17 Sep He Will Not Wrest
Imagine one of several incoming analogies. The first, a calm seafloor abruptly and violently dredged up by an anchor of a ship far above. Next, a whirlwind of the many possible outcomes and decisions one man could make in a single second or over a lifetime. Finally, the simple bowl of Japanese miso soup. When it is allowed to stand still, the ingredients settle and the soup itself is a bit less opaque. But when you stir that soup up, the miso in the bowl springs to movement and life, making the once peaceful surface a cloudy murkiness, with the tofu, seaweed, and onions going every which way.
Even analogies and mental ascent have its limitations. Mere knowledge is not what saves you, the work of Christ is what saves. Even the mental machinations of paragraph one are in themselves, imperfect. The simple fact for me is that in the last week everything I once thought to be stable and certain has been thrown up into the air. The life I thought I was living well for God has become a series of uncertain variables, down to the decisions I make and the thoughts I think. All the things I thought I ‘got’ have been challenged and I’ve had to say “I don’t know” more than ever before. What is it like living life in this state of confusion? It’s horrid, I tell you. But not horrid enough to throw in the towel, and I think that’s the bit that counts for something.
Vague and uncertain language will do nothing for you, the reader, unless I give some sort of look into the workings of my mind in this new season with the Lord. Consider it a sampler, a noteworthy back cover of a novel about my mind, even a tiny inset portion on a world map that’s been blown up for you to see detail.
A topic.. let’s see here. Here’s a puzzler that’s been oft on my mind. I’ve been asking the Lord for guidance on next steps for February. I haven’t been hearing anything specific, and that really overcooks my grits, because I like to make plans well in advance. I feel like God, instead of answering me with what I want to hear, is steadily and reassuringly telling me simply to look at Him. To pursue Him and to see His face, because He is God. More and more I’m simply seeing a loving God drawing me to gaze at His beauty… period. To a logical mind that is simply bad logic. It’d be like if I was asking the driving instructor where to drive to, and he just said, “Hang out with me.” Never-mind that creepy driver instructor.. anyway, you know what I mean? God counters logic. 1st Corinthians says “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” Blam!
And what I guess I’m really getting at here is, God is after how much my life is ruled by my mind. I can almost imagine the conversation with Him:
Me: “God, You are Lord over my life!”
God: “Am I, really? What about here.. and there.. and this place.. and these decisions?”
So now, I’m just tucking into who God is. Every time I visit this whirlwind of confusion analytically with my brain, my thoughts get cyclical and futile. This mind of mine, oh this mind. In the scriptures it says He will shake all that can be shaken (Hebrews 12:26-27; Haggai 2:6-7). God won’t just wrest control from me, but He will wrestle with me, and graciously give me the strength to do so. Because what He wants isn’t a robotic yes, but a ‘yes’ from my heart, knowing all that truly needs to be surrendered. And as I continue on, that YES is getting clearer, praise Him. …And I believe there’s a joy coming on its way after I finally lose to Him. (=
(Jerome Liang is a man that also runs this blog. He’s very sorry that the blog wasn’t updated on a regular basis. He hopes you can forgive him. He would like to clarify that the title is not a pun. He’s yearning to do right by God, and doesn’t know how.)