I don’t understand it and the more that I try to understand it, the more that it baffles my mind and causes confusion in my life.
This is not a theological post. This is not a post to start an argument. This is not a blog where I desire to convince someone of the “John Calvin” view of God or the opposing viewpoint. This is also not a post where I claim to be any sort of bible scholar (God knows I am anything but that.) With all of those caveats…
Only God knows why this year happened. But God knows. I don’t know why this went the way it did. The latter part of this year has been some of the best months of my life, more at peace, enjoying the company of my family, and working hard doing something that I enjoy, day in and day out. I don’t think for a minute that I deserve any of that. I know what I deserve and am thankful that God knows why all has happened the way that it did. Only God knows why I have continued to pursue sobriety.
And he cares. He seems to be really at work in the world around me, and I am recognizing that in new, profound, and simple ways. One of my kids prayed with me awhile back and is learning, with me, the art and practice of being grateful. This particular child always desires what they don’t have, much as I have for the majority of my life. The antidote to that selfishness, seems to me, is gratefulness. But only God knows for sure.
Only God knows why I needed to walk through 10 years of trying to be someone I wasn’t as a ‘leader’ in the local church and as a ‘catalyst’ for change. Only God knows why it seems he had called me to things that were never completed or realized. Only God knows these things, but at least he knows. God doesn’t seem to be without reason. He seems to be precise, calculated and measured in his action in my life and in those around me. Only God knows why I have experienced great success and great failure. Only God knows why I have met the people that I have met and enjoyed relationships, in love and in pain. The bible seems to indicate God knows all things. And for so long, that has been a theological truth I have wrestled with. How could God know all things, and yet give a man a choice to accept a gift of salvation? Those two things don’t work together. It has baffled me for years, and in my quest to be ‘right’ around the issue, to be well studied, to be articulate, I lost the very reason that I now believe the bible points out that God knows all things. He can be trusted. He is worthy because he is God, to be trusted. While my life may be in shambles, desperate and perilous, God knows the reason. I don’t know how he created the world, and set it in motion, and authored the future, but I do know at this moment, He knows. And that is worth being grateful for.
I have tons of choices each and every day. I’m not a human-robot as some of my reformed friends would imply. I know that. And God knows that. He may have even authored this to be true. I don’t understand it and the more that I try to understand it, the more that it baffles my mind and causes confusion in my life. But God knows how it all works and asks me to trust him in that. God knows how he has created, orchestrated, and formed his world. God knows all things. I don’t and that’s a good thing.
I’m learning to trust God. It’s something I have been learning for the past several months and will continue to learn probably for the rest of my life. But I am learning. I have given many people the answer to ‘have faith. Just trust that God will work it out.’ What I have discovered is that I have immense trouble actually doing that. Only God knows why. But I’m currently resting in that reality. One day at a time. Gratefulness and trust continue to grow.
Maybe someday I’ll understand how God works. Maybe someday a scholar or a theologian will set me straight. You may want to set me straight now! You may be saying “this guy is on the precipice of shaky faith or has gone into deep dark waters of relativity.’ I may be in the waters of relativity, but for the first time in a very long time, I have lived in that relativity. I have the freedom to ask difficult questions and receive difficult answers. I have the freedom to not know all the answers, or win an argument. I have the freedom to be me, in spite of me. And I have the freedom to not take myself to seriously when it matters the most. Only God knows this is probably for the best.