No One Laughs at God in a Hospital

Regina Spektor.
One of my favourite artists and a brilliant and beautiful songwriter.
I have spent the morning listening to her song "Laughing With" and reflecting on all the different scenarios she mentions, and am realizing the truth in what she says.
"No one laughs at God in a hospital,
No one laughs at God in a war
No one's laughing at God
When they're starving or freezing or so very poor."

So many people in our day and age think of God as a joke, as this hypothetical higher being who enjoys to sit up there on his pearly throne and watch as we fumble around in our lives.
Or they see Him as this Santa Claus or Fairy God-Mother type who exists simply to give us things we want if we listen to Him and follow His long list of rules and, if we obey, He will give us money and love and everything we could ever imagine.

But that is the opposite of what God wants/who He is.
Not to say that those who love and follow God won't be blessed with the above things, but those aren't guaranteed.
People laugh at God until there's something they need.
Such as when tragedy strikes and you make those desperate promises:
"God I would do anything if you would just insert request here. I'll be nicer to my family, I'll help the poor, I'll even start going to church! I'll do ANYTHING."
Commonly heard when death is imminent or you're worried about someone or something in your life, or you're going to get caught for the latest lie you told or sin you committed.

But what if God actually held you to it?

What if, when you promised to be a better person, and promised to go to church, and help the poor, God actually took it seriously?
We would all fail.

I can remember times growing up where I desperately asked God to help me out... whether it was I knew I was going to fail that test or going to get caught lying to my mom or when my Bubba was sick and I didn't want him to die.
I would make promises of things I knew God wanted me to do, convictions I had already felt, and try to strike a deal with Him.

Because in those situations, the idea of God is comforting to all.
The subconscious realization that your Maker is there - you can FEEL Him in every fiber of your being - makes you cry out to trust in something, anything, bigger than yourself.
Trust in Someone who can make a difference.
Who knows everything that was and is and is to come.

No one laughs at God when they know the situation is out of their own hands.
When they have no control of the outcome and the only One who does they've been ignoring.
So you make the empty promises.
Ones you won't keep.
Ones you can't keep.

And if God held you to them - if your salvation was dependent on keeping those promises - we would all fail and fall short.

That's the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That there is NOTHING we can do; no work, no deed, that can earn us salvation.
"... Share in the suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
who saved us and called us to a holy calling,
not because of our works
but because of His own purpose and grace,
which He gave us in Jesus Christ before the ages began,
and which now has been manifested through the appearing
of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death
and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel."
- 2 Timothy 1:8-10

Jesus paid the price for our empty promises.
Jesus paid the price for our ignorance.
Jesus paid the price because we can't pay it ourselves.
He lived a perfect life so he could redeem us in His perfect death.

"We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28

When bad things and hard times happen you commonly hear "everything happens for a reason".
The truth in that statement?
That reason is God's glory.

Everything happens to give God glory.

Whatever the situation, God will get the glory no matter how desolate it may seem.

"No one laughs at God when the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one's laughing at God when it's gotten real late and their kid's not back from that party yet."

You don't laugh at God in tragedy.
You don't laugh at God when you're worried or hurt.
You don't laugh at God when you know that He is the only one who can change the outcome.

Deep down, you know that He... your Maker - who made us in His very likeness, in His image - is there and is in control, so you cry out to Him.

"This God - His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord proves true;
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."
- Psalm 18:30

And the beauty is, if you trust in Him and live your life for Him...
He WILL answer.
He WILL provide.
Maybe not in the way you want it too.
But in the way that will give Him the glory.

That doesn't mean that the storms won't come...
It means that when they do come, you will not be discouraged because He is your rock and will "be a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."

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