It is the first day of June, and it”s being ushered in with millions of droplets of RAIN!! My Winnie the Pooh brain says, “O bother”, but the other side of my brain embraces it as a perfect day to reflect, read and write!
As I sat in my old rocking chair, I began to think about the generation of young adults emerging into society. I thought about how my own young adult children have battled out their faith in Jesus in a “new world” of emergent faith thinking.
Bold questions asked repeatedly of how a God of so-called love could and would “allow” such terrible suffering. How could anyone believe in a God who would send His ONLY Son to earth to DIE so that we could stand free and clear of all guilt and shame?
My thoughts followed the consistent pattern of the sound of the rain as I pounded out this question in search of some answers. Other questions came and God’s word came rolling in like a wave so that I could know longer sit and think and pray about this! With haste I made my way down the three flights of stairs to my office to grab my computer and start writing before my thoughts could escape me! (Which they so quickly do these days!!)
I have grown up with faith in Jesus, I willingly placed my life in His hands at the age of four. I had never questioned my faith or had any doubts. I had a very simple childlike faith that simply believed. Not until my children began to “pick” at scripture and own their own doubts was I forced to think and study deeper and broader than the world of faith I had fostered.
The word picture I have in my mind over this process is much like a piece of paper floating on the surface of moving water. The movement of the paper is clearly seen as it molds to the sculpting of the water’s surface. You can see it for a while because of its objectivity, but soon it disappears by breaking down and eventually disappears altogether, becoming part of the water.
Our faith can be like that piece of paper, an obvious riding movement of trust alongside and with culture, but living separate… at times oblivious to currents around and beneath us, and like the piece of paper, if our faith is void of structure, of correct “bonding” ingredients and consistency, it soon disappears altogether; perhaps a better word would be that it actually “dissipates”.
Perhaps too many of us are growing content to not build into our faith. Perhaps we lack the courage or even discipline to sit long enough to battle some of these questions out in prayer and in study of God’s word. I know that God will forever remain a great mystery, we will never fully know the answers to every question, but for some of the fundamental, foundational question I believe there ARE answers.
So you say you cannot believe in a God who would sacrifice His OWN Son for all of mankind? I believe that the deeper question is of love and suffering.
Our culture is an indulgent one. We desire what can come to us quickly, with no amount of discipline required. We desire everything that could and would attribute to us feeling good, peaceful, happy, satisfied; We desire protection from every form of suffering; We desire LOVE; we desire to be wanted, desired, beautiful, and forever young.
To make a deliberate choice to place my life into the hands of a God who would send His only Son on an earthly mission to know and experience humanity in order to “SAVE ” us through His own suffering and death (1Pet. 2:21-25) sounds absurd! What kind of “father” would do that sort of thing? (John 3:16-17).
Let me ask you this; Do you actually think that you would trust anyone who had not proven his or her love to be trustworthy? Would you trust another if their expectations and desires FOR YOU were not ones that they themselves had been willing to submit to? Tell me, how long would that relationship last? Have you not known the crazy longing for a relationship of sacrificial love?
Would you trust a counsellor with your painful “junk” if you knew he or she had not experienced a valley similar to yours?
And do you really think that you would trust a God you could completely understand and figure out? With this indulgent culture also comes a ravenous hunger for knowledge, to push the boundaries on what is present in order to make it part of the past. What satisfaction would we have, what level of trust, what part of the natural, created part of the human mind, heart and soul that is inclined to search would believe in and trust a God we could completely figure out?
Just look at the human mind! New inventions take place constantly! WHO gave man his mind? Does this not speak of a Creator of love? If the human mind is capable of constantly discovering unknown things and creating marvelous inventions, then does this not speak of a God who is FAR GREATER than anything we could EVER imagine or create with our own human limitations?
And yet we get stuck on this love and suffering thing….this one mystery is distorted by the thief of our souls (John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8-11), to keep the unbelieving unbelievers
Would we trust in a God who was a dictator? We would desire His “dictatorship” against suffering, but we would not trust a dictator over our personal freedom.We desire perfection from life so that we can live and not feel pain; BUT because we DO feel pain, we seek to find solace in blame. So why not inwardly blame the God we say we don’t believe in order to temporarily resolve what we know we don’t know or cannot understand?
Consider what God was willing to do for us so that we could LIVE.
Would you give your life if you knew it could save your dearest friend from dying?
“But GOD SHOWS His LOVE for us in that while we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) …Oh, and yes I know, that word “sinner”, that would mean that we were not perfect…and perfection is another ravenous hunger of our culture….that is a blog for another time.
I haven’t answered the question..
I don’t like doing that for anyone…
I will close with this final thought….
Just suppose you chose to believe in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ.
The one and ONLY God. (Isaiah 44:6-8)
Imagine great thinkers out there what your life could be like if you chose to place faith in God who stopped at nothing to save you SO THAT you COULD and would LIVE forever? (John 3:16)
Imagine what it would mean for your short earthly existence if you could live EVERY day KNOWING that you were SO LOVED by a God who would NEVER leave you? (Heb. 13:5), by a God who promises that NOTHING would separate you from HIS love? see Romans 8:31-39 (except our sin of course, but that is WHY Jesus was sent to us, so that our lives would be swept clean to start a NEW life, an INWARD life of freedom, free from the weight of the deep of a soul living in darkness, and a soul prepared to live FOREVER…see 1John 1:9 and Rom.8:1).
Just a suggestion; perhaps its time to read the Bible? Maybe be willing to consider its life giving words…
Just a suggestion on a rainy day.