Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trust vs. Understanding (pt. 3)

Christian College Myth #2: I’m going to find the good in every situation, because God makes everything happen for a reason, and God forbid it doesn’t make sense to me – I have to understand it all.

So I may have voiced this one in a little bit of an extreme way – I’ve been a very frustrated girl this semester. Now that it’s summer, and I am off campus, and sitting in the house I’m living in for the summer with the other Mercy House interns (shout out), I’m a little less urgently upset, though still frustrated enough with the attitudes I adopted this past year (and have since discarded) to finish what I’ve started.

Having a positive outlook is not a bad thing. I hold nothing against optimists.

Being instructed to discipline yourself in order to create a compulsion to find (or create) some tiny positive outlook in terrible situations is however, to my mind, destructive.

Feel free to make fun of me enthusiastically for my extreme love of this movie, but in Remember the Titans, there is a memorable quote, which I think is really quite profound:

“Sometimes bad things happen. For no reason at all.”

Or no reason that I will understand in this life. Or no reason more insightful than “There is evil in this world.”

Trust me, I know and believe that God is powerful, and that in the end, He wins, and we have hope in Christ. But I think we often forget the flip side, that Satan has power too, and though God wins in the end, evil can cause a whole lot of harm in the meantime.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

We have a very ordinary desire for things to make sense. It also feels very good to think that we know what God is up to. But God will humble the proud.

Everytime we try to contain God inside a box of our limited human understanding, He’s just going to break out of it again and do something completely unexpected. The minute we think we understand Him, He will blow our minds away. And it won’t make sense any more.

If our faith is based on our understanding, where then will it be? Faith, by its very definition, involves believing without understanding, involves doubt.

So… perhaps the issue is more about trust. Do we trust that God knows what He’s doing? Enough to love Him and pursue Him even if He doesn’t let us in on the finer details of His divine plan?

Do we trust God enough to bring even our doubts to Him?

I’ve found that He’s big enough to handle it.

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