One time I was sitting at home and decided to look up an old friend of mine from high school and found him. It was great to talk about ‘the good old days’ and turns out he had moved to Nevada. After a few months of our chatting back and forth his wife calls our of no where and offers to fly me out to visit. I said “sure.” I had never been to that part of the world. Although we did a lot of things while I was there, one thing that has stuck with me through all these years was Lake Tahoe. It is this enormous explanse of clear cold water and its all natural, I believe. It was beautiful and deep and wonderful–all the things we think about when we think about refreshment.
Let’s face it folks, I am no great theologian. If you’re looking for some of those, check the side bar. Hit the Desiring God Blog or Pulpit Live or TeamPyro or Founders…. The waters there are deep and cool. This little blog is more like running through the sprinklers when you were a kid. Some are happy to have that much and for some its about all they can handle. For the rest of you who long for those long swims in the –ological deep end of the pool click over and be refreshed. Me? I’m sort of sitting in the wading pool thinking about that Lake.
“In my own kindergarten understanding of Sovereignty I understand that the trajectory of each atom is plotted by God,” I wrote recently in the comments of Centuri0n’s blog. And that’s just about the size of it. I know enough to realize that no comfort can come from tragedy unless we realize that God is truly who he says he is in the Bible. That he is the one who causes all things, who drives all things. We thank him for April showers that water our May flowers but when we get a hurricane on toward June it is unlikely to generate spontaneous praise. We are a fickle and selfish people when it comes to picking and choosing our blessings. I don’t desire bad things but I know that the same God that placed that thing in my path placed it there for my good.
Nothing that happens at all happens without his driving it. So this shooting at Virginia Tech was not a surprise to him anymore than Stephen’s stoning was in Acts or the flood or that car wreck you had—you know the one. Pick a nasty thing that’s happened to you. Whatever the event: from a hangnail to a coma—God is not only there, he ordained it for a reason. Where is the comfort in thinking that it was random circumstance? Where is the comfort in knowing that at anytime anything can happen for no reason at all? It’s a terrifying thing to think that in this world as evil as it is that there is no check on what can and will occur. That God is a god in a great array of other gods. That there is precious little that he can do but ‘influence’ events and give us a break when we need one. Or even in the notion that we must pray and beg for good things to happen.
But there is comfort. There is hope. There is peace in the knowledge that God is God; A capital ‘G’ God of creation and power, might and knowledge and love. That he is always working out the good of his children for his glory. Always. Eternally. A God so powerful and mighty that all through the Bible when he appears to his people and causes them to recognize him he has to tell them ‘It is I, don’t be afraid.’
That’s the God we worship as Christians.
I don’t think that’s the God that is represented in a lot of churches.
Don’t mind me, I’m weary and this world wears on me sometimes. I’m not going to curl up and whine “Golly, why can’t we all get along…” because I know that men are sinners and these things merely reflect the content of our hearts. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.