back BEFORE the “basic” questions
I have asked, I have come to realize
that there is a question I need to ask
and answer before those “basic”
the foundation of what I need to know:
does GOD see me and hear me?
The universe that man knows exists
is SO vast, so beyond all imagination . . .
and there is SO much more that we
do not know exists—
does the Creator of all this immense,
evidence of an inexplicable life force
flowing through more than science
can explain, more than mankind
DOES this Creator,
CAN this Creator have interest in this
one miniscule container of the common
life force put in place throughout a
universe so vast outside time and space . . .
To equate the Creator with a parent,
I can grasp how I can love the child I
“produced” no matter how many millions
of other children are in the world,
BUT what if I had billions of children
crying out for my attention . . . it is
beyond my ability to comprehend and,
SO, I ask the questions
and I wait in uncomfortable silence
for the answer I need deep within . . .
GOD, do you see me?
GOD, do you hear me?
GOD . . . dare I ask it . . .
do you love ME?
and my heart “hears”
a gentle whisper,
“yes, my child,
I love you . . .”
and, for a moment, I feel the
life flowing through my heart
and I know . . .
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity—
According to Christian teachers,
the essential vice, the utmost evil,
Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and
all that, are mere flea bites in comparison:
it was through Pride that the devil became
the devil: Pride leads to every other vice:
it is the complete anti-God state of mind…
So where is the wise philosopher
Where is the expert scholar
And where is the skilled debater
of our time
who could win a debate with God?
Hasn’t God demonstrated that
the wisdom of this world system
is utter foolishness?
(based on 1 Corinthians 1:20)
Recently confronted with a video by a self-proclaimed “scholar”
who used Aristotelian logic to “explain” GOD and God’s motives
putting forth his conclusion that basically made God like humans
(can you believe it?)—I was very disturbed by the potential impact
of this man’s conclusions as his claim questioned the very nature
of GOD while claiming he was “explaining” God and “evil.”
He assigned motives to God of unbelievable self-centeredness.
My discomfort in listening to this man was that his conclusions
would undermine my trust in GOD – why would I trust someone
who, like me, has a human nature and not as GOD is described
in Exodus 34:6—much like the powers of darkness in the
story of the garden of Eden, this man displayed remarkable
arrogance and PRIDE in his claim of a “knowledge” of God
so he could “explain” to the world the motives of GOD . . .
as if any man could? My heart breaks because he is a good
speaker and could convince a lot of people by his oratory skills.
HOW, I ask, can any man presume to tell me that GOD is not
“merciful and compassionate, slow to anger,
rich in grace and truth”
BUT tell me that GOD is motivated the the very human
characteristic of creating forces the HARM people
just SO there will be more “glory” for GOD!
NO! God is not like humans and God does not
misuse power for personal glory!
This is what happens when humans try to explain
what humans cannot understand.
GOD dealt with Job’s accusations against God because
of what had happened to him by giving Job a sample of
questions that were beyond the ability of man to answer . . .
The wisdom of God makes man’s “wisdom” foolishness.
I fear that this man’s arrogance would make him think he could answer God’s queries
for he would not, I fear, be able to say “I don’t know” to any questions posed to him, even by GOD–that’s PRIDE, that’s arrogance. Stand toe to toe with GOD???
Amazingly, this man used really good marketing skills
in that he ended his disturbing diatribe by referencing
Job’s interactions with God and saying in closing:
“let God be God” which makes it sound like his
conclusions were “good,” just like the deceiving spirit
did in the garden of Eden. BUT, no one can “explain” GOD,
we can only share opinions and ideas about our experiences.
MY GOD is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger, and rich in Grace and Truth
and NO MAN will convince me of the truth of
anything that undermines that understanding
or makes me question God’s motives which
I cannot always understand or explain, BUT
I TRUST GOD and GOD’s motives are ALWAYS
for my good (Romans 8:28 And we know that
God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called
according to His purpose.)
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who change darkness into light
and light into darkness,
who change bitter into sweet
and sweet into bitter!
Woe to those seeing themselves as wise,
esteeming themselves as clever.
(Isaiah 5:20-21 Complete Jewish Bible)
It is SO important to be careful what we listen to and be sure we are not
being drawn in by an “expert” claiming to be able to explain GOD!
Prayer and Scripture should be our
primary diet . . . 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
each year at the time of my birthday, I pray for a word, a thought, a Scripture, a quotation to guide my focus for the coming year:
paths – a journey . . .
