|Via Wikimedia, Ontario Snowfall|
It’s quite astonishing to me that I have the ability to commune regularly with the architect of time, space, matter, energy, and consciousness. Dare I treat it as ordinary? Dare I allow it to become mundane? Though I am only human, I can perceive at least some of this wonder. Can’t I? Can you?
God, this being of infinity, unborn, before the first moment, after the last moment, exists and desires to be in relationship with me. And I have that privilege. Given that, could anything be of greater importance than the one who made reality itself?
How is it that my mind slides off into dullard thoughts of fleshly desires almost endlessly? How can it be that I’m so distracted by the trinkets of this life? How dare I consider such an abounding relationship as something trivial?
I must confess that at times I do. I’m so busy scrolling through my news feed, or reading articles, I brush aside prayer. I brush aside the reading of the holy scriptures. I get so caught up in political discussions and commentary, I fail to connect with God almighty.
It is the human condition I suppose. Is it any wonder that western civilization has largely turned away from God? Though some are returning. There is always hope. But we live in the shadow, and we can’t see clearly the true realities. We have to fight for that comprehension. We have to fight to see the truth. We have to fight to apprehend the spiritual realms that exist all around us. It is quite difficult.
Life is after all consistently in our face. It’s always in my face. One can talk of God and eternity, but what about the utility bill? What about the credit card debt? What about the work schedule? These things are visceral. Especially when I haven’t gotten a proper amount of sleep! I’m quite vexed then and often quite ornery.
I can hardly hold myself together at times, I’m so filled with anxiety, fear, uncertainty, discomfort, improper desires, and selfish ambitions. I think I could rip apart from within! I can barely hold my head up for all the thoughts pouring out. And I work full time. When does one find time to connect with the spiritual realities around us? These are the tests we face.
I don’t think they are peculiar or unique. That’s key. We assume we’re going through something extraordinary. And in a way we are. But for any other believer in Christ, it is quite ordinary. These are the struggles we were intended to face. They are not strange or out of place. They are just the struggles this life provides, and God almighty gives provision for us to persevere through them. He really does.
Yet many are under the mistaken consideration that once one has God within life will be fundamentally good. That is false. In fact it may become more difficult, in ways. Yet fundamentally, joy is the state of things, joy in knowing that though the sky fold up and fire rain from the sky, all will be well.
This is not a pie in the sky concept, but a simple reality based on the infinite care of God. Logically, if God has provided redemption through himself, by way of Jesus Christ, and the individual has received that, then literally nothing can threaten that connection. Nothing can threaten that reality. And joy of the knowledge of the meaning of life is abundantly given.
Suddenly massive fears and dogged anxieties of this life float away. The what ifs no longer matter! I might’ve fretted that someday a tornado or earthquake or hurricane would come along and destroy all I had. Then it would be on my head to somehow scrap the pieces together. But once carried by God, the fear of this is no longer sane, because I’ve come to understand that I’m not in charge! And I won’t be the one picking up the pieces, it will be God who will care for me, my family, and orchestrate events to provide for us in the future. There really need be no fears anymore. I don’t have to try to control and manipulate and force events to go my way, I can trust that God is sovereignly guiding events to his greatest glory. I no longer have to plan out my whole life, I trust in God, pray and ask Him to reveal His will, then do my best to take actions so His will is done in my life. This becomes the new formula of life. So we have great reason for joy, for comfort, and also for perseverance in times of suffering.
Yet there are times when my soul feels as dry and crushed as if I were upon the dunes of a desert, starving for thirst in the hot sun. I honestly did not expect the crushing pain of these trials. I did not expect that when I became a Christian. I really didn’t. But I’ve come to accept those intense struggles as part of my mission and journey on Earth. The struggles are fantastic actually, they are quite compelling at times. Especially when I keep the proper perspective that God is using these brutal, visceral, in your face trials to build me into who He wants me to be.
In other words, he is disciplining us. Not disciplining as in slapping us with a ruler or spanking. Disciplining as in producing trials and struggles, like a football coach at practice, 6 days a week, drilling the boys, and toughening them up. And as Vince Lombardi said, “I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline.” Deep down, we need and appreciate the struggles God puts us through to transform us into His likeness.
It’s a transforming process. It slowly transforms your worldview, your very comprehension of reality. It’s like putting on a pair of strong glasses after being blurred for so long. You can finally see what life is really all about and you can finally comprehend mysteries like the complex unity of the natural world and the vastness of outer space. All of these things come to make sense. Though we do not have all the answers. Many, many things remain fantastic mysteries. But God delights in revealing His mysteries to those who delight in pursuing those mysteries. That is particularly true.
After writing to this point I stepped outside to carry a basket to a car for an old lady. And I looked out across the area as we stepped out the gym door. Snow was coming down everywhere, little puffs of white, as if in slow motion, flowing down from the skies. My first reaction was to think of this as ordinary. But being in the mindset of considering the deeper things of God, as I watched the flakes fall, I knew I was witnessing an existence designed and perpetuated by an infinite being of infinite power with personality, creativity and artistry baked into the whole project. Quite astounding. Nature, the heavens, the earth, the city around you, are all constructs in this dream of God. When you look across the city, when you walk about your day joy, when you drive from here to there, do you keep that fact at the forefront of your mindset? Definitely do so.
God is of the ability to be in a particularly beautiful relationship with you. You and He fit together like puzzle pieces. After all he has designed your soul. He decided that the world needed one of you. Your particular quirks, your talents and skills, and your struggles and difficulties. He designed you to fit with Him. He is after all the master designer, not only of human souls, but of time, the human senses, the world around us, nature, and how we perceive it. Interact with God on a daily basis, open yourself up to that unimaginable relationship. And don’t allow it to become mundane, but ask God to renew it within you again and again. Amen.
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