Here’s an interesting question for the beginning of 2015: If you were to have loss, pain, suffering, heartache, and doubt in 2015, would it be worth it if in the end, you had a peace in your heart that was nothing short of spectacular? Let me ask it in a different way. What would you give or endure to feel peace, satisfaction, and joy?
I have had many seasons in life consisting of ‘losing things’ and of being stripped away from all my comforts. What was left? Well, just me. And God likes it that way, doesn’t He? God loves a broken and contrite spirit. (Isaiah 57:15)
I keep coming back to one particular verse as 2015 kicks off with all hope and potential. Proverbs 4:7 is one of those passages that both enlightens and confuses. It’s a big bite to swallow. Chew on this:
That’s HUGE, right? Consider this:
How can we possibly gain understanding in the first place? God says that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts lofty compared to ours. (Isaiah 55:8 & 9)
Job asked questions. Habakkuk asked questions. Did they get answers? Nope. If I asked, would I get answers? Probably not, but if I did, would I even understand them?
Perhaps the understanding we are to gain is that we won’t understand it at all. (Ooh, a paradox…).
I find that in prayer, especially recently, when I ask questions, I feel peace. I’m reminded of the peace that passes understanding. Although I doubt my attitude sometimes, and I get frustrated that I feel like I have no control on many aspects of life, I feel peace. That’s reassuring since it is fruit-bearing. That’s a good sign! (Philippians 4:6-7)
It is appropriate to question God. (Gasp!) Job did. Habakkuk did. Gideon did. Thomas did. David even accused God of turning His back on Him.
-What is NOT appropriate is losing faith in the Sovereign One that knows all those things we can neither comprehend nor predict.
-What is NOT appropriate is to let Satan use those questions to let anger, bitterness, or resentment into the hearts we are to guard so closely.
-What is NOT appropriate is to grab the steering wheel again.
-What is NOT appropriate is to bargain with God to make good things happen again.
-What is NOT appropriate is to feel guilt about our past and assume, while in the midst of God’s silence, that we don’t deserve His Love, His Grace, or His Forgiveness.
Forget understanding – let’s go for more! I believe that part of understanding is knowing you are not in control, and cannot possibly understand, It’s having faith in God’s Promise to believers in Romans 8:28.
Remember that scene in Toy Story near the end when Buzz Lightyear is flying to catch up to the moving truck and the mini-van in front of it? Buzz is carrying Woody. All of Andy’s other toys are in a box in the back of the moving truck. Woody assumes they are headed for the other toys and it looks like they are going to miss it. He says something to Buzz about overshooting the moving van. Buzz says, “We’re not aiming for the truck.” And then he flies right into the sunroof of the van and they land next to Andy.
I’m going to be like Buzz. I’m not aiming for understanding. I’m going to land in His perfect peace.
For you, my friend, I wish the same. Raise your glass… Here’s to 2015!