Sunday, August 19, 2012
Not So Black and White
So recently I was just spending time in prayer and I realized that I had been approaching God in such a way for so long, that was not the appropriate way to be viewing Him. What I mean is the way in which I tried to learn about Him or get to know Him, was a very silly approach. I prayed about it some more, and I realized that many people take the same approach that I did, or rather continue to do, but am trying to overcome. In short, what I mean is that we approach Him and trying to understand Him the same way we would approach trying to learn how the world around us works. What I mean by this, is when things don't make sense, or don't go or work how we assume or feel they should, we doubt their truth. Think about it, natural disaster happens, what is your first thought? Mine usually go along the lines of: "God, how could this happen? If you are good, why do you allow these kinds of things to happen?" Maybe you have a similar experience or similar experiences.
For me though and how I have seen this more recently is how we view learning about God or understanding how he works. I know as a theology nerd, aka someone who loves studying theology, I love to delve into scripture or other Christian readings and spend time in prayer and all sorts of different ways in order to discover more about God's personality and His relationship with us. The problem comes though when something happens like a situation similar to what I described before, such as a natural disaster, death from illness or other accident, or something along these lines. Scripture tells us repeatedly God is good and that Christ came to redeem and defeat sin and death...so what's up? Is what is actually happening contradicting the promises of God given to us in the Bible? Some may say "yes", but I say definitely "NO."
We are viewing things in black and white. Well if it's not this, then it must be that. Well I say that is a very close minded and simplistic mindset. I am just as guilty as every single person on this planet of thinking that way too, but I challenge us all to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take another look and rethink what is going on here. Here is an example for you: there is a colored sheet of paper on a table and two siblings are arguing over what color it is. It appears to be a shade of gray. One sibling argues "that is most certainly black!" While the other retorts "Of course not you goofball, that is obviously white, black is way darker than this!" This goes on for hours until finally the father sees the problem, comes over and explains to the children that the color is actually orange, but their colorblindness has prevented them from understanding that there is a broader range of colors than just black and white, which of course is beyond their understanding since all they can see is black and white.
Of course I realize that colorblindness doesn't always work like that, but you get the point I am making here. As far as the spiritual world and how things work in the universe that God has created, we are colorblind, we see in black and white. Meanwhile God is working in colors that we could never even fathom. God is painting a picture that if we could see and understand the whole picture in every detail, it would make us faint probably. God gives us the basic outline: He created something good, we broke it in sin, He is fixing it through Christ. Outside of that, we don't always understand how or why he is using different brush strokes or colors. You know what, sometimes he doesn't even use a paintbrush like we expect, sometimes he uses markers or crayons or tools we don't even know about. The point here is, just because we don't understand it, doesn't mean God isn't still fulfilling His promises. Is it not a little arrogant of us to assume we should always understand EVERYTHING the creator of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is doing? Think of how small we are in this universe, think of how minuscule and insignificant we are in comparison. Then think how God created and controls every tiny atom of the entire thing....and we are upset that we don't understand how HE works and when things don't go how WE expect, we doubt Him....it is a bit silly I think you will agree.
Obviously, changing this mindset is way easier said than done, but it isn't something we need to change after you click off of this webpage to go back to Facebook or wherever else you will go from here. It is something to pray about. It is a process you will need help with from friends or mentors. Ask God to help you have peace with the things we inevitably will not understand and trust in Him that those things are still working for our good just as He promises in Romans 8:28.
I encourage you to pray a prayer similar to this:
"God, help me to understand the things about you that are difficult to comprehend. Help me to see you more in this world that is full of sin and doubt. However, for the things that are beyond my understanding, I pray for peace and trust. I ask you to give me the strength to trust that you are who you say you are and that you are working out all things for our good and for the good of the Kingdom. Bring peace to my heart and help me to get rid of anxiety when things don't go according to how I feel they should because I know that you are always in control and nothing is beyond you. I love you and I thank you for loving me."
So now, I pray that you guys will go out tomorrow and the next day and the next, find peace and trust in God, and just maybe, you will discover a new color God is using to paint His story and decorate His Kingdom.