Just wanted to sort out some thoughts and spark conversation on my blog today.
A little while ago, I asked the question on my blog Did God give me OCD? and came to conclusion that yes, he did, to draw me to himself and so that I could use it to glorify him and help others. A blog reader challenged me on that conclusion, and I thought her questions were valid. She wrote:
Let me challenge this: Is God good or bad? Does God do bad things? I do not believe that God gives people sickness, disorders, etc. It is contrary to God’s character to do those things. I DO believe that God will use bad circumstances/disease/etc in order to bring Him glory and all the things you said. BUT the whole reason that Jesus died for us is to enter into relationship with the Father. There had to be a sacrifice to tear the veil and stand in the gap between the God of the Old Testament and the New Covenant. When we look at the OT, we have to look at it through the lens of the Cross…would the Cross change how a situation would look? Judgement in the New Testament is always correctional because final judgement doesn’t happen on this earth anymore (it did in the OT). When we look at sickness, we see that Jesus performed miracles to show God’s love. He never caused anyone sickness. I do not believe that God gave you OCD, but I 100% agree that God is good and uses your OCD to drive you to Him, so that you could glorify Him with it, and to help others who are suffering.
This comment has got me thinking deeply about this. Right now, it’s still a pretty jarbled (that’s a mix of jumbled and garbled) blend of the doctrine of suffering (suffering in itself is not virtuous, but it does seem purposeful [Romans 8:28-29]), God’s sovereignty (is God in control of everything? Even disease/disorder? Sin and evil aren’t of his making, but if he gave humans the choice to opt for them, doesn’t that mean he is still master over it all?), and hindsight (now that OCD is not master of me, it’s easier to see the larger picture of OCD as a tool God used in my life).
I think that my position (for now) still stands with the belief that God did give me OCD for his glory and purposes.
To answer the commenter’s questions, I respond with my own questions: from one perspective, the CROSS was a “bad thing.” In the moment, who would have guessed it would come to be known as GOOD Friday? And we know it was planned. Redemption through the cross was the plan for forever. “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand” (Isaiah 53:10). Think of this from a human perspective. If we watched a father allow his son to be tortured, we would probably say that dad was doing a “bad thing.”
But, of course, we don’t see the cross from that angle anymore. We know what happened on Sunday morning after Christ’s death. And we now know that the cross is the most beautiful thing, the event that allows us freedom and life. We look on the “bad thing” as a glorious thing.
So, could it be that way with OCD? (I don’t think I’m ready to call it a “glorious thing” yet!) But if suffering is predetermined (“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” [1 Peter 4:19]), who predetermined it? It’s hard for me to separate God from control over all things (I’m still sorting through some of this, including the fall of man).
What do you think? Let’s dialogue.