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Posts Tagged ‘romans 9’

grieving angel“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.” [Isaiah 55:8-9]

Here’s the difference. When you and I “think,” it’s just an opinion or point of view or perhaps a bit of problem solving. When God thinks, things come into being or mountains move. The answer to the question, “what is God thinking” is incomprehensible to humans. Maybe, “what are You making?” would be better. I get some solace from my faith in a blueprint. Some.

We’ve gotten too casual with God. Perhaps it’s part of the new informal culture where jeans are always acceptable and language has become various letters of the alphabet. YKWIM? We want the “thumbs up” Jesus. We don’t want to be afraid of God so we make God cozy and grandfatherly.

And although a relationship with God can be warm and intimate and full of mercy, there is a point when God basically says, “because I said so.” And this moment needs to be accepted with the same surrender as “cootchy, cootchy, coo.” A creator has the ability and the right to destroy or alter or remake the object. “But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”[Romans 9:20]

Lately, some terribly difficult circumstances have dropped into the lives of my colleagues and friends: several people have been diagnosed with cancer or had serious surgeries, a couple of people have been on dialysis for over a year, and now a 3 1/2 year old child died just three days after being diagnosed with T-Cell leukemia.The child’s death has been the most difficult of all.

It’s hard to avoid the gripe, “what is God thinking?” Is there a satisfactory answer in my world? Not really.

I understand intellectually. Each journey is different. And although I have come to a peace about my friend Mary dying from pancreatic cancer and how I admire her as she embraces this new path in her life odyssey, the bottom drops out of my confidence, when it’s a child. The grief is heavy, the weight of a family’s loss is palpable.

It’s not the first time I’ve witnessed the agony. Some years ago, I went to a viewing of a baby who had died of SIDS. The mother was so distraught that she pulled the lifeless, embalmed child from the coffin and carried her around the room of the funeral chapel. She was inconsolable. And there was nothing to say.

Every step of faith in the face of pain and trauma and sorrow, is an excursion into the mind of Christ, a dance with the Holy Spirit, a siege at the entrance of the “holy of holies.” But the answer is always the same, “God’s thoughts are not my thoughts, God’s ways are not my ways.”

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