Yesterday I spent my evening driving home from a funeral. While in transit, my thoughts danced away from the departed and landed on a sweet, young family that had had complications in child birth; their little girl was in a bad way, so I did what I could: I prayed. With that going on, I checked my cell phone to see several texts from my sister chronicling an illness that had landed my one-year-old nephew in the ER. During all of this, it rained through the fog.
It was a night like that which has me questioning Christianity. Not Christ, mind you—this is a church blog after all, right?—but the way we follow Him. It had me thinking about how cold we can make God at times. We say that man exists primarily for God’s glory and that God’s major purpose in things is to bring glory upon Himself: like a black hole of praise. And, of course, while these things are true, sometimes we paint them in a way that is very black indeed. It makes God seem detached, disinterested, unfair, and even a little cruel.
If we look a bit closer—perhaps by stepping back from our theological loftiness—we may be able to witness a primary way, in God’s dealing with man, that He brings that glory upon Himself. And that way is this: He glorifies Himself through His love towards us. He looks on at soiled, spoiled beings, and He loves us anyway. He looks at the broken and bruised, and He loves us anyway. And it is out of this love that He pours out His unending wave of grace, a very thing that saves us, comforts us, gives us peace, brings us hope, fills us with joy, unites us in our grief, and ultimately enables us to witness who He truly is and glorify Him all the more. He is attached, interested, just; and He is love.
Often, I apply “Immanuel: God with us” to worldy circumstances I deem to be “good.” But, in truth, God is with me always, pouring out His love and faithfulness. He is a good God, even when things seem wrong or bad or hard. He is a good God always. He is very goodness itself.
And, today, as it is with God, the fog was gone and the rain had stopped. The sun had come out. The thing with following Christ isn’t that it will always be sunny. Most times it won’t be. But it will be in the end, for He is the light that will not fade.
Whether this Friday finds you in the sun or in the fog of this life, we pray you will rest and hope in Christ. And perhaps we’ll see you this weekend.
For I am convinced that neither death,nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39