already fulfilled your commitment. I am due nothing.” Whatever! And I’ve been fighting this fight for months. My progress has been almost nothing, just working up my blood pressure.
After my railing to God in honesty and transparency, I felt I was to call again. Jennifer can attest that I spoke calmly and straightforwardly. Long story short, they refunded our money. Did God just want to be the source? Could I have avoided all this heartache? Probably not.
Does this mean if I go to God, He will be my bully? Will I get my way? Will He be my enforcer? No! My surrender, my following, my yielding to His will is always the work on the table. He might have just as easily said, “Let it go.” Sovereignty is a huge pill to take, but the fruitless expending of my efforts is a poisonous dose that kills my joy and life. Bowing to His Will as my rights leads to peace and fellowship with my God.