Monday, December 10, 2012

A disturbance in the force...

Ok, I have to admit, the new-age gobbledygook that came with Star Wars is fun to play with sometimes...

"I love you..."  "I know."

"May the force be with you."

"He will bring unity to the force."

Only the truly geeky among us will recognize all of these. 

As Christians we can laugh, even mockingly at this silliness.  The Holy Spirit that lives and moves within us is no impersonal force--he is personality incarnate.  One of the most powerful arguments for God is the argument from personality and relationship.  Randomness is by definition impersonal.  How can a vibrantly personal human being emerge from an impersonal system?  It's like trying to watercolor with only black and white.  One could hint at color, but it would never become the vibrancy we see within the full spectrum.  The classic framing of this argument is that you could posit the existence of water from the design of a fish, even if you had never seen water before.  The fish himself would cry out for water even he had never experienced it and had been kept alive in some other way because he was made for it.  In the same way, we were made for relationship with something transcendent and even if we never directly experienced that relationship, we would cry out for it instinctively. 

Back to the disturbance...This weekend, I was forced to admit the difficulty of the personal situations in my life right now.  It was unsettling to do so but I need his help with the repercussions of what's going on.  The pain of the admission made it difficult to worship Saturday night.  It was difficult to re-enter into the joy of the Father's presence and trust Him for His merciful provision in the middle of my pain.  I have often told others that God will not speak over the screaming in our own hearts and I still believe this is true.  It took time to calm myself but like David said, "I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." (Ps 27:13).  Settling into that confidence can be challenging at times.  This morning, the Father reminded me of how hard I had worked to refocus on Him that night and encouraged me for the effort.  Practicing the Presence of God is difficult, particularly when circumstances are hard. 

I want to remind you (and myself) that He is there with us in the struggle, even before we feel Him.  Just because you are disturbed doesn't mean He is.  Of course, the opposite is true as well--just because we excuse ourselves doesn't mean He is pleased.  We have to continually go back to Him to get His evaluation of us.  Even in His disappointment, there is joy for Him and for us in running back to Him. 

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