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Trying to understand God

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I personally do not find it easy to understand God’s ways–especially, when life is hard and seems unfair.  Reading in Job this week has helped as has reading in Psalm 62.  I did not receive much comfort from reading Psalm 128 last week–fear God and walk in his ways and you will be blessed.  Too simple and not in touch with the pain of life.  I know as a general principle Psalm 128 is true–it is not a promise to be claimed.  But I honestly struggled to read it last week, preferring to read Job and the end of Hebrews 11 and about the faithful saints who lived by faith and yet did not receive the promise . . . in this life anyway.

Psalm 62:11-12a says, Power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.  This comes out from a man who is being attacked, being lied about, slandered, and possibly being the object of extortion and robbery.  And what God whispers to him in the silence, I am powerful, I am in control. And I care–I love you with a faithful, steadfast love.

Reminds me of the words of our friend Lynn who spoke at her husbands memorial service.  Her husband Russ died after suffering more than ten years from a degenerative brain disorder–being bed-ridden for most of the last three.  Lynn cared for Russ at home, with the help of full-time care givers.  Her courage and strength were God’s courage and strength displayed in her.

Here is a portion of what Lynn shared (quoted with her permission),

As Russ grappled with the knowledge and acceptance of a brain disease that would slowly take away his cognitive ability his eyesight, his creativity, his memory –he responded to the question – “Why me?” with “Why not me?”

Russ said – i volunteered to be in the service of the king. Who am i to question his orders or his wishes. Why not me, Lord? I serve in all circumstance, not only when they are pleasant or comfortable. I serve even when i do not understand your orders. I am willing to go through this disease – help me to do so to you glory.”

That has been Russ’ prayer over the past years. Rarely did he understand the ‘why’ of the disease, or in particular the timing of the disease.

Lynn said that one truth that kept she and Russ going was that God is sovereign, God is good and God loves us.  Here are Lynn’s words from the memorial service.

But God is sovereign. God is good. His sovereignty and His goodness do not depend on our agreement, our advice, or even our understanding.

I do not understand many things about God but this is truth worth holding onto: God is sovereign, God is good and God loves us.

  1. January 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Noticed a few days ago that verse 1 is a declarative statement and verse 5 is a command while verses 2 and 6 are the same. v8 is the how to wait on God–trust on him at all times, pour out your heart to him. vv9-10 are a warning and v11 is a promise.

    Yesterday, I wrote the following after reflecting on Psalm 62, esp v1. I think I am sometimes afraid to meet you in the silence Lord. Just you and me–I cannot hide anything from you–all my deceptions, pretensions, lies are exposed and that is a good thin. I need it but I also fear it for I sometimes prefer to live in the shadows. Forgive me Lord.

  2. amy
    January 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Russ sounds like an incredible man. And Lynn’s words remind me so much of James MacDonald’s new book Always True: God’s 5 Promises for When Life Is Hard. The 5 “always true” never-changing promises focused on in this book may really speak to you. I encourage you to check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Always-True-Gods-Promises-When/dp/0802458696/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295646629&sr=1-1

    • February 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      I only knew Russ through his wife and friends, unfortunately. Lynn has written about her experience and I would like to post it on my blog with her permission. Appreciate the book tip.

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