I haven't said much on here in a while. Even some of my latest posts didn't SAY anything.
Sorry 'bout that.
I've been really still recently. I had a hysterectomy a few weeks ago and literally had to lay still. Then just as I started feeling like I could finally get up and do stuff, I got sick. and I was forced to be still some more. The last two days, I've spent most of my time in bed. I'm exhausted and congested, but I'm actually sort of enjoying being still.
I guess God knew I needed rest. and I'm surely not humble enough to give it to myself.
Usually, I think of being still as being unproductive or scared. Obviously, doing stuff gets stuff done. and there's plenty of stuff in my life that needs to get done. Dishes and laundry and dinner in our bellies. And I'm sure you've all heard of the flight or fight response. But when I get scared, I tend to freeze. That's my instinct. Stand there, frozen in fear, completely vulnerable.
I just shut down and get still. Maybe they won't see me if I don't move. I don't know.
I do that in conversation too. When I'm confronted by a louder personality than my own, I tend to get really quiet. It's not that I don't have anything to say. I just usually don't feel it's important enough to fight to be heard.
But man o man! This past summer, I did a lot of fighting. Wrestling. Questioning. So many questions.
A fellow believer mentioned that he was a Calvinist, and I wanted to know more about that. I knew the basics, but I had never really thought too much about what it meant. But I respect this particular friend a lot and wanted to know what it is exactly that he believes.
Well that just opened a huge can of worms!
Once I understood what Calvinism was all about, it was the only way I could see Christianity. I couldn't view it objectively. It was like I had 'Calvin'-colored glasses on. and I didn't like it. (Sorry, to all you who consider yourselves Calvinists. You likely know far more than I do about it.) But I just got super depressed and discouraged. I got angry. I took it too far and God became evil. At least, the way I understood it. I know it's not supposed to be like that. And honestly, reading about it did indeed help me understand some Scripture the way I never had before. In a good way. I feel like I've got a bit more of a refined understanding. Not so vague.
But don't knock the vague. That whole 'faith of a child' thing is something to aspire to. Not belittle. I don't have that. I don't trust anything very easily. Sad to say. I know people who do. It's not that they don't have questions. But they seem to question God's goodness less. I question it all the time!
My instinct, when presented with this different understanding of Scripture, was to question God's goodness. I didn't anchor my soul in faith. I just drifted along in questions and accusations and fear.
Eventually, I did land on 'Jesus loves me, this I know.' Regardless of what my head said, my heart just wouldn't let go of Jesus. I began to question my questions. To doubt my doubts. I asked myself, 'What do I know?' and I answered back, 'Jesus loves me.' (Just so you know, I now sort of think that if we try to put God in a Calvinist box, we are putting Him in a man-sized, man-created box. What if God fits into both a Calvinist and an Arminianist mindset? What if He's reformed, deformed, progressive, regressive, post-modern and pre-modern? I don't know. I just know that I don't think I or anyone else can fully understand and describe Him. And it's silly of me to fight with a theology that can't possibly be the defining truth of an undefinable God.
I knew all along that God was allowing me to question Him because I was going to land in a place where my faith was strengthened and renewed. It probably gave me permission to take it as far as I did. God can handle my questions. These weren't questions that man has not wrestled with before.
When I eventually quit wrestling, and just rested in what I knew in my heart, I found the peace I had not known I had been hungry for. God comforted me as I fought Him. He never stormed out of the room or threatened to disown me or gave me the cold shoulder. He was there. Still.
And He's still there. and I'm still right here with Him. My insistance on those questions being answered has, for now, died down, and I can hear that still, quiet voice, restoring my faith, healing my wounds. Mending what I had shredded.
I read recently that God isn't in the business of dealing with our sins. He's already done that. He's focused more on our righteousness. (Sorry that I can't remember who wrote that. It really burrowed itself into me, and I am grateful for the insight.)
I sinned during my questioning. No doubt. Not necessarily the doubting. But me doubting and drifting with no anchor made me vulnerable to temptation, and I fell for it. Hook, line, sinker. Of course God didn't want me to do that, but I think He was likely more concerned with what I would learn by falling into temptation and how it would make me all the more grateful for grace.
So now as the year is coming to a close and I'm forced to sit and heal, I'm enjoying the still. I'm going to have more questions. But God is faithful.
and He is still good.