Yesterday my dishswasher died.
I wasn’t surprised. As near as I can figure, my ancient Whirlpool was about the same age as Betty White but without the classic good looks. Because we’re frugal (another word for usually broke) my husband Dan and I never buy new appliances until they gasp, writhe, and spill their guts all over some part of our house.
Dan made a valiant attempt to fix our Whirlpool when it stopped whirling and the water only pooled in a murky blue sludge at the bottom of the machine. He ended up with a cut finger that bled through double bandages for three days while I worried that he’d need some new form of tetanus shot.
Long story short, no, his bloody attempt to fix the dishwasher was less than a success.
So we’ve been washing dishes in our household. Dishwashing is a tricky task to try to manage while holding cane and attempting to ignore the cramping in your legs and back.
I’ll admit I was a discouraged when I realized one more thing in our house was broken (not counting my body).
But the feeling passed. I don’t blame God for the demise of my dishwasher, and I haven’t blamed him for my health problems, relationship problems, financial problems, or even the abuse people I love and I have experienced in our past.
1. God created a perfect world for us, and we messed it up.
God created a perfect world and free access to Himself. Adam and Eve were given freedom of choice and chose sin. They chose to put themselves above God’s interests and best for them, and humanity has followed in their footsteps every day since. We are sinners by birth, choice, and generational curse.
We are responsible for the hurt, abuse, evil, and lack of stewardship of God’s creation that messed up the world.
So when something breaks, don’t blame God. When someone hurts you, don’t blame God. He gives us the freedom to cooperate with His divine, perfect plans or not.
2. I can’t expect justice or fairness in this world.
Scripture is clear that since Satan’s instigation of evil on earth, he is the “god” or “ruler” of this earth: “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out” (John 14:30). His limited power is because of God’s permission, and for now Bad often wins over good. But Satan was defeated by Jesus’ victory on the cross. The final victory over sin and evil belongs to Him.
For this reason, I don’t have to fight for my rights here on earth. I don’t have to worry about getting what I think I deserve. Jesus has already won those things for me. I’ll even have the opportunity to crush Satan’s neck beneath our feet one day (Romans 16:20).
3. I must be committed to perspective.
This means, above all, a biblical perspective–aligning my attitude and desires with Scripture. Sure, I want a new dishwasher, and I’d really like one now. I can even conjure up lots of reasons why I deserve one (so-and-so has one, I’ve had a tough year, I have a stinky chronic illness, and media tells me I won’t be happy until I have what I want).
But really people, that’s a load of horse pucky. The truth is, Dan and I live on a budget, what others have has nothing to do with what I need, and I need to be a good steward of my resources.
Needs and desires are two different things.
My son-in-law spent years as an abandoned child raising himself in a Jamaican jungle. Soon after authorities found him when he was eight, he was struck by a truck and taken to a public hospital where he was left without an advocate in despicable conditions. Yet he grew up to earn multiple degrees and become a caring husband and father.
When asked to go out for an to a movie in the U.S. that will cost $40, not counting gas and dinner, he looks at the expenditure differently than Americans. He recognizes that the cost of a single movie represents many meals to friends and relatives back in Jamaica. Or the price of school uniforms and shoes for children hoping to go to school.
My son-in-law has a different perspective on needs and desires, and his values shape his choices.
4, Our values as Christians must shape our choices.
- Gratitude that compels giving
- Sacrifice that compels service.
- Love that compels mercy.
- Grace that compels beauty of spirit.
So today I’ll head to the sink to wash the dishes. I’ll look out the window at the beautiful field behind my house. I’ll listen to a little worship music or maybe pray for some of you. Dishwasher or no dishwasher, it will be a good day.
What about you? What advice can you share with us about not blaming God?