Even In These Times
The holidays are fast approaching. It seems like it was just thanksgiving, a time where we calling to our minds the things we are thankful for, people we are thankful for, situations or even the posture of others hearts towards us and ours towards other people. In the midst of times we are trying to recall our thankfulness, it can be difficult to be thankful with the circumstances that surround our life. Even in times when we can find thankfulness in simple things, questions can arise because we ask ourselves, “How can I be thankful, fully thankful with loved ones in the hospital, friends, relatives passing into the Father’s arms, pain in my body, or the ones we love?”
One of the things the Father has been teaching me is to see Him in both the good times and the bad times; the highs and lows, in the joy of love and in the pain of love. It is so easy to see the Spirit of the Lord, especially when things are going great. How much faith does that take? Very little really. There will be times, times of truth, spirit and truth times, were things seem very dark for a season. A time when Jesus turns out the lights and calls us to trust Him in the darkness we are going through. A time were we just reach out our hand in the darkness, reaching for His hand in a worship called “trust.”
We have a problem as believers with really giving the Father our trust and I’m not sure it is completely our fault, at the same time it is also our fault too. We’ve just been following long held tradition of generations and generations of the church. There have been some circles of believers that have breakthroughs in trust, not the church as a whole though. During the time of the church of the enlightenment the people of God really stopped using the creativity of our faith and traded it in for logical thinking for formulas like A+B=C with our ideas about God. Even when Jesus walked the Earth, it was already happening, He would tell the big thinkers of His time, the Kingdom of Heaven is right here, right now and you don’t even perceive it. The problem is not with our ideas about intellectualism or even our lack of it, because they can both be wrong. I’m finding myself, more and more, in a place where I’m casting down my theological ideas and being satisfied with not knowing where I’m going, just as long as I have my heart calling out to Jesus. Letting Him take me on the journey in sickness, pain, loss. Barren and dry places where I find myself uncomfortably trusting Him to show me that He can be found even in these times. What does it look like to really follow Jesus, a living God that shares in our lives, even when they are not pleasant times.
Here is a truth, Father God, You are Holy; there is no other like you. There is no other that is Holy and I say that to draw a comparison to all the ways we use holy. I’m finding myself thinking of scripture as “wholly” when I think of the holy bible. Because the bible tells the whole story; even the disciples told the whole story, the good times and the bad times. Jesus didn’t restrict the disciples and tell them to say a certain thing about who He is. More often He would ask more questions then He gave answers to like, “Who do you say that I am?” His teaching style comes from the core of the Jewish teaching style. In the western world we give answers for weeks and weeks, and at the end of the semester we test and ask questions. In the Jewish culture the teaching style the rabbi (or teacher) would ask questions about a verse in the Tora and the students were expected to respond with a question. Because they knew the scripture so well they were taught to respond with the a question about the verse either before or after. So, the åteaching style of asking questions when teaching was a very normal style for Him. When we mix our culture of giving answers of certainty in faith, our faith facts, distract us every so slightly from being okay with not knowing the answer. Sometimes, it is easier to know the answer than to hold our hand out and ask the Spirit of the Lord to lead us.
Difficult times still come our way. With all our certainty it even feels awkward to even ask questions anymore. As American Christians we either don’t want the questions, or in some circles might even thing it is a sin to not know the answers. As we read the gospels, we need to go into the narrative. Like the narrative of “water into wine”, if we take life like Marry, Jesus’ mother, when she comes to Him and tells Him the problem that “we’re out of wine”, but she never told Him how to fix the problem. She just let Him deal with it the way He wanted to deal with it. In the gospels we see miracles Jesus did, as well as so many other times He could have done a miracle and He left things just as they were. He wasn’t just there in Spirit, He was actually with them. There will be times like in Psalms 23, where we are going through a valley and instead of fixing things with a miracle like we want Him to, He is just going to “MAKE” us lay down in a green field and find rest in it. I’m learning to find Him in days I feel good and days I feel sick, in pain, or loss. Can you find Him there too? Let’s go on a journey and find Him there together. Because God lives even in these times. ~Ryan