Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Living in the tension.


I haven't written a contemplative-type post in a long time. Partly because I've been too busy to allow for much deep thought, and partly because when I do get thinky, there's too much and it's too complicated. I'm not aware of it most of the time, but I still have a lot of semi-repressed anger about my divorce and related events. Not violent anger, just low-key, long-term, understandable anger that needs to be sorted out. And with it come questions and struggles. To paraphrase a friend, I'm "living in the tension" between the fact of God's sovereignty and goodness, and the fact that we live in a fallen world. How much of the bad that happens to us is purely consequences of living in a sinful world? How do we interpret God's choice not to swoop in and save (or, sometimes, not to provide) something that's good and right? I can't find the balance, but then again, maybe we're not meant to figure it out.

This year I've become a big fan of Tim Keller, of Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC. I did part of his study on Mark with some women from church, and I went to see him when he spoke at a local church a few months ago (it was packed - they had to use an overflow room!). I'm also randomly working my way through the sermons available on Redeemer's website. This morning, with these questions on my mind, I chose one called "Truth, Tears, Anger, and Grace." It happens to be the sermon he preached on the Sunday after 9/11, and it's the best sermon about suffering, grief, and asking why I've ever heard. I'll probably listen to it again. I highly recommend it if you're going through some stuff in your own life. Or even if you're not!

In the recording they also read Psalm 27, which is becoming one of my favorite passages.


  1. I'll check him out, thanks!

    My days if asking why have become few and far between. I've seen God work in ways that produced amazing results and were all part of s complex plan. Think there is something really amazing in suffering, too. While I hate it, my character has been majorly refined by it. Makes me thankful God didn't save me from the struggles even when I truly think I deserved them. Doesn't stop me from whining more than I should though. :)

  2. I don't think there's anything wrong with asking why as long as we don't get angry at God when He doesn't answer us (I always think of poor Job; God never told him why he went through such awful things). It helps me to remember that we don't see the whole picture and that we'll understand everything when we get to heaven. It's hard to accept that during the hard times, I know.