“Little faith will bring the soul to Heaven, but much faith will bring Heaven to the soul”(1). Charles Spurgeon
Faith is exercised most by paradoxes of life. When we can’t understand, we are stretched in learning how to lean on God who does understand. Those paradoxes of life! Sometimes they seem dark and mysterious. The complexities of life are baffling. How can we understand the intricacies of God’s divine plan of our individual lives?
As I pondered Mike and Bill’s (my sons and former husbands) deaths it all seemed ironic, as in 2004 Simi was the second safest city in the nation, of 100,000 population. Simi Valley is where I raised my children. It was known as a family community. Michael lived all his life in this safe city yet he was murdered in this valley. That is bizarre! Unthinkable! And confusing! Michael came into the world unbelievably quick through a sudden, quick labor…a fun surprise to me! But Michael left this world swiftly too! Instantly shot and killed! That’s equally shocking!
Equally frustrating is this mystery! When Bill was drafted into the Army he had a personal conviction about using a gun. He didn’t believe in murder, even in war. He intentionally became a medic, so he would not have to compromise his personal convictions and violate his conscience. Yet he was murdered! The enigmatic results are devastating. How could I put into words the frustrating futility of life that I myself could not understand?
I felt overwhelmed when I found no explanation to the reasons as to why life turned out this way. Life’s perplexities are confusing when life doesn’t make logical sense, even more so, in unexpected calamity. There are so many things about life and God I cannot fully grasp. Some things are known by God only. These are used for His glory!
Michael lived a respectable life. He was a successful, happy man. He’d been allotted a certain number of days, which he lived fuller than most people! Did Mike know his life would be cut short? I don’t know, but I believe He is in the glorious presence of Jesus today. I hold on to the marvelous hope that I will see him again one day. I can’t understand everything about God’s ways for they are higher than mine.
Like Charles Spurgeon has quoted:
“God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.”(2)
When we are stretched beyond our limited knowledge, faith supersedes giving us wings to fly above what is not clearly understood. When we can’t see what God is doing we must walk by faith in simple trust. God is stable, secure and strong even when we are not. It may seem at times His heart is far from us, but we can’t put our hope in feelings. I’ve come to settle in my mind that the things I cannot understand I rest in my God, Who is greater than I. That is what Mary the mother of Jesus learned to do.
The paradoxes felt by Mary, must have confused her, too. She, treasured many things about Jesus and held them close to her heart. Visions of the future must have danced in her mind. She must have stood baffled to witness her Son’s cruel crucifixion, instead of seeing Jesus take the role of King and leadership of Israel. Jesus’ earthly Kingship was not understood by her or His closest disciples. His mission was to save people not to rise into position to be a present King. He came to rule in hearts, and die for sins. Jesus’ undertaking was sorrowful with a focus mind on redemption.
“[Jesus was] …despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”(3).
What Christ paid on the cross to purge us from sin was even a greater paradox. Think with me about the worship around the throne in heaven. Christ was fully reverence, highly exalted. He left heaven where He was adored and willingly humbled Himself, in submission to come to earth and die for sinners. How do you come to grip with this paradox? It’s the portrayal of the greatest love ever known by a personal sacrifice…a scarlet thread of shed blood – tying a Savior to poor sinners. The Lord of glory came to earth to die for us so we might live forever with Him. Oh, child of God, ponder your long lists of transgressions which Christ has freed you from. May you worship in Holy awe for how He stood in your stead.
This great God who made the universe is supreme. He is all-knowing and all-seeing. He who controls all events in life whether by nature, or by allowing evil to momentarily reign, is kinder than anything I can reason. I have just simply learned to trust in Jesus.
His providence goes before me. Perhaps in God’s higher purposes He is calling me to lean harder on Him without define boarders…into a faith of endless trust. Perhaps He will display a shining radiance of His glory in these diverse circumstances, far beyond my unfathomable grief. I believe it to be true!
“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. let me walk upon waters wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.”(4).
3. Isa. 53: 3-5 (nas)
4. tumblr/ hillsong United, Zion, Oceans,
I like how you added each of your stories to very top of this website. It makes it much easier to find a one that catches your interest.
I love this quote: God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to be confused. If I cannot trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.” It helps me to remember that God is always there, even through trials and tribulations. His plan is perfect.
What an awesome devotion for my morning. Brought tears to me eyes. What a joy and a privilege to be so loved by such a holy and sovereign God.