A Grief Observed

“When I lay these questions before God I get a no answer. But a rather special ‘No Answer’. It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask – half our great theological and metaphysical problems – are like that.”

“Heaven will solve our problems, but not, I think, by showing subtle reconciliations between all our apparently contradictory notions. The notions will all be knocked from under our feet. We shall see that there never was any problem.”

“To see [into one anothers lives], in some measure, like God. His love and His knowledge are not distinct from one another, nor from Him. We could almost say He sees because He loves, and therefore loves although He sees.”

-A Grief Observed

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C.S. Lewis

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

C.S. Lewis
“A Grief Observed”

to the cross i cling.

No day of my life has passed that has not
Proved me guilty in your sight
The best that I have to offer are these filthy rags …
And yet you love me
All things in me call for my rejection
All things in You plead my acceptance

I am guilty but pardoned by grace I’ve been set free
I am ransomed through the blood you shed for me
I was dead in my transgressions, but life you brought to me
I am reconciled through mercy, to the cross I cling
No more am I a slave to sin but Bought with a price
Redemption that was purchased through the blessed cross … That You bore for me

Written by Matt Boswell and Michael Bleecker 11.3.2009

answers.

I have come to find myself wanting answers lately; a lot of different answers.  What am I supposed to be? Was Jesus ever afraid? Is this the way life is going to be forever? Why is there so much death and suffering and why does it continue? What does walking in obedience look like? Do I go left? Or right? Why can’t I seem to “hear” or “feel” You? What do I need to do to honor You and walk in obedience? But, just because these questions and even their answers aren’t in and of themselves wrong or bad- it is wrong if I start to make them ultimate. I find myself beginning to think that if I find the answers I will find life, I will find freedom. If the answers show up I will have found all I am looking for and everything I need. – WRONG! LIE!

“you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

Jesus was speaking to those who were searching for answers and life in the scriptures, in the answers, instead of seeking all of those things in Jesus Christ Himself. They wanted to know what to do and what not to do in order to get salvation, in order to get to eternal life. They desired obedience, which is a good thing, but they only desired it for only the sake of obedience. They were seeking life in the answers, in the obedience, in the knowledge of the scriptures- and they missed the point!

Oh how often I miss the point!! How often my goal is obedience and scripture and wisdom and knowledge! True life, eternal life, is not found in answers or even in our feeble attempts at obedience. Life is found only in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!! When we see that and come to truly understand and believe it, when we begin seeing Jesus as the goal, as ultimate-all of everything else will fall into place! Obedience will follow, answers may come, but it’s not in those things where life is found. And even if our questions remain unanswered and the obedience can’t be mustered – Christ is enough!! He will bridge the gap. He is sufficient. He is enough. Always. Even if all things are taken away…even if our identity is seemingly stripped from us, He is still enough! Always enough!

why not.

Our prayers have stains in them, our faith is mixed with unbelief, our repentance is
not so tender as it should be, our communion is distant and interrupted. We cannot
pray without sinning, and there is filth even in our tears. -Spurgeon

I am pleading with the Lord to change some things in me. And from what I know, cognitively at least, about His character and His word, He is good. And He is faithful. And loving. And patient. So, for me, that last one is good news. I feel like I am so stubborn and foolish and yet I continue to shake my fist at Him, wondering why this isn’t working out like I want or had planned. Even in my repentance and in my tears and groaning and my prayers I can feel the darkness in my heart.

And so I am beseeching Him to “turn the darkness into light”.

He has done it before.

Why not for me?