Archives For God’s will

Whose fault is it?

Jason Petermann  —  December 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

There are so many things that go through your mind when you face circumstances in your life that are tragic. As I have read through the Scriptures I see that even Jesus’ disciples first thoughts when confronted with someone in a tragic situation was to ask, “whose fault is this,” or “why?”  I am not one who believes that asking “why” offends God or makes Him mad. I think it is normal and really I believe God even expects us to ask questions when we find ourselves in those tragic circumstances.

Jesus and the disciples ran in to a blind man in John 9:1-5.  He had been blind since birth, and as mentioned, the first thoughts of the disciples were to be able to have a reason, to understand why this horrible situation existed.  After all, if something bad happens, someone has to be at fault, right?  So they immediately thought that either the man who was blind, or his parents had sinned.  Some how, they had been so bad that God decided he would punish them by giving them a blind son. Their view of God was that of some powerful and demanding overlord that would punish you physically if you did something bad.  How awful to have those first thoughts of a loving and gracious God. Certainly God could do that if he pleased.  Certainly God has every right to punish those who sin.  But that is not how God works.

Jesus replied to the disciples request to place blame with another view of the situation.  He says in John 9:3

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

It was not a matter of sin on anyone’s behalf.  It was a matter of God wanting to do something that people would look at the situation and say, “Only God could have done that, it had to be a God thing.” When you think about it, how awesome is it to be someone that God chooses for His works to be displayed?

As we look at our circumstances with our son Josiah, we certainly would say that we wish we never had to face this.  I think as parents this is a normal thought, to remove pain for our kids. It is not our choosing; it is not easy. You never want to see your child hurting, even to the point of struggling to breath. Though we would take this from him if we could, we would also would stand here and say “this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”  We believe Josiah is alive and will make a full recovery so that God will be lifted up and those that look at Josiah will only be able to say, “Only God could have done this.”

It is God that sends the rain that allows the harvest.  It is God that brings winter that turns to spring.  God is sovereign.  He is in control.  That does not change in the good or the bad of life.  We hold to that as we look at the works of God displayed in our family.

What a year this has been for the Petermann family. I can say that we have never had a year like it, but I would not trade it for anything.  I believe God is in control of all things, and this year is a year of preparation for us as we seek His leading for the future.

We started out the year becoming unemployed.  I have never faced that situation before, and certainly never thought I would being in the ministry.  We decided to pack up and move the family up to Indiana/Michigan (where we are from) until we found a place to serve. It was not long after we moved up here that knew we were going to stay so that Josiah could graduate without having to go to yet another high school.  We believe that family comes first, and this was an important thing for Josiah.

Through and old friend, Jennifer found a job cleaning apartments.  She actually had that job before we ever left Wichita (another act of God’s providing for us).  At the beginning of March I was able to get a part time job at Best Buy as a Computer Sales associate, which quickly turned into full time and then I was able to move into a management position as the Geek Squad manager.  This is not what I thought I would be doing, that is for sure!  But God provided for us at just the right times in all of this.  I am thankful to have a job!

During this time, we have been blessed to be a part of Granger Community Church.  This is a wonderful church family with a strong focus on letting people know that they matter to God and helping them take their next steps towards Jesus.  We have had the opportunity to serve in the church and to get to know a bunch of great people!

This year also brought our first grand daughter!  Madysen Harlee Mains was born at 7:38 PM on November 16th.  She weighed 8lbs 3oz and was 21 inches long.  She is a beautiful girl!  And yes, I am quite a bit biased!

We have had so many blessing this year.  God has provided for us in such wonderful ways that it is unmistakable that it is Him that is working.  It is easy to say all of that when things are going great. This year has also had its moments of fear, grief and uncertainty.

One of the most godly men that I have known passed away on June 2nd.  My grandfather had a huge influence in my life. I am so glad that I was able to be here for the last months of his life. He was a man that was always positive and talked about Jesus with whoever he met.  He is greatly missed.

December 1st brought one of the most difficult things we have ever faced.  My oldest son Josiah was in a terrible car accident on his way home from work.  He slid through an intersection and was struck by a semi on the passenger side. At first, we did not know if he would even survive.  But each day brought news of great hope for us that he would recover.  I believe that Josiah is our Christmas miracle this year!  After spending 11 days at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Josiah was moved to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.  He has now been here a week and a half and I am amazed each day at the progress that he makes.  Again, all I can say is that God has had His hand of favor on my Son, for which I am grateful.  My heart cries out with Mary as she praised God:

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant… for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”

He still has quite a road to go, but his prognosis is complete recovery!  Our God is greater!

We have anticipated the new year as the time we would get back into full time ministry, and we may still see that.  We now anticipate it just to see what God will do.  We are excited to see what He will do in Josiah’s life as he heals.  God is a God that works from the future back, and I am confident that God has this path for us for great reasons.

