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 kind...one 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?!
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.56-57There 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)