OK, back to the mission of this blog – my soapbox about Jesus!
I made it to church twice this week. Probably not a record for some but my church attendance has been erratic over the past couple of years. Getting out the door in the morning is not something I do well, better put, getting out of bed in the morning is not something I do well. I know it sounds pathetic but…it is what it is…chronic illness that keeps me confined many days, so I blog!
So I made it to church and delightfully participated in the worship and the word. It always gives me a lift and something worthwhile to contemplate. My pastor began the sermon with this quote:
Bring me a worm who can understand a man, then I’ll show you a man who can understand God. -John Wesley
Isn’t that great!? To be able to comprehend what is defined as incomprehensible is impossible. Yet that is what so many of us spend our time doing, trying to fit within our box the God who says,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,” declares the LORD, “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
Yet we are told to trust in this God we cannot fully comprehend. “Trust in the name of the LORD and rely on God.” (Isaiah 50:10) Jesus prayed for us, “that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent.” (John 17:3) It was Paul’s singleminded goal:
Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Chrsit. I count all things loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11)
He’s far greater than I can ever wrap my mind around, yet He desires that I know Him and put my trust in Him. He works in unusual ways, ways we do not expect. Paul seems to be saying we can know Him best through suffering…does that include chronic illness? I believe so.
Daniel told us to praise this God who holds all wisdom and power in His hand. This God bestows wisdom upon whomever He wishes:
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.”
I will trust in this God who reveals Himself to me through His Son, Jesus Christ, and who has caused me to suffer to get to know Him better. I may not understand it all, but I want to know Him more.
It is only from the perspective of the trinitarian God that we can claim that “God is Love,” because love is never alone. Instead, it brings together those who are separate while maintaining their distinct characters. From the perspective of the triune God, one can say, along with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “only a suffering God can help.” The God who is with us and for us in his suffering love can understand us and redeem us. -Jurgen Moltmann
“How great the Father’s love for us…How vast beyond all measure…That He would give His only Son…for such a wretch, His treasure…”