Saturday, June 12, 2010

It is enough...

I keep being drawn back to Thursday's post. We know so little of what God is actually doing with us, and yet we do know that God has a way of working in deep paradox, bringing light out of darkness, and new life out of what appears to us to be death.

Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be." John 12:24-26a)

What we are has so often to be broken for what God longs for us to be to come about.  "Elisha had to break his plough, which represented his financial security, before he could qualify for a double portion of God's Spirit (1 Kings 19:19-21). Mary had to break her alabaster box, which represented her dowry and hope for marriage, in order to receive Christ's highest commendation (Mark 14:3-9)." (From a UCB devotional a friend sent me.) Sometimes it happens without our willing it. David did not intend his world to fall apart when he first looked at Bathsheba from his rooftop (2 Samuel 11-12); but he ended up realising (Psalm 51:17) that "[t]he sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise..."

God does not ever intend us harm; but he knows our fallenness, and he knows that we cannot be kept from harm without losing our freedom to choose to love each other, and to love him. So often what lies on the far side of the worst we can imagine is better than the best we can imagine. That is the story of the Cross (John 12:26b-28), and it is the story of all our human loss and all our human hope.

Where does this leave us? I made a stab at it the other week, in my post More treasures of darkness... We cannot know where God is taking us. All we can know is the next step, in faithfulness to his word (Psalm 119.105). All our trust, all our future, rests in Christ's pierced hands. It is enough. There truly is nothing else to know.

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