“Nothing is yet in its true form.” – C.S. Lewis
We had better get used to living with some amount of mystery. There are questions that just aren’t going to get answered in this life. If we cannot accept the mystery, we will destroy our own souls. Indeed, we must embrace the mystery. We need to have an eternal perspective. Death is not the end, though it may feel like it, even for a very long time. Though it may feel like God has given up on you, he has not. The complexities and mysteries of his creation are far beyond our ability to comprehend. Yet, his goodness is so simple a child can grasp it.
When I read the Bible, I see a God who wants to bring healing. Why doesn’t he heal everyone who asks? I don’t know. I have a hunch it has something to do with his perspective. He holds eternity in the palm of his hand. I can only manage to maintain an eternal perspective for a couple minutes, maybe a few hours, at a time. In all of eternity, HE IS. And he is patient.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9
He is patient with us. As I struggle this week, alternately praying and crying with my wife as she reads the updates from an old friend whose wife is dying of cancer, I know that without a miracle from God, there are two children who will grow up without Mommy. I know many people have been praying, asking God to heal her. He hasn’t yet and she has been moved to hospice. The doctors say she hasn’t much time.
Last week, a similar scene played out in my family. My cousin’s husband died of cancer, leaving two teenage children. Again, honest, sincere, and humble prayers for healing were offered. How does one deal with that? With an eternal perspective, I can see that God truly is omnipotent and that nothing can touch us until we have accomplished what we were sent here to do. There is a larger story than our own. Either God is in charge or he is not. It makes no sense to say he’s “sort of” in charge, like he started out caring for his children but he got tired or bored or distracted.
Yet, these words are probably little comfort to the grieving child or spouse. I pray now that they will not grieve without hope. I pray for God to make himself real to them, that they will feel his embrace – the perfect Daddy loving his children.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” – Psalm 68:5
All else is hopelessness.
No. God is not tired. He is not bored or distracted. He is mysterious. And, as C.S. Lewis noted in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he is not safe (nor tame, as the movie version puts it), but he is good.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
Yes, he is good. It just doesn’t always feel that way.