Friday, April 15, 2016

A Wavering Faith

Have you ever seen yourself, your life, in the Bible? I am not talking about the Bible reflecting a glimmer of who you are through a verse or a passage of scripture. I am talking about seeing your entire life spread out and laid over the pages of scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Without making the Bible say something other than what it actually says, there is a correlation between the entire cannon of scripture and our lives. The Bible is about One Person, but it speaks to every person...every messed up one of us who are all in need of encouragement.

Honestly, aren't we all looking for some comfort these days? Can't we all get lost in a few moments of assurance and embrace? In a political and religious landscape littered with lying and deceit and misrepresentation, we could all probably use a glimpse of truth and a little bit of hope. I know I could use that about now. My life is still messy. Still searching. Still without answers. 

This is a story. Not just my story, but your story too. How do I know your story? I don't, except that I know we are all more alike than different. 

My story and yours started... the beginning.


What was only without form and void became molded into life. Out of darkness, out of nothing, you came to be (Gen. 1:2). Naked and unashamed you came, trusting and free (Gen. 2:25). In the beauty of infancy, you learned to walk in the cool of the day (Gen. 3:8)The world confronted you and promised you that your desires would make you wise (Gen. 3:6)Despite Love, you took and ate (Gen. 3:6). Where are you (Gen. 3:9)? You hid (Gen. 3:8). And then went to work (Gen. 3:33).

But you were angry and confused. Your face fell (Gen. 4:5). You turned aside (Pss. 53:3). Now all you hear is silence. You beg, do not keep silent (Pss. 83:1). Your heart yearns for peace, peace (Jer. 6:14).

Your Consolation comes. (Luk. 2:25). Life changes. You who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on you has light shone (Mat. 4:16). But it's not perfect. You're harassed and often feel helpless against the onslaught of this life (Mat. 9:36). It still hurts, you still weep for what is no more. (Mat. 2:18). It is still messy. You do not do what you want, but you do the very thing you hate (Rom. 7:15).

Peace in the midst is your theme. You are blessed...your lawless deeds are forgiven (Rom. 4:7). And yet, pain breaks the bow of your blind faith. You grow weary and tired, and stumble badly  (Isa. 40:30). Where is Peace? You cry inside, why have You forsaken me (Mt. 27:46)? Through tears and letters and lament you cry out, I believe, help my unbelief (Mrk. 9:24).

You wait for the Lord. It's all you can do (Pss. 27:15). And you live, trying not to be anxious about tomorrow (Mt. 6:34). You wait, and you believe that you shall look upon the goodness of the Lord (Pss. 27:13).

But the questions remain. Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden (Job 3:23). Silence. Awaiting, your hope is from him (Pss. 62:5). Your faith though it waver, is not up to you. There is an Author and  Perfecter of your faith (Heb. 12:2).

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You will see his face and night will be no more (Rev. 22:4-5).

Behold, He is coming (Rev. 1:7).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Silence of the In-Between

solitude by serhatdemiroglu
Having just celebrated another Easter I am reminded of the mysteries of faith. I admit that I have more questions than answers these days. I haven't written here in a while due to a full work and school schedule. But I confess that it is also because I have run out of words (hard to believe for those that know me). This blog has always been a place of certainty, at least when it came to the gospel. However, if you've been around this little space you know the struggles I've shared and the questions I've wrestled with lately. When one speaks of the dark night of the soul it seems to be temporary by definition. Night always turns to day. 

And yet, it's still dark.

The same was true over two thousand years ago. It was the silence of Saturday.

It was the silence of the in-between...

...the day after your hope is dashed, but the day before it rises from the ashes. 

There is nothing you can do but wait. Even when the calendar has spoken. Even when Sunday comes, it still feels like Saturday. The celebrations have ended and the bonnets go back in their boxes. Sunday fades and Monday dawns but it still feels like Saturday. I think that for many who have experienced this silence it seems like a double wound when as believers we fail to acknowledge that reality. 

What was happening in the lives of Christ's followers after the resurrection? So often we paint the picture with a rainbow overarching it and a pot of gold on the other side. We just need to skip along the yellows and oranges and everything will be o.k. Only it's not o.k. It wasn't o.k. then. You can read about what happened to the disciples here. My point is this. I long for the day when churches can be honest about what it really means to live life as a Christ follower. It is not happy clappy. It is not always clear, in fact most times it's not. It must be how the disciples felt. Yes they had just witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. And yes that changed everything. But life was still hard. I wonder, did any of the disciples feel silence? Did any of them ever experience a dark night of the soul? I can only say that when I read about the disciples I find that I am more like them than not. They doubted, questioned, and denied Jesus. They were all kinds of inappropriate. I see that I've struggled in the same ways they did so I have to conclude that at some point they must have struggled in the same way I do. I wonder if they recalled what Jesus told them and what he tells us today, "I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Even when it still feels like Saturday.