Friday, July 07, 2006

Trusting God when all hope is being deferred

I'm reading Cash, Johnny Cash's autobiography. I just read this passage from the 3rd chapter, it's right after his older brother was hospitalized from a smokehouse accident when Cash was a child:

On Wednesday, four days after he'd been hurt, all the church congregations in town held a special service for him, and the following morning he had an amazing revival. He said he felt good, and he looked good. There he was, fine as you please, lying in bed reading his mail - he'd gotten a letter from his girlfriend - and laughing happily. My mother and father and I thought we were seeing a miracle. Jack was going to live!

Of course, Jack did not live, and their hopes were dashed (and their hearts were probably sick - Proverbs 13:12). A similar thing happened almost five years ago after the accident with Mike. He went through surgery, and all his vitals began stabilizing - the last news I heard before he died was also the most hopeful news I'd heard. It was later that night when he passed away.

Seems like so often we grab onto as much hope we can through doomed situations, then for what seems like no good reason, everything falls apart and it feels as though we're worse off than ever.

I know I can't trust my feelings, but I can't even trust circumstances! Can anything be trusted?

So today I've been thinking about Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose."

I picked up Cash and that italicized passage was the first I read. We put so much of our hope in circumstances that we have no control over. When things don't go the way we planned we think "but this isn't what I'd hoped for..." We let time, or God, heal us, and the next time we're dissapointed we repeat "but this isn't what I'd hoped for..." This cycle seems to repeat itself more often than any of us would like.

I want to live the faith-filled life, the one that trusts God and trusts that Romans 8:28 is true.

A friend of mine wrote a blog entry last week about the spirit-filled life. It's gotten me thinking about what that means, the "spirit-filled life." It has been connoted to mean one where you can't wipe the smile off of your face day and night, one where you can do no wrong. The more I think about it, the more I am disenchanted with that connotation.

I am just thankful that today, driving in my car, feeling just gross...all I had repeating in my brain was Romans 8:28. I couldn't get my mind off of it. I took this as evidence of the Spirit's presence in my life.



Blogger al said...

Amen, Christine. I've been thinking about this a TON lately, too. No thoughts, really. I'm just at this point with ya.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks Al for the solidarity...

I really really miss you. I'll see you tomorrow right?

2:29 PM  
Blogger Unspar! said...

I actually had a talk about something similar with a friend lately. We got to talking about trusting God, and I described an example about how I trust God with my life because he saved me from more than a few car accidents. So he said, what if God let me get into a car accident. What if I killed somebody in a car wreck. Would I still trust God? I said yes, of course. Because whatever happens brings something for God's glory. We don't always know how it works, but He's always working the bad things for good. That seems to me what that Romans thing is all about. Not that it means you can be happy about everything because God's working it for His good, but you can be confident that there's never anything bad enough that bad wins.

That's my thoughts.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks Ben, I agree very much with all that you are saying.

Friday, just before leaving for the trip, I found myself screaming at God for the first time in my entire life. I think it's been hard for me to reconcile the God working for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

I know that His ways are good and best, but I wish that I could understand why some are called according to his purpose and some aren't. Does that make sense?

It'd be cool to talk about this with you more, Ben-o.

12:01 PM  

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