Friday, December 2, 2011

"kick me"

Lately I've been wondering why people believe in God.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not having a crisis of faith here, but I am learning to read the Bible with eyes wide open.  You hear a lot about God's blessing, but it comes at a pretty steep price.  I mean, take Abraham.  Sure God promises to bless the earth through him, but then he wanders around apart from his family, afraid of nearly everyone he runs into, trying to fumble his way through what God wants him to do, and still God withholds his son for decades.  That is a lot of extra time on your hands to wonder what in the world God is up to.  And yeah, Joseph gets to rule Egypt, but what about the lonely years in slavery and prison before hand.  Now don't try to gloss over it and say that Joseph knew God was with him and that made it all okay.  Because it didn't, and it doesn't.  Joseph was human, and though he was most certainly better than I am at being human, he was in an Egyptian prison with lovely things like lice and starvation and filth.  Or pick a prophet, any prophet really, and you end up with a lonely old man who is fleeing from a crazy queen or sinking in muck at the bottom of a well for telling people to be nice and reasonable.  And let's not even get started on Job, who was picked on because God loved him so much.  Seriously, I think it's pretty much a miracle that after reading the Bible any of us are still willing to sign up for this gig.  Jesus wasn't kidding when he said that just as a king should count the cost of going to war, you should consider what you're getting into before following him.  Some days I feel like getting baptized was like having a "kick me" sign permanently attached to my back.

So I've been memorizing Romans 8, which is not going nearly as well as I'd hoped.  But I was reading ahead (proving, of course, my obscene slowness, or perhaps laziness) when I came across this little gem in verse 18:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Being somewhat naturally contrary, I promptly disagreed.  It's not a good idea, by the way, to disagree with scripture.  So I did what any self-respecting Christian would do, and I immediately told God that this verse didn't make any sense.  I can sort of wrap my mind around the present sufferings part, although I'd be happy to understand that part less.  But the "glory that will be revealed in us?"  I mean, what?  From context clues, I can deduce that this glory is so awesome that it eclipses the so called "present sufferings," but I have yet to fully, or, hey, even somewhat, understand that glory.

And don't go getting all pseudo-spiritual on me and tell me if only I loved Jesus more or trusted him more, then I'd have happy, glowing butterflies in my soul and speak in the tongues of those ridiculous motivational posters that say things like, "determination" and have a picture of an ant lifting a volkswagen.  I'll just want to slap you.  Because life is hard and full of lice and muck and boils and crazy old women who want you dead.

I love the answers God gives to prophets like Habakkuk and Job, men who stand up and point out that this world and God's plan don't make a single iota of sense.  I love that God never says that things are okay, as we like to tell each other, because God knows that things aren't okay.  I love that not only does he not give them some pat answer, but often he doesn't answer their complaint at all, except to say that he is God and he is operating his rescue plan because we messed up big time.

Christ came to rescue us and begin the revelation of God's glory in us, and it is so mind-blowingly awesome that my mind shuts down.  Literally, shuts down.  So I've been praying to see the glory that will be revealed in us.  I have no idea what it means to ask that of God, but since he never really answered the questions the prophets were asking, I figure he'll tell me whatever he wants.  And I still won't get it, just like Habakkuk and Job, I'll stand there dumbfounded, but maybe, just maybe, a little less blind than before.


  1. Thank you. I needed to hear this today. Especially the part about the "kick me" sign.

  2. Wendy, this is really awesome. Thank you.

  3. Just been thinking a lot about you and Quinn.

  4. dear unknow,
    By a kind of mistake I've been reading your blog. I wanted to tell you how blessed I've been in discovering a faithful woman filled with the Spirit. I pray for G.od to send you His happiness and recovering for the following of this road.
    Be blessed dear sister in Christ

  5. Wendy, I must stop reading in the middle of this post and say, ahhhh.... pits of muck, and determination posters, and butterflies in my soul... I so enjoy your writing. AND,(I'm gonna go back and finish reading it now), I really needed to read this post today. Hoping we can talk on the phone sometime soon.