Scripture references-source, Christian Bible: (innocence) Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
(faith – life of Abraham) Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” Romans 4:9
(faith – guide) I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you. John 14:16-17
(paths) Make me know your ways, Adonai, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth, and teach me; for you are the God who saves me, my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
Advent seemed like a good time this year to review my life, to take a personal “journey” that might help me “process” some challenges and gain some insights into who I am. To reflect . . . to review my path To repent . . . to look for Light in my darkness To restore . . . to try to clear my vision
SO much going on this year, maybe this will help me focus!
I once heard it said that a writer could not begin writing a story until the end was known and then had to work backward to fill in the story. I wonder if I could use that same approach to look at “my story.”
There have been a number of times I was SURE I knew the ending to a chapter in my life; sometimes I was right, but most often I was not right.
My life has surprised me, shocked me, depressed me, disappointed me, discouraged me, and yet . . . through every chapter, I have always had some pinpoint of light, some really tiny shred of something inexplicable that pushed me to go on, some unseen and unspoken at the time word of hope. I did not recognize it as “hope” at the time, but it is what seemed to have been there hiding in the shadows of my heart to draw me into the next moment on my journey to today.
With a past that led me to • early destruction of innocence, • discovery of the deceitfulness of self love, • an indescribable depth of impenetrable darkness, • the reality of unseen forces, • the door of suicide, • there is no limit to the depth of pain, • inner healing of surface layers, • exposure of deeper wounds and unknown scars, • many painful mask removals, • unrecoverable losses, • the futility of looking for completion in others, • see not all questions have answers and that is okay, • conclude that knowledge and wisdom are not the same, • admit that I am a slow learner, • find growth through pain and life in death and to realize that my life would fill many volumes that would only be of interest to me . . . but the life lessons might be of interest to others in their journey of life. I used to say that my pain would be worth it if I could save one person from suffering even a minute of the darkness I lived through—especially I did not want anyone to have to go through it alone, or at least not feel like they were going through it alone.
If my path and its traumas serve this purpose, I feel somehow that purpose gives my pain value. I remember that horrible feeling of being alone and not having anyone to share my wounding, my despair, my pain—that is the ultimate agony: not having anyone who understood my suffering or understood the “dumb choices” I made and the consequences of those choices or the choices of others that increased my destruction.
Isolated and insulated, even if it is a choice I made, is what leads to the darkest pits with walls so high they could never be climbed and there was no one to throw a rope down for climbing out of those pits—no one cares and so, eventually, I did not care either.
At the back of every deep, dark pit is always the door of suicide – no lock on that door – it opens with just a touch – it seems so right to remove the one causing so much pain to themselves and to others . . . so easy . . . the final answer!
I stood there – I planned to go through that door in several pits I lived in – but, ultimately, GOD pulled me out of the last pit where that seemed like the right final answer and, after many life lessons and extremely challenging confrontations of self, I have a new understanding of “broken vessel” and what it feels like when the Master Potter restores that vessel.
It is so hard to accept that restoration because of how unworthy and worthless that vessel feels, but the Master Potter is compassionate and patient and where I see scars and jagged pieces, the Master sees a vessel of beauty as originally created by those hands of Love from a heart of Love.
The Master Potter that, though unseen, was with me in every pit calling me to Life but I could not hear that voice over the loud chaos in my mind and heart as I focused on my pain and listened to the darkness calling me to death as my “reward.” It was the path I deserved to complete, the judgement I earned, the final steps to follow the others I had taken . . .BUT LIFE WON and the Master Potter continues to draw me with that pinpoint of light within a dark picture . . . hope for today and hope for tomorrow because that is what brought me through and out of my dark pits of yesterday—a pinpoint of light . . . some tiny unidentifiable stirring inside of me I now know was . . . HOPE!
I will cling to it as one clings to a life preserver in a rough sea and maybe it will grow as I fix my gaze on that pinpoint of Light . . . HOPE
reflect . . . repent . . . restore ADVENT draws attention to the coming of LIGHT and that can mean different things to different people. SO I decided to explore what each of those “words” mean to me within the context of the scripture references given to Advent 2021. My plan is to write five posts based on the references with the last one being a kind of summary of that word for me. It seems like a good idea in this time of so much chaos for each of us to explore what we think and what we believe. GOD . . . ME . . . LIFE . . if we could respectfully exchange our thoughts and beliefs, we might find that we each could gain.