This is a problem when we experience a painful, difficult circumstance or situation in life that leads us to doubt God. We think if there is a God, He would never allow this to happen. We believe we clearly have a better plan. We can either question His sovereignty, His love or His wisdom. Recently I have been reading through Robert Boston’s “A Crook In Your Lot.” In this puritan treatise, he states that we all have difficulties in life and things that are bent that we want to be straightened out. He takes this from Ecclesiastes 17:13 which states, “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?” A crook is anything unpleasant or disagreeable in your life. It can be betrayal, mistreatment, or any other harm you have experienced. It can be present for a variety of reasons, but one thing that is sure is that you want it gone.
He has three main points: 1) Whatever crook there is in one’s lot is of God’s making. 2) What God sees fit to mar in our lot, no one shall be able to mend. 3) Considering the crook in the lot as the work of God, or of his making, is a proper means to bring us to behave rightly under it. This is a painful lesson to learn. Many never learn it and pay the price because of it. God is not the author of sin, however, if he intervened to correct all wrong no one would be left standing. “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways” (Romans 11:33).
One of the main lessons in enduring a difficulty is not to run away from it or try to solve it in your own strength, but rather to seek God in the midst of the pain and confusion. The goal is to trust him and allow him to humble you under this lot you have in life. This is humbling that ultimately brings joy to the soul. Boston has some helpful remarks in this regard: “Subduing our passions is better than to have the world subdued to our will…The humble have much quiet and repose of mind, while the proud, who must have their lot brought up to their mind, have much disquiet, trouble, and vexation…. For however low the humble are laid, they will see that they are not yet so low as their sins deserve.”
This attitude leads to thankfulness and joy, and not an entitlement. God is gracious; He does not treat us as our sins deserve, and all good gifts come from Him. What is your lot? Take your angst and frustration to Him and allow Him to use it to bring you low. Be thankful for His grace and that you are a Child of God. Lots in life can lead someone to be bitter, angry and self-centered. It often reveals our entitled nature and what we are demanding life and circumstances to give us for our pleasure and comfort. God wants to wean you from that so you will trust in His love and sovereign care and guidance, and that you will long for Him above all things. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:24).