God is Not a Cosmic Vending Machine

One of the results of the DALL-E prompt "A painting of a cosmic vending machine in the style of Michelangelo" This image was generated by DALL-E prompt “A painting of a cosmic vending machine in the style of Michelangelo”.

Today I had the opportunity to participate in a good Elders Quorum lesson and discussion about a talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson called Our Relationship With God. The entire talk is worth reading and studying, but a favorite passage of mine reads:

Some misunderstand the promises of God to mean that obedience to Him yields specific outcomes on a fixed schedule. They might think, “If I diligently serve a full-time mission, God will bless me with a happy marriage and children” or “If I refrain from doing schoolwork on the Sabbath, God will bless me with good grades” or “If I pay tithing, God will bless me with that job I’ve been wanting.” If life doesn’t fall out precisely this way or according to an expected timetable, they may feel betrayed by God. But things are not so mechanical in the divine economy. We ought not to think of God’s plan as a cosmic vending machine where we (1) select a desired blessing, (2) insert the required sum of good works, and (3) the order is promptly delivered.

God will indeed honor His covenants and promises to each of us. We need not worry about that. The atoning power of Jesus Christ—who descended below all things and then ascended on high and who possesses all power in heaven and in earth—ensures that God can and will fulfill His promises. It is essential that we honor and obey His laws, but not every blessing predicated on obedience to law is shaped, designed, and timed according to our expectations. We do our best but must leave to Him the management of blessings, both temporal and spiritual.

(Emphasis mine)

I can't really add anything to this or to the rest of Elder Christofferson's talk, other than to say: I know this is true. None of us are exempt from trials and sorrow in this life, even when we're trying to live righteously. We must trust in God and in His purposes and timing.

#100DaysToOffload (No. 25) #Christianity #ChurchofJesusChrist #life