Monday, March 17, 2008

shalom shattered

My TheRapist co-wrote this book and I was reading this part just now. I wish God, if he's real, would give us an easy answer but there's still hope in what this says. I want to marinate in this bit for a little while.

"God uses our tragedies to teach us about himself. How will we know of God's power unless we see him redeem our tragedies? How will we know of his suffering on our behalf unless we enter into our own suffering? ... When we are satisfied, we easily forget our dependence on God. He uses tragedy to call us back to himself. Tragedy compels our attention in a way shalom never could. Only our hope for healing and redemption are sufficient reasons to face the tiger. It's useless to remain in the broken boat. And nothing was ever discovered by those who refused to wade ashore. ... Tragedies lead us to places where we feel powerless, betrayed and ambivalent, places where we become the orphan, the stranger and the widow. ... We long to see the Father's face, hear his blessing, and feel the warmth of his protection of and his delight in us. We long for him to tell us who we are and what we were uniquely made to do. In the absence of this, the weeds of despair and apathy grow. ... One of the most troublesome of God's characteristics is that he rarely takes away the messes of our lives. God redeems through harm, not from harm. Be aware of when you try to cover anger with trite aphorisms. We sacrifice both our integrity and an opportunity for growth when we avoid suffering with cloying platitudes like "Just trust God." "Time heals all wounds," and "It will all work out in the end." Allow yourself to sit in the grief and the pain and to hope for the day when God's presence with you in your tragedy becomes clear. He can withstand both your grief and your anger. Wrestle with him as Jacob did. You will always walk away with a limp and a blessing." - from the To Be Told, workbook by Dan Allender and Lisa K. Fann

I'm not a fan of sitting in the grief and pain, I'd rather watch this Supergrass cover of "Beat It." There's fire in their eyes and their words are very clear.


nancypants said...

Wow, Stephy, that is an awesome passage... though not that it's fun to hear when you (universal you, not YOU) need to hear it. We've always been big Dan Allendar fans here... I'm thinking I need to read more of this book.

And on a totally unrelated note, do you ever read She's from your neck of the woods and she is pickin' hilarious (and a blog buddy of Ree's.) Thought you might get a kick out of her if you hadn't read her blog yet. :^)

Simone said...

I too would rather watch that video. I always find explanations like that as kinda excuses for why God allows pain to happen. Since I believe the good and bad are more or less random (unless you torched someone's house and they torched yours back, then that would NOT be random) so I find comfort in the fact that good and bad things happen, it's not always proportionate, but we can just enjoy the good we do have. If you toss ten coins in the air, it is pretty unlikely you will get all heads or all tails even if you did it 100 times. Life is just full of even more coin tosses, so it's just not going to always work out.

I gotta split. I'm going to go meet the real Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder.

Team Wolfisaki said...

Yeah, after a lifetime spent wallowing in the Southern Baptist way of life, i decided to call bullshit on the whole game and i realized that He's not out to get us, he does not NOT NOT want to see us suffer, He doesn't want us steeping and stewing in our sadness in order to find Him, He just wants us to already know that He's already there. i am not buying it anymore, anyone who says, or, even more, anyone who says that God says we need to suffer for any reason whatsoever is totally self-righteous. Or why on earth are we celebrating Easter?
'sit, that's all i got.