Faith is convinced that God troubles himself about the smallest thing. (Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling)
I felt it this week. The trouble of this world washed ashore into our lives threatening our safety and security… again. It’s like the tide that threatens our fragile sand castles. I could feel myself feeling normal about the whole thing, which is alarming. The look of fear in the eyes of the victims of Las Vegas shooting begged me not to settle, not to be okay with this madness.
I also heard others reassure them that their pain and fear was real and legitimate. Stories were told that have been forged in suffering, not broken apart. Hope emerged, even if the journey to recover from violence require time… and friends. We must walk the road but we need not walk it alone. Others want to help.
God is not ashamed of our frailties nor of our desire for something more permanent.
The following excerpt is from my forthcoming book, Go Outside. In these 2 paragraphs, I’m focused on how God is not ashamed of those who are faithful and who want more. There’s no need to hide desire, or numb it. We can place it before God and rest in His promise to fulfill it in and through Jesus even if we wrestle with Him to take hold of it.
The people in God’s story who were faithful wanted more. These are the people who are mentioned in Hebrews 11. Starting with Abraham, the writer tells how Abraham set out from his home country and all his kinsmen and followed God to a promised land where he pitched his tents. His faithfulness, the writer points out, was an indication that Father Abraham “was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). But, like Abraham and all the others in this roll call of faithfulness, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:13–16, emphasis added).
If God is not ashamed of my wandering and longing, then that means I can experience His love and presence in my searching. When my expectations are not met in this world, God is not telling me to lower my expectations. He is stoking the fires of desire in my gut. If I, like the people in Hebrews 11, continue hoping for more, I will experience God’s pleasure and will not be disappointed. I can be both honest about how far short this world falls in my hopes and dreams. And, I can look forward with great expectations! (From Go Outside: The Adventure of Knowing and Being Known by God (Lucid Books))