There are many things I would not want to be abandoned to...but abandoned to God is not meant to be horrifying. We should be afraid of His holiness...but not of His will. His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts, and so often we struggle with the following Him...why? As I've said before in some of these posts, I feel like it so often comes down to us not wanting to release that illusion of control, and fearing that His thoughts not being our thoughts means He wants us to do or to endure something terrible. It comes of us being already in the midst or having already undergone something horrific and pulling back from the pain, telling God we cannot bear feeling that again.
The goodness of God endureth continually.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.
There isn't much question in the Bible that His will really is our highest good.
The question is do we believe it or do we not believe it.
Are we willing to wait for work together for good, rather than the all things are good promise that we want? Are we able to follow Him knowing My yoke is easy and My burden is light...even though it is equally true that in this world you will have tribulation? He tells us to cast our care on Him; He doesn't say we will have no cares.
Can we believe that the God who named Himself Truth is unwilling to be made a liar? Even if it is hard to believe that One so great could possibly care enough about us...we know He cares for His name and His glory. Dare we act as though He will not fulfill His own word? Dare we call Him a liar and refuse to believe that His will and His work are that we might have abundant life?
We cannot, can we?
But what then do we say when we are living the opposite of abundant life, when we taste no goodness, when we feel no joy? When we have none of the comfort that has been promised? When we have found no way of escape and our burdens are more than we can bear and He does not appear to be taking them from us?
I want so badly to have a simple answer to this. To know how to simply take Him at His word, even when I cannot see proof. To know what to say when the lives of those around me are pressed down and running over with pain. The Problem of Pain.
We acknowledge it is a problem, but when it is our problem, the answers so many have found seem pat and unhelpful, leaving many to veer into either He is a liar or He is not real...or to head into He is Truth, therefore this all completely my/this other person's fault for not trusting Him enough/not believing Him/having sin in my-his-her life. The former is an agonizing wasteland, the latter insult to injury and sometimes the last piece that destroys a person nearly as well.
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
No. My soul is cast down. Therefore. I will remember Thee.
I am not scholar enough to know for sure, but I don't think it's reading between the lines too much to note that the land of Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon, was land originally taken from Og, king of Bashan, one of the last of the giants, one who came out to attack Israel, about whom God said, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand, and then promptly did so. David's soul is in tumult, and so he is looking to see where he is and what has already happened there -- what armies destroyed, what giants slain, what promises God has already kept in this place.
Can we also look back on what He has already done for us? Can we fully embrace the fact that His ways are not our ways and remember that the all-seeing, all-knowing, almighty Father knows what we do not and that His comfort and His relief and His joy are ahead for us? Can then we move on to say, as David did,
Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Can we trust Him, even in the darkness, believe Him, no matter what circumstances imprison us, and abandon ourselves to the love He has promised us?
Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
|view from one of the hospitals at which I rotated|
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