I had a rough week last week. Maybe you heard. Larry and I were talking it over last night and between our parents and our kids there was some very hard stuff. Decisions were made and implemented. Reflecting on it last night I realized everything was going great, so why did I feel like crap?
This morning somewhere between waking and sleeping, dreaming and praying I grasped on to something and I’m trying to hold on tight, but it’s a little like holding smoke.
What does it take to rock your faith? A job loss? Illness? We were talking about this the other night. What shakes our faith? What causes us to say, “I believe, help my unbelief”?
I love people, who according to my understanding if they died right now, they would be separated from God eternally. Loved ones going to hell, that’s what rocks me.
Here’s the trouble with reading about other people’s stories in the Bible: we get to see the ending. In just a few pages, maybe even just a few verses, the end of the story comes. Job’s suffering is over, everything is restored, over and above.
This is almost worse than TV, where every problem is resolved within 30 to 60 minutes.
As a woman I have quickly recognized that some of the middle stuff is being left out of the Bible. We are not reading in “real” time. When you read, “and Leah begot Reuben” let me assure you there is a lot more to it than the word “begot”. Am I right Moms?
So this morning when I was praying, I began drifting into sleep and dreaming. But my dream was very realistic, which is unusual for me. I was with Larry and Allison at a restaurant for some end of the year graduation swim recognition banquet type event. But we got a phone call and I had to drive home.
Driving home I was alone and it was quiet, the best time to think about this kind of stuff and I realized that I want to know the end of the story, now. NOW, before the end. I will be able to relax and enjoy life if I know everything is going to turn out the way I hope it will.
I can take time and look back over Job’s story and glean truth from it, knowing it’s all going to be right in the end.
Job didn’t have that advantage. Job had no idea how it was going to end, if it was going to end, or why it had all gone so bad in the first place.
And in my dream I was thinking about how I know God is sovereign and has the right to do what he wills. I believe that it is his right to save or condemn anyone I love. We all deserve condemnation.
But here I am knowing these people, loving them and wanting the very best for them. I want them to know God and be redeemed and restored. And I can’t make that happen. So I wait and watch and hope and pray that that is the will of God.
But I want to know. Now.
In my dream I grasped on to something that I am trying to hold on to, but I feel it slipping away the more awake I become.
In my dream I came to the conclusion that better than knowing the end of the story, better than knowing the particular outcomes, better than that is knowing God. Knowing God better and better and better, so that in the end what I will want most is what he wills. Knowing God better every moment so that in the end I will want what he wills.
I can’t know the end of the story right now. I am not particularly comfortable with my life right now. And I can’t live in my dream, where driving down a very realistic street, I discovered that best thing I can seek after, the best thing I can want is not the “happy ending” but God himself.