Armchair QB

How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1 NIV )

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you...

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers have swept over me. (Psalm 42:5-7 NIV)

This Sunday the topic in our series on the Mysterious God is: The Silence of God.

Somewhat fitting that I have been a bit tongue tied, eh? Well, not quite so tongue tied, as brain tied. What a HUGE topic! I know people who believe that God is silent to them. I have times like that, but I do not struggle with them because they are typically short and I rationalize them with my small brain as God needed to go fishing or see to something else for a little. He has not left me, just stepped out for a moment.

But then there were other moments, in a death, in a tragic event-where was God? Was He on vacation then? Does He not care?

The full scope of this topic could certainly never be covered in one Sunday message. The effect of this Sunday message has reverberated thru me for days so that I have had difficulty placing then in a coherent post.

There have been difficult times in my life when I thought God was silent. I railed against His inaction, His permissive presence that allows evil to run seemingly unchecked. I turned my back because I wanted no part of a God whose actions contradicted His words. How can He say He loves us and yet let horrible injury happen to those He "loves?" Doesn't that make Him impotent at best and disinterested at worst?
Presently, I believe He was there all along...with me in my grief, maybe even grieving beside me. Maybe so close I could not hear Him.

The water, life giving and refreshing in some places along the river, can turn at others into a dangerous spectacle of beauty as it falls, crashing violently over rocks and edge. Is God in the waterfall? Is God the water?

Does our human tragedy matter? When I think of all the mundane things about life...does tragedy fit this category on an eternal scale? Are losses momentary tho our heart feels them long?

Does God speaking to me have less to do with Him speaking and more to my ability, or lack of, to listen? When I am running the show, running on my own will, not seeking Him, how can I listen? When I remember that He runs the show, that I seek to serve Him because, well, because I love Him and love being loved by Him and I cannot image anything better...I hear Him...whispering, belly laughing, weeping.

Still I know there are many people around me who feel distant from God. One I spoke to tonight that wonders if there is a God at all. I love her but feel helpless. I know He is there, but only she can let Him in. It is this weird tension: He reveals Himself, but we recognize Him; He knocks, but we have to open the door to let Him in. And that door can be made heavy and awkward and of so many things...fears related to economic losses and uncertainty, to pride and self will, to painful tragedies, to ignorance and stupidity...but all are locked down in fear. Where are the keys?

And where are all the answers to the questions in this post?!

I realize I don't know much. Sunday's message left me with more questions than answers, which I like, and more in awe of being in relationship to this Mysterious God, which I also like.


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