In the Hard Times

In the Hard Times

But in this way Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with a bull from the herd for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. Leviticus 16:3

Most of my worst life trials have been my fault. You’d think that in my self-inflicted misery that I’d have gone to God with humility, submitting to his guidance. In my addiction though, I was so self-centered that I became frustrated with God for not doing things my way. I wanted him to simply deliver me from my addiction, magically removing it with no sacrifice on my part. When he didn’t remove my addiction the way I wanted, and when my life fell apart, I was angry with God. This is your fault. Through the painful consequences of my addiction however, God taught me to seek and follow his way instead of mine. This is still a daily struggle though. Life’s trials aren’t over now that I’m in recovery. When tough times come, particularly when I don’t see that I’ve done anything to cause the trial, I’m once again tempted to be angry with God. Why would you allow this to happen? You’re not doing your job very well. When I take time to think about it though, I remember the lesson of my addiction – that I must always humbly submit my will to God’s will, even in the trials.

To me, this is the lesson of today’s passage. In it, God instructed Aaron on how to approach God after the death of his two sons. Aaron’s sons, you may recall, had been killed by God for entering his presence inappropriately, perhaps while drunk. God said that Aaron must now approach him with humility, offering a sacrifice for his and his family’s sins. Aaron, I think, may have been tempted to be angry with God for striking his sons dead. God instructed Moses though, to warn Aaron that he must be careful in his posture towards God.  Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die (Leviticus 16:2).

Life rarely goes as planned. Loved ones get sick. Our children struggle. Life threatens to overwhelm us. In those struggles, we’re sometimes tempted to go to God in anger. Why would you do this to me? We just don’t understand how God, if he truly loves us, could allow something so terrible to happen. It’s not wrong to go to God, asking why. We can and should seek him and his will. We should also remember the lesson of Aaron though – that it’s always best to approach God in humble submission to his will. What is it you want me to learn and do here God? 

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