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It's ok. Don't pray or read your bible.

MAN! Sometimes I am just can’t believe God would be so good or so in control or so…just has everything together.

As you know, I’ve had lots of questions lately. My friends have had lots of questions lately. And over the past year, it honestly has shaken my faith a bit. Why the suffering? If God is so big and good, why is He so confusing sometimes? Why can some see and understand while others cannot? Why does evil prevail so much? Why is it so hard?

 But through the rubble of confusion, there has emerged in me this completely stubborn and persistent person that chooses to believe. I didn’t know that person existed…I mean, I used to. But then I feel like I entered this season of weakness in my faith where the smallest question would send my knees trembling. As I pursued the questions and just honestly bared myself in front of my community and church, in my spiritual nakedness, I didn’t receive any answers…but I did see my faith grow. HOW?!

Because God transforms us. He makes promises that He keeps. And this past week at church, Jeff called us all out. He said, “If you do not want to be transformed by the power of God…if you want the Scripture and His words to stay out there and not inside of you…then you do not need to read or pray or engage. I release you from reading your bible merely by guilt or fear.”

He pointed out that sometimes in our small groups and bible studies, we are great at having the appearance of wanting to know God, but we miss the mark because we wrestle with the nuances of God and evade him in the process. He uses the example of Jonah: we sit and talk about the credibility of a story about a man who was swallowed by a whale and spit back out onto dry land. So we research what kind of fish could have possibly held a whole man inside at that time in history…we think our way around what the writer could have maybe misunderstood about the situation…all the while being engaged in missing the point.

Feasibility is not the point. What God is communicating is the point. What is God trying to tell us by sending a disobedient man, cut off from all life, into the belly of a fish until his heart changed?

The Scriptures are transformational, but how often do we approach it with the attitude that we need to be changed, not simply just able to make it through another day or even another tidbit of apologetics to show up our friends? If we can’t love God or people better after reading, than we’ve missed the point. And God has definitely been making the point that while I can ask questions, I have no right to expect answers from Him. I know that He loves me, and that has to be enough. I feel like Israel sometimes…God has delivered me from a life of loss and sadness and has been so good…He even leads me by a pillar of fire…yet I still question His goodness and His plan.

This article has also helped me out…Don’t Forget the Basics.

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul. -Deuteronomy 4:29

“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great sruggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil, becomes known by his true name…That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other faity tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time, but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.”

~Frederick Buechner

 

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