For now, we take each day as it comes.  Each day of life is precious, and normally taken for granted.  Family and friends are so important, and the time we get to spend with them is a gift from God. During this holiday, soak it all in.  Enjoy the people in your life. Remember that God has ordained each of your days to make a difference in the lives of these people.

We pray that you have a Merry Christmas, and a Christ centered New year!  Live it on purpose!

We love you all,

The Petermanns

If you have ever been walking down the path you had planned for your life and come to a roadblock that kept you from continuing to fulfill the plan you had, then you will appreciate this book!

As someone who is facing a “Plan B” in my life at the moment, it was refreshing to read the stories presented in the book (Biblical references and personal references from Pete) and see that there are others that are facing an end to the path that they had planned as their “Plan  A” as God takes them down another path that may hurt at first, but also prepares them for who He wants them to be for the rest of their lives.

Pete’s writing is simple and down to earth, and is very genuine, not preachy.  I it easy to provide a bunch of Scriptures and tell someone that everything will work out for good.  But to hear stories of how people, including the author, faced and end to their own plans and embraced what God has for them is a great inspiration and compels you to seek out God’s Plan A.

I really appreciated what Pete wrote about Joshua and the Children of Israel as Joshua takes the mantle from Moses and prepares to lead the people. Pete writes:

God is just giving him a little pregame pep talk: “Joshua, just remember what you know.  Be strong. Be courageous. And whatever you do, don’t forget I am with you.”

God has a few words for Joshua’s people as well: “Don’t live in fear. I don’t want you to make the same mistake you parents did. Listen to me, pay attention to my instructions, and everything will work out for you.

Finally, God makes the whole nation a promise: “If you trust me, if you’ll follow me, I’ll be with you. Every place you set your foot in that land, I’ve already gone ahead of you. My power will be available for you. You’re not going to have to undertake the rest of your life on the power of just your own resources.”

Here is the deal, and really the point of the book.  What you consider to be “Plan A” in your life may never happen. If it does not, we need to remember that God is sovereign, that He is in control, that He works from the future back and has already been where we are headed. As long as we trust Him and follow Him, what we may consider to be “Plan B” will actually be what God intended for us from the very beginning.

You can read a sample of the book by clicking on this link.

I am thankful to have had the opportunity to review this book, which was provided to me by Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze.

The last installment from this post and this post

So, the Israelites forget all that God had done for them in the past, and they measured the task by their own strength.  We also see that…

  • They viewed things in their own perspective rather than in the light of God’s promises.

In Numbers 13:33, the Bible says that the Israelites “saw the Nephilim,” compared themselves to those giants, and decided that compared to the giants, they were like little bugs.

God had already promised them the land, yet the Israelites lived as if this was all going to depend on them to accomplish.  NEWS FLASH: God has already won the victory!  What He says he will do, He will do!  He is faithful!

We can get so wrapped up in things and our circumstances around us that we forget that God has already promised to take lead us to a determined end.  If we are going to be “Giant Killers” and not “Grasshoppers,” we have to remember the promises of God.”

Ok, one more!

  • They were more concerned about their circumstances that they were God’s will.

In Numbers 13: 27-28 the Israelites said, “It is all like God promised it would be…  It is good like God said…  It is just as He promised…”  And then they said, “But…”  (vs. 28) .  They recognized God’s will and then saw it in the light of their own circumstances (the people that were in the land) and they decided God’s will was just not worth it.

I know many people that have done the same thing.  They think they want to follow God’s will until they see the circumstances around them as they step out to follow God.  Then, they just decide it is not worth it to follow God’s plan for their life.

It is not always easy to follow God’s plan, but it is always worth it!

If we are going to be “Giant Killers” and not “Grasshoppers,” we have to focus God’s will, not the circumstances around us.

Let’s strive to live like Giant Killers, not Grasshoppers!

Continuing from this post

Not only did the Israelites forget all that God had done for them in the past, but…

  • They measured the task by their own strength and not by God’s might

In chapter 13, verses 31-33 we see Israel say “Those people are much too strong for us.”(31) Then they described the people of the land saying, “the people are like giants.” (32)  Finally, it culminated in them saying of themselves, “They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers.”

But they forgot one thing:  they were not alone!  God was on their side!  It didn’t matter what their strength was, because God was able to handle it, if they would just let Him!

It is easy to sit back and judge the Israelites, but how many times have we tried to do something in our own strength  and leave God out of it?  We try things on our own and then if it doesn’t work, we go to God and ask Him to take care of the mess!  How much easier would it be if we just let God do what He said He would do and believe Him!

If we are going to be “Giant Killers” and not “Grasshoppers,” we have to go in God’s strength, not our own!