Key Scriptures Romans 8:18-23 and Luke 13:4-5
If we have an openness and are willing to learn, we can come to recognize the voice of God with assistance from those who are familiar with the divine voice from their own experience. On the other hand, we should understand that it is in Satan’s best interest to make an inherent mystery of God’s word coming directly to us. In this way, the power of God’s specific word for our lives can be hindered or lost. Without qualified help working alongside our desire to learn and readiness to cooperate, God’s direct word may remain a riddle or a game of theological charades.
This is generally the condition of the church today, I suspect. This would explain why there is such great confusion and difficulty about what it really means to walk with God.
As a father, yesterday I wonder if I failed yesterday.
We had a nice rolling earthquake as we were watching a movie. 100 or so miles away, it must have really rocked and rolled. But for us, it was a long drawn out thing, enough to cause us to wonder what was coming next.
The day beforehand, I panicked with a similar long-distance quake. I flashed back to January 17, 1994, and our apartment in Canoga Parker/Warner Center. Not far from the epicenter of the Northridge Earthquakes. That too was a longer quake, but we were closer, and the damage to our apartment and community was intense.
Here is where my failure occurs, as we tried to calm down after yesterday’s rolling quake. As we talked, as I mentioned my almost moving to Arkansas after Northridge ( I would have moved anywhere after that – even Texas!) I think my fear and anxiety affected my son.
And the 12-year-old child I struggle to see as a child, (he is 5’11.5″, 170 lbs and has an IQ like Einstein) got anxious. Enough so at bedtime he could relax, came into my bedroom and we talked. Plate tectonics, distance from the epicenter, fault effects, etc. And then the question…
“Why does God allow earthquakes?”
I stumbled to remember where the Tower of Siloam passage was above and tried to show the law and the gospel in it. We need to keep our relationship with God a priority, the priority because we don’t know what comes next. And while God doesn’t cause the earth to groan. Thanks to Apostle Paul for that reminder – that creation is subject to God’s curse, and it groans under the pressure of the sin it is subjected to! Such “groaning” God will use to remind us of the shortness of life, and that He is indeed with us.
He is there, in the darkness, in the anxious times, in the times were we shake or the ground does. in the moments where we don’t get that He is, and He is with us. In the moments where our kids pick up on fear and anxiety, and we fail to be the strong, wise, shameless heroes we want to be for our kids, God is with us there.
Willard is correct, theology can often become a charade, an act we put in place when we can’t find the answer. When we are as shaken as the land our in Searles Valley. (an odd connection to my home back east there) Theology and Biblical guidance must point us to the presence of God, that we walk with Him, that we depend on Him when our anxieties mount when we ourselves fail. Whether it is when we don’t see what the Holy Spirit is guiding us to in scripture, or how to react to trauma or frustration.
He is there, bringing comfort and peace, love and mercy and forgiveness…
Walking with us. Even standing in the doorway, or seeking protection under a table, or sitting on a bed trying to explain what doesn’t make sense, He is there! And depending on Him is the answer we need to come to and know this. God will bring us to that answer, that He is the answer.
Lord Jesus, remind us of the presence of the Holy Spirit, the comforter, in our lives. When we are full of anxiety, fear, or just don’t have the answers, Lord bring us peace and help us to be a peaceful presence in others lives. AMEN!