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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wake Up and Lean Into God

This is part two in my series on "Trust" You can read part one here "Waking Up to our Need for God".

We have learned to accept exterior comfort in place of internal peace of heart and mind. I know it in myself. It seems I pray pretty darn well when I am in need of something. Boy I can pray when I'm trying to stretch that paycheck just a little further than it can go. But, when I have a little extra to throw around I find I don't have so much time for prayer. Why is that? - From "Waking Up..."

Since September 11, there have been even more tragedies, the Tsunami in Asia, Hurricane Katrina, the shootings at Virginia Tech, the bridge collapse in Minnesota. How many more wake up calls will we need before we realize that while we can do it our way, we must first lean into God a little more.

I do not believe that we have a punishing God and I certainly do not believe that God intended for these events to happen. Our God is a God of love, he would never perform such an evil act on his people. However, I do believe that he uses events in our lives to work in us. When we say all things happen for a reason it is not to say that all things were planned, good or bad. God did not plan for us to sin, he did not plan for wars, he did not plan for Katrina, or September 11, or my Grandpa's heart attack. His perfect plan was for us to live perfect lives in union with him.

Since sin entered the world however, we have lots of consequences to deal with and tragedy is one of them. So, while God must allow events to take course in order to preserve our free-will, he does write straight with crooked lines. Through the aftermath of these tragedies God tugs at our heartstrings, he calls us home to him. We must learn to trust in him through all things, good or bad. We must remember that his love surpasses all things and that we need him in our lives, no matter how good things may or may not be.

There are many people who lost everything in these disasters, they lost people they loved, they lost money, they lost their homes. For many, they literally had nothing left. What these tragedies seem to do for us is to remind us that we are fragile beings and that we need God no matter what, for indeed the good and the bad in life will pass. If our trust is in God, then do we find joy in the midst of all that we struggle through.

It reminds me of a question I often ask people to reflect on during retreats. I would ask that you take a moment to read this question and then close your eyes while you reflect on it. Allow yourself to feel the weight of this question and the weight of your response, no matter what it is. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It merely tells you where you are in your walk with God, so don't feel judged by what you think I want you to say, just allow yourself to honestly look inside:

If you woke up tomorrow and everything you had was gone, everyone you loved was no longer in your life, every part of your life that put a smile on your face was no longer there, would you still have joy in your heart, would you still have God's peace in your life, would you still know that despite all that you lost, despite any pain you may feel all will be well?

Read Part Three of this Series: "It is Well" here