Thursday, April 23, 2009

Romans 9

Lately I am struggling with deflated-ness. That’s not a real word, but it’s so descriptive of this place where I find myself a little too empty on the inside and a little too soft to the touch on the outside. A balloon that is full will bounce back when you poke at it, but I’m more like that balloon that kind of sucks your finger in and gets a wrinkly little scar thing when you pull it out.
I am watching the lives of people around me fall apart. I am watching the hearts of people I love get broken. I am looking at my own life, my own mistakes and great failures. It all makes me feel incredibly humble, and somehow reluctant to place myself before God. I don’t really like what he is doing with my friends, and I think it is making me want to hide from Him. It makes me wonder when it will be my turn to walk through the fire again, and what my particular fire might be.

So what should we say about this? Is God unfair? In no way. Rom9:14

There are places where I can see that God is tearing down houses built on sand, forcing their owners to move on and seek a life with a solid foundation. There are places where I recognize that God is working for ultimate good to the great pain of the people He is working in. There are places where all I can see is destruction, things that seem to stand in opposition to God’s will despite the cries of his children to make them “right.”
Romans 9 is not about bad things happening to good people and good things happening to bad people. This is a story about the Jewish people and the Gentiles, and how God has used them to show the sovereignty and righteousness of His will. Ultimately, no matter what happens, our only hope is in God. He is the one thing He has promised us in this life.

As it is written in the Scripture:
"I will put in Jerusalem a stone that causes people to stumble, a rock that makes them fall. Anyone who trusts in him will never be disappointed." Rom. 9:33

This does not address the “why do bad things happen to good people question,” – it obliterates it. Jesus (via Isaiah via Paul, here) is making a promise that anyone whose ultimate trust is in God will never have that trust broken. He is not denying the pain and suffering of these things that leave us so empty inside. He is claiming that whatever happens, His Will remains and therefore the sum total of the universe is Good. Good does not equal “what I like,” even if I am the nicest, the most loving, and the most spiritual person on earth. He I promising that when we are empty, He will always be there to fill us up- as long as “Him” is what we really want to be filled with. I know what I need to find myself “re-flated.” I know that it is Good. Now I just need to want it. Here we find ourselves, once again – Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.