Saturday, March 04, 2006

Theology Debate Anyone?!

I was just going through all my scrapbook supplies to pick out embellishments for G's birthday layout. It's a process I love because of all the stuff I forget I have. One of the stickers that was floating around in my box was a scripture. I think I bought a sheet of these stickers for G's baptism layout. I'm not sure why this particular one was detached from the rest of the sheet. The scripture reads

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall recieve. Matthew 21:22

Which really got me thinking.... When I conceived G, I prayed that we would be blessed with a healthy, happy child. That prayer was answered. When I conceived the second time, I prayed the same thing. That one apparantly did not get answered; at least not as a "yes". When I conceived the third time, I prayed the same thing. Another no.

So..... did I just not believe strongly enough the last two times? The scripture seems rather straightforward to me. Easy enough formula to follow: ask, believe, receive. And it says "all things". Not just some things. So why did the formula yield results the first time but not the second or third time? Is it a one-time formula per type of prayer?

I'm being somewhat tounge in cheek here. On the other hand, it is a valid question, isn't it?

Maybe I'm taking it out of context. In the preceeding verses, Jesus was walking with his disciples when they passed a fig tree. Jesus told the tree to whither and die and it did. The disciples of course, wanted to know how he'd done such a cool magic trick. So he told them:

Jesus said to them in reply, "Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' it will be done. Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.

Best I can figure out, somewhere between my first and second pregnancies, my faith diminished enough that the verse no longer applies to me. Which seems like a double slap in the face to me because how am I supposed to have more faith in God when he keeps doing bad things to me or at least allowing them to happen?

I'm particularly interested in anyone's opinions on this one.


Lorem ipsum said...

Believe me, I've had many long talks with priests over this one. Strangers have commented on my blog saying that I didn't pray enough. That is bullshit. Why is it that any stupid pop-star animal can breed, where we do everything right and can't seem to reach the finish line? I even prayed - a lot. But I'm kind of scared to now, because of that passage you cite. To me it's become, 'Be careful for what you wish for.' I want a child, but I want one that is healthy - not blind, nor deaf, nor retarded, nor insane, nor with a chronic disease, nor deformed. Enough, I say, enough with this shit happening to me. It's only supposed to happen to other people.

We don't know why we suffer with these losses. But God does not cause it to happen. I suppose God could prevent it, but then it would make God our slave. Maybe we're learning lessons that we'd need later.

We are God's children and as such God loves us like we'd love our own - maybe more so. But there are reasons not known to us (even with all the science - I personally believe there are reasons that can be found if only we had the technology, but believe it or not we don't have it all cracked yet). As for Job, my priest says that it's a drama. There is so much we'll never understand. It just happens.

I will always have a bit of anger over why these things are allowed to happen. Maybe, though, it's so we can be there for one another. I'd never know you if not for this shared struggle. Maybe it's to purify us. But it's not to punish us.

It's so simple - childlike, actually - to want to cry out to a parent who will make everything okay. Don't we all want that? I know I do. But I know that my faith in God has been shaken. But I'm trying. No matter how angry we get at God, God can take it. And maybe somewhere in there, we learn to take it, too.

Josefina said...

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