Friday, March 26, 2010

Suddenly Sabbatical

My husband has 5 large book shelves in his office.

Books on hiking and parenting. Biology, theology, eschatology. He's got financial texts and literature through the ages . He's got volumes on conditions of the body, mind and heart.

I could go on and on, but I won't.

The gist is he has many, many books.

Occasionally, when I need a book that isn't of the fiction that forces me to read slow and think...I go into his office and steal borrow one.  If I don't dog-ear the pages to mark my place, or accidently leave it in the bathroom, he usually never knows of my thieving ways.

Two weeks ago I picked up Disappointed with God by Phillip Yancey.

If you haven't read it, Yancey opens with a story of a young man, who through various circumstances that aren't small in nature, becomes disappointed with God. As this man's story unfolds, Yancey begins to realize that there were three questions the young man wants answered:

Is God unfair? 

Is He silent? 

Is He hidden?

The Lord knew I would need to read this book at this time.

The last few weeks have not been easy ones.

I've a had few suddenlies this month. You know what I mean...then suddenly I got a call....then suddenly my life flashed before my eyes....then suddenly I realized the truth...

These suddenlies stirred up issues I long thought had been resolved.

Deep issues of trust, of betrayal, of hurt.

Issues that have me asking why things sometimes work out that feel unfair?

Like allowing credit to be given where it isn't due.

Like watching a mother bury her child.

Or waiting for the apology that won't ever come.

As I've thought about the suddenlies in my life, I am reminded that in these circumstances the question is not about about fairness. Or silence. Or God being hidden.

God has experienced these things as He watched his Son die; To pay my debt, for which I (without Christ's sacrifice) could never pay in full.

I've never been one with a high need for justice, but this week I surprised myself. For a few long days, I began to crave answers that no one could answer. I started to feel that old need for formulas and checklists. For do's and don'ts.

I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and say Just tell me what to do?!

His answer?

Love me. And let me love you.

Consider this quote:

As I read through the Bible..., I marveled at how much God lets humans affect Him. I was unprepared for the joy and anguish - in short, the passion - of the God of the Universe. By studying "about" God, by taming Him and reducing Him to words and concepts that could be filed away in alphabetical order, I had lost the force of the passionate relationship God seeks above all else. The people who related to God best - Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah - treated Him with startling familiarity. They talked to God as if he were sitting in a chair beside them, as one might talk to a counselor, a boss, a parent, a lover. They treated Him like a person.
That (reading of the entire bible from start to finish) put my three questions about disappointment with God in a new light. They are not puzzles awaiting solutions, such as you would encounter in the field of mathematics or computer programming or even philosophy. Rather, they are problems of relationship between human beings and a God who wants desperately to love and be loved by us. 
Disappointment With God; Phillip Yancy; pp.56-57
There it is.

That sweet reminder.

God wants to know us.

He wants us to know Him.

He has experienced the hardships that life has to offer. He knows them full well. Yet he is not hindered by them.

No, God's Word will not be chained (2 Tim 2:9)

In our weakness He becomes the Rock, the Hiding Place, the Comforter . All because he knew the full extent of all the sunddenlies, of unfairness, silence, and the hidden face of God...

Its about sharing in His sufferings, so we can know, really know, the Resurrection and Life. (John 11:25)


Traditionally I take a sabbatical during Holy Week. I turn off the computer, shut down the tweets, click off the TV and focus. This years sabbatical couldn't come at a better time. I pray this coming week would be one that draws you nearer to our Savior and finds you celebrating the beauty and freedom of Resurrection on Easter morning.

With Love,


Gretchen said...

Love u. Happy Passion Week!

Musings of a Housewife said...

Kellie, thank you for this post today. ((hug)) Enjoy your rest.

Anonymous said...

I love you!


O Mom said...

It all comes down to Him, He is so personal and the love of my life, I don't wan tmore than that.
Praying for a wonderful time for you with Him this week.

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...

Enjoy your time :)

Anonymous said...

Yancey is an amazing writer with an excellent mind. I've not yet read this title, mostly because I'm still digesting his book on prayer, but it's on my list. Thanks for sharing your great thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am just getting a chance to comment on this post! This was written at the perfect time for my sister. She was in labor a good part of the week. Wasn't feeling her sweet little girl like she should on Wednesday. Thursday her water broke and when she was checked she hadn't progressed at all. However they saw that there was meconium in the water. My sweet little niece was born at 11:45 am on Thursday! She was intubated 3 times to clear her lungs. They think she has an infection and had to move her to the UVA NICU. She stopped breathing a few times. Once while my sister saw her for the first time. I have been at the hospital off and on since Thursday and was so glad to read this post. I read it to my sister and it brought so much comfort to her! Ellie Clare is doing wonderfully and all of the tests are coming back great. My sister was finally re-united with her earlier today! :-)

Unknown said...

During your sabbatical I pray that you will grow closer to God...that you will hear His voice whispering in your ear and heart...that you will feel His loving arms around you...that your family will see your strength knowing where it comes from...that you are aware of His peace and protection...that you find yourself laughing and being joyful at unexpected times...and that you will know that you know that you know that you are LOVED by a great God.


Tiffani said...


I love you.

Soak up your week.

Carpool Queen said...

When I think of the good relationships in my life, how free and easy they are, it makes me want to realize that those relationships didn't happen overnight. They were the product of interest, time spent together, and trust. I hope this week furthers your relationship with your Father.

jamjar said...

Thank you for today's post. Yancey is one of my favorite authors. Bless you!

Jewel said...

That is so good Kellie! I know I'm a little late in reading this but it's coming just at the time when I need to hear it:) Love that! God bless you today.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff!

I've asked a lot of "fair" questions. I'm balancing the fact that God loves me, knows how I feel, and wants me to communicate those feelings to Him with the fact that my idea of fairness is not what's He's concerned with. Concerned's not the right word. Yes, He's concerned with what concerns me. But His idea of fairness is different from mine because my knowledge and vision are so limited.

For me, trusting that He is sovereign and knows what He's doing is freeing. Yes, I get upset and tell Him, "This doesn't seem fair to me." But I can rest in the knowledge that He's got it all under control.

I would like to read that book. Another friend recommended it to me.