Recently I read and was moved by one of Lingamish’s Cyber-Psalms. But, it was only through dialoging about it later on Lingalinga that I was able to sort through some of my own feelings and beliefs that were stirred by the original post.
I’m posting here one of my comments in that thread, not because I think what I said was so profound that it has to be repeated, but, because the more I think about what I said, the more I realize that I was able, in that context, to put into words some of the tensions I experience in my faith, and how those tensions define and shape my trust.
My trust in God (as well as my understanding of that trust) is not a rigid thing. It changes and grows and constricts and expands in a rather fluid way. I don’t think (at least I hope not) that I’m as fickle as that might sound. It’s not about trusting God one day and not the next. It’s more that I can’t box in what it means for me to trust God any more than I can box in Who God IS and what His faithfulness to me looks like. So, it’s possible that next week I will be looking at my trust in God from a different angle or see it in different ways. But for now, what I wrote at Lingalinga is where I’m at:
Personally, I cannot even begin to reconcile in my head the extremes of the mercy of God as well as the extremes of what, to me, seems to be the cruelty of God. I can’t comprehend the extent of either side, let alone how they coexist. This is part of what “trusting God” entails for me.
At that same time, it [the character of God, incomprehensible and contradictory as it seems at times] is what makes space for me to be desperately and ragingly angry at injustice, to feel totally hopeless at times and also to be brokenhearted before God asking what I can do to make a difference in the lives of individuals (both those who are victims of injustice and those promoting injustice).
I don’t suppose I could ever rage to God about my enemies and cry out for their destruction if I did not know (1)that God himself rages at injustice and sin, while also being longsuffering, patient and intervening for the redemption even of the most horrific of people, doing the most horrific of evils; (2) that out of my anger and raging, I can trust Him to bring me back to a place of rest in His sovereignty as well as being humbled to the place of seeking mercy and compassion even for those who have harmed me or others and (3) that God is not a genie bound to “obey” my anguished cries for justice against those I see doing great harm to other people and the world, in general, that God created.
If I thought God would always “take my word on it”, I would be very afraid to ever cry out as David the Psalmist did. Even so, I do not do it lightly or frequently. I just do not fear or deny my anguished cries for justice, however imperfectly my heart cries out. I have to trust God to do with those prayers, according to His will and wisdom, as I do with the rest of my very imperfect prayers. Ultimately, as Bob McDonald said, I pray my heart’s cries, but trust God to be the one to carry out the justice I long for, in His way and His time.
I appreciate the dialogue shared on this thread. I am currently thinking a lot about cognitive dissonance~what’s good about it, what’s bad, what’s unavoidable, what my responses to it are. It is good for me, at times, to affirm: I can’t make sense of God and the ways He works. I see this (and don’t fully understand it) and I see that (and don’t fully understand it either). To hold my hands open and say, I will not do a theological dance to try to make everything fit nicely together. Well, for me that takes a lot of trust. And that might just be the understatement of the year.
Because right now, I trust God more than I ever have before, while simultaneously having more questions than I ever have before. The questions may drive me insane. Yet will I trust Him. (And I know that, to many people, that kind of trust makes me look insane already.)