- Can we possibly know and understand the One who brings both life and puts to death, who both heals and wounds (Deut. 32.39) and who sets both blessings and curses before us (Deut. 30:3)?
- Are we capable of understanding the One who “make(s) peace and create(s) evil (Isaiah 45:7)?
- How do we rectify that evil and good come from the mouth of God (Lamentations ), yet evil does not dwell with this same God (Psalm 5:4)?
- What do we do with a God who is Love (1 John 4:8), yet brings evil upon those He created (Amos 3:6)? Why do we blame evil on another when Scripture clearly reads that it comes from the hand of God (Job )?
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I Just Can’t Get to You
I was visiting with our grandson, Dominic on the phone the other day. Dominic, who is five, had all kinds of excitement to share. It was so fun to hear his stories. Living hours away, Dominic has yet to visit our new home. I told him that I missed him and that it would be really neat if he could come to visit us and see his horse friend, Wonder. When I asked if he thought he might do that some day, Dominic quickly and emphatically responded, “No.” “Oh, why not,” I asked? “Because you live far, far away and I just can’t get to you,” he asserted sadly. My heart sank. In Dominic’s little mind, Grandpa and I are alive, we are out there somewhere, but no matter how badly he wants to, no matter how hard he tries, he could never ever get to us.
Dominic’s mindset reminds me of where my heart has been numbers of times in my relationship with God. While I’ve trusted that He is alive and “out there somewhere,” it seemed that no matter what I did, I just couldn’t “get to” Him. Hours of prayer and intense study of His Word not only seemed fruitless, it activated further frustration and deeper longing. I’ve heard it said that God is within us, so I even spent a great deal of time trying to be still in order to find God within. The harder I tried the more questions developed. The confusion and frustration was over-whelming at times. Those around me didn’t seem to understand. My questions were irritating to more than a few. On one hand I was warned to stop asking all these questions and simply trust; on the other hand many admitted that they were also disturbed by the allusive answers to such questions. Consequently, they’d rather I keep the questions to myself. I suppose I could do that, but… something inside of me compels me to ask:
While it might be humbling to admit, who of us really “knows” God?
Isn’t there great pride and arrogance in assuming that we can?
I’ve heard the standard answers. Dare I say that I’ve “left no stone unturned” as I’ve deciphered the “supporting” Scriptures many times, but when the rubber meets the road, the supports are quite shaky and there seem to be no reasonable answers. How dare I challenge God’s Word and question God? Some would go so far as to question my “Christianity”! Let me give you a Scriptural example of a person who dared to do such a thing. In doing so, I will also give you an example of those who give all the “pretty,” prepackaged answers, but fail to honestly ask the questions.
In his effort to understand God, Job went so far as to question and accuse God. Job’s friends, on the other hand, mouthed knowledge, but it was not living knowledge of the God whom they claimed to honor. In their piety, they would never, ever consider questioning God. Instead, they simply accepted and trusted in what they had been taught. As much as we might want to believe and portray that we are “good Christians,” the reality is… this is much more risky than questioning and accusing God. Why? Because, while God left Job to wrestle in the confusion and frustration manifested from his genuine desire to know and understand his Creator, Father’s heart was touched by Job’s hunger for Him and answered his prayers. On the other hand, God was angry with Job’s arrogant friends who assumed they had a handle on their Creator. In fact, He would not even hear their prayers (Job 42)!
I realize that the questions are unsettling. I understand that the seemingly inconsistent Scriptural references can be more than we want to consider. But… it is necessary. While the wrestling may never bring clear answers in this life, it seems that it is necessary preparation for the next. Wishing I or someone else could help you through the process? I will do everything in my power to make it possible for my precious Dominic to get to us, but neither I nor anyone else can give you the answers for “finding” God, any more than Job’s friends could help Him. We all have to go through our own process of questioning and searching. I can assure you that, as much as this long lonely road seems fruitless at times, our Creator declares,
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me, (Jeremiah 29:13).
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: http://whole-heartedlife.blogspot.com/. You may also contact me at:
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life