Why Doesn’t God Make Me Like Broccoli?
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19
While enslaved to drugs, I couldn’t understand why God would allow me to have such a self-destructive appetite. Even in recovery, I’ve often been frustrated by my persistent flaws. Why would God allow me to have an ongoing hunger for unhealthy foods and behaviors? Many times, I’ve gone to God, begging him to make me crave broccoli and hate donuts. He has yet to do this, which has both discouraged and annoyed me. God, I don’t understand!
God’s ways are often mysterious to man. In today’s passage, when Jesus’ authority to cleanse the temple was challenged by his peers, he answered cryptically. So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
We’re told that Jesus was referring to his body, not the actual temple, but no one understood that at the time. It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days? Jesus didn’t explain himself. He just let them wonder. It was only his disciples who eventually understood. When he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
We often don’t grasp what God is telling us at the time. It’s usually only in following him, that we eventually come to understand. When we fail to obey, we miss the message. Those who didn’t follow Jesus, never grasped the meaning of today’s passage.
For me, I had to follow God out of my addiction to finally understand that he allows me to have persistent need so that I continually follow him. If God made me perfect today, I’d abandon him tomorrow. Understanding that truth though, required that I pursue God’s path instead of my own.
I’m not saying that God always provides a satisfying reason for why all bad things happen. I’m saying that when God speaks, it’s often unclear to us. He allows mystery so that we seek him. In fact, the seeking is frequently the point. We were made to be most complete when we are daily following God and his will. Often, he allows mystery and need in our lives to motivate us to pursue him.