I have learned a lot about God over the years. And I trust what I have learned. I trust that God is good. I trust that he loves me. I trust that he is wise. These are things I know about God and his character. I share these truths with people when they are hurting, or confused, or questioning. A lot of people I love are hurting right now.
So I share what I know. But knowing shouldn’t be confused with living. The following is an excerpt from a blog I posted in 2009…
It is important to know what you believe. That is why we study, talk about, listen to, and chew over God’s word. We grow as we learn more and more about God’s character and our relationship to him. And that’s good. But that’s not where it ends.
Eventually we all have to live what we have learned. Walk through what we understand. That’s where the rubber meets the road. And the question is: When the rubber meets the road what happens? Does the tire hold up? Does it perform? Can we live with what we know and understand? Or more importantly, can we live with what we don’t know and don’t understand?
Since that post I’ve learned something else. I’ve learned that there is a big difference between knowing and living.
I know about tornadoes. I understand what they are, and what they do. I have heard stories of the destruction, the loss, sometimes the death. I have seen photos. I know and I could tell you about tornadoes.
But there is a difference…
A difference between knowing and visiting a place that has been struck by a tornado. To see the destruction firsthand. To walk through a yard where a house once stood. To look up at sharp sticks that were once trees, but are now stripped of leaves and branches. Turning in circles seeing the intimate pieces of lives strewn about in the open. This is different than knowing about tornadoes through stories or photos.
And still there is a difference…
There is a difference between seeing tornado damage in person and… watching the clouds form. Tracking the radar. Responding to the sirens. Huddling together while the wind creates a noice and force beyond imagination. Hearing windows smash. Feeling the house tremble, shake, give way.
There is a difference between knowing, seeing and living.
I find it easy to trust what I know about God in the abstract.
It can be more difficult to trust God when I see hardship firsthand.
But can I trust God while I live difficulty, pain, hurt?
That is where the rubber meets the road.
Great reflection. I’m with you. The test of faith. And living in that tension. This is where people who put faith elsewhere wonder about my faith, my trust in God – deciding to hold onto Him as things go from bad to worse. I confess that not have any answers to their doubts sometimes get to me. When I do respond, my words sound kind of like platitudes in my own ears. However, I’m thinking about folks that went before me. Like Noah. Think he thought his responses sounded kinda like platitudes too?