Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Something God Did

"It's just something God did."

I've come across this statement several times during my life.
 Generally, it's used as an explanation for something happening that seems unexplainable or unfair.  It could be used to explain a Bible story, or some sort of interpreted stricture from the scriptures.  Or it could be used to explain a current event, or an occurrence in an individual life.

There was a time when I could just shrug this statement off as someone trying to turn to their faith to explain what seems unexplainable.
I can no longer just shrug.

Using a personal example, I was told recently that my rheumatoid arthritis was "just something God did."

Blaming God for my RA seems unfair to God.
 Let me first say that I believe God gave mankind free will.  Otherwise why do we have the choice to believe in Him or not? 
(And yes, I believe we do have that CHOICE, not that we are predestined to choose one way or another.)

Back to rheumatoid arthritis. We don't yet know what causes RA, but the theory that best fist my situation is a genetic predisposition coupled with some type of physical stress.  So, let's dissect this.

Is it God's fault that my genetics are what they are?
(I ask that question realizing what a can of worms it could open; however, I'm going to stay focused on the implications it has for me, personally.)

If God is responsible for my genetics, then that means He controlled with whom my forebeares reproduced.  But God controlling my genetics implies that my fore-bearers had no say in whom they chose as a mate, and that conflicts with freewill.  
That doesn't work.  

Therefore, my genetics are a result of the choices my fore-bearers made, and aren't something God "just did".

So, if God's not responsible for my genetics, and I'm just lucky in that regard (*sarcasm*), did He cause the physical stress that triggered my RA onset?

Let's examine what I believe was that stress.  Due to some extreme upsets in my personal life, I loss 60 pounds in three months.  I'd call that a physical stress!  The RA onset was a bit offset from those three months, but I still believe that the aftereffects of losing that much weight in that short of a period were the trigger.

Did God make me not eat?  Absolutely not.  I couldn't eat because of my emotional upset, but God did not cause that either.  The emotional upset resulted from individual choices, both on my part and on the parts of others.  I could have eaten if I wanted to, but I didn't want to. 

So the physical stress was a result of individual choices and was not something that God "just did".

I definitely do not rejoice in having rheumatoid arthritis, and I'll admit that, on occasion, I give in to the "why me's?". However, that question is counterproductive to getting on with my life, and I don't see the point of asking it often.  I realized when I was diagnosed that I could either let this disease beat who I am, or not. 
I choose not.  
I also hope that my having RA means that the genetic marker will skip my kid(s), and hopefully will have skipped all my younger cousins as well.  I know there's no guarantee of that, but I sure do hope.

However, even while dealing with the sadness and worry that sometimes comes during my journey with this disease, I realize that my rheumatoid arthritis is a result of personal choices--both mine and those of others--that, unfortunately, culminated in my genetic predisposition being triggered.  I don't blame anyone--there are too many contributing factors for my RA to be any one person's fault.  And as with the "why me's?" blame would be counterproductive to me living my wonderful life.

And if I don't blame those who made the choices leading to my rheumatoid arthritis, never could I blame God.  

My RA is not His fault, and definitely not something He "just did".

9 comments:

  1. Most people blame God or Fate regardless of whatever happens in their lives. To see that you live and enjoy your life in spite of what probably is/isn't the cause of your RA is the greatest symbol of faith I've seen. I hate being soppy. >.<

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  2. Speaking as someone who has been doing extensive research lately on religion and science and evolution, even when I considered myself a Catholic, it always bothered me that people so freely left their fate in God's hands. "If it's meant to be it'll happen, it's in God's plan." Some concepts are so vastly overwhelming that it's so hard for our human brain to digest them, and so it is much easier to associate it to "God". There are things we didn't understand due to lack of technology and so we assumed God did it, then once we had the science to understand why these occurrences happened, we no longer give God the "credit" for creating these circumstances but rather for creating the technology to discover these natural occurrences and so on. We give God credit for things until science gives us the answer, and God's hand in things gets pushed back further and further until I'm assuming at some point in the very very far future, we will have many of our questions answered as technology develops. Even if someone identifies as a Christian, as you mentioned earlier, then God has given everyone free will, which assumes that God has washed in hands. Which means get off your ass and do something! lol Don't wait around for handouts! Because whether or not you believe in a God, you have to take action yourself. Not YOU of course :) Just speaking in general.

    Great post. Hope you are feeling well :) xo
    Rebecca (from Spain)

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  3. I sure missed your blogs!! You are able to put my beliefs into such wonderful words with a level of reasoning that all can relate to!!
    Keep it up!

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  4. All I can really say is *smile*

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  5. I've always thought "It's just something God did" was a lazy answer :-p He doesn't *just* do anything--if He does have a hand in something, there's a purpose, even if we don't see what it is!
    Hope you're feeling good and that school isn't too crazy!

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  6. Thanks for all the comments y'all!

    ranzarock: You're not soppy! I'm glad you're blogging again. :-)

    Rebecca: HOLA!!! It's great to hear from you chica. How have things been for you?
    Researching religion can be challenging, but it sure is fun!
    That said, I don't see the existence of free will as implying God has washed His hands. If anything, free will makes God work even to know every outcome possible. I do think there are times when He places events or people in our lives to help or teach us--but whether or not we actually get that help or lesson depends on choices we make.
    That said, I'm a big fan of the saying "God helps those who help themselves!" Or, as you said, don't expect handouts lol.

    JackieD: Hey chiquita!! How's it going?! I agree--"It's just something God did" strikes me as a lazy answer, but for me it's lazy because it takes responsibility completely off of man's shoulders and sets it all on God's.
    As far as there being a reason to everything, I don't think that the reason necessarily causes the event. Bear with me--I might jumble this all up.
    OK, if God is omniscient then He knows every possible outcome of our decisions. And if He knows that, I think he embeds reasons for us to find as a result of the choices we make. Sometimes we can't find the reasons, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. So all of the reasons pre-exist our decision, but our decision is what causes the specific reason to be applicable in our lives.
    I hope I said all that right lol.

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  7. Alicia: Thanks for the smile chica! I tried to leave a comment on your Nails post, but it wouldn't let me. I love your new blog AND your picture is gorgeous! Hope all's well with y'all!

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  8. I believe the only reason why we say "It's just something God did" - Escape accountability - If there is something that I know for sure is in my genes, tis me running away from being accountable. Roel, India.

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  9. Hello Roel! Thanks for the comment! I agree--if you know for sure that there is something in your genes that will be passed on, then "It's just something God did" could be used to try to escape accountability.

    However, just because there is a genetic predisposition present, that doesn't mean the condition itself is hereditary.

    For example, I'm the only person in my direct family lines on either side to develop an autoimmune disease. Assuming the genetic theory is correct, I have a genetic predisposition towards developing an autoimmune disease. However, I didn't inherit my condition from my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents, etc. Also, should I have a child, my having rheumatoid arthritis has no effect on their chances of developing an autoimmune disease. In other words, there is not a hereditary link, even if a genetic predisposition exists. Believe me, if autoimmune diseases had been shown to be hereditary, I wouldn't even try to have a baby.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment and for reading my post!

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