Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bull in a china shop

I spoke way out of turn tonight in our book club. A group of women has gotten together over the summer to talk about the book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. A good read, I think, and I'm taking from it some wisdom. I've learned things I didn't know about myself. Like, I'm really comfortable with anger, not so much with sadness or disappointment. I'm decent at conflict - seeking someone out when there's weird tension, trying to talk in through, but I'm more of an avoider that I think. God's growing courage in me - courage to be who He wants me to be, courage to disappoint people, courage to speak truth when it's called for.

But courage wasn't called for tonight. Compassion was more in order. Someone shares her struggles with trusting in God's goodness. She admits stumbling over the process of forgiveness, and tonight shares that what's most difficult about forgiving. It's acknowledging that God has not spared you from whatever offense it is that has caused such deep pain.

I don't remember what her exact words were, but I felt her accusing God of injustice and evil. My blood started to boil. I wasn't angry with her. I was angry at Satan, angry at the lies he keeps feeding God's people, that somehow God's intentions towards His people aren't completely good. 

I'm writing an issue for Today in the Word now, a study of Exodus. And what's become clear to me is that one of the most fundamental questions each of us has to answer if we want to walk with God is, "Can God be trusted?" Those of us raised in Bible churches know the right answer. But does our heart agree with our head on this one? When pain is real, it's that much harder to acknowledge God's goodness. But it's all the more necessary.

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