So, guess what?
I turned on a light switch. Yup, just reached over and gave ‘er a flick.
And you won’t believe it – the lights came ON!
Just like that – poof! – on they went.
You’re probably thinking, “Of course they did, dummy. They always do.“
But wait, I don’t think you get it.
You see, I don’t understand very much about the physics and chemistry of deuterium or U-235 & U-238 atoms, and how they work together inside the Candu reactors that power so much of the electricity in our province.
I used to – but that was many years ago when I was an engineering student at University Of Toronto.
Most of that understanding has vaporized.
I don’t get it – and yet it happens anyway.
And I’m OK with that. Don’t need to understand everything before using it.
Like the car – used to think that I understood vehicles pretty well, but with all the fancy computers and chips and boards on these suckers today…. not so much.
Anyway, the key turns, the engine hums, and the wheels turn.
Brings me where I need to go, and home even.
There are all sorts of things in life, come to think of it, where I haven’t a sweet clue of what all goes on behind the scenes and yet I’ll be part of it, use it, live it.
And that includes my faith life.
There is SO, SO, SO much that I don’t understand of how and why things work the way they do.
And the not-so-much stuff.
Every once in a while I find myself asking, “Why?”
WHY do I deserve to experience such a wonderful blessing?
WHY do I have to go through such a rough patch?
WHY does so-and-so have to experience what they do?
Rarely does a clear answer show up.
Mostly what comes is just the inner strength to get through whatever, or the blessed presence of others whose strength makes facing the struggles possible, and makes sharing the joys far richer.
It’s as if God has determined that what he wants is for me to flick the switch, and turn the key, and live my life as best I can during whatever few years he gives to me here on earth.
To live it:
a/ loving him with all I’ve got.
b/ caring for and loving those he places in my life as best I can.
c/ when I’m done a & b, repeat.
And leaving all the behind the scenes stuff to his ultimate power and wisdom.
In the Old Testament story of Job, there are all sorts of words spilled where the suffering man and a bunch of his friends battle round and round trying to make sense of the horrible disasters that invade Job’s life. Some of what they say is plainly dumb. Some sounds pretty wise. It goes on and on. And then, right at the end of it all, God speaks up. Not with an explanation, though. All he does is convince Job’s smarty-pants friends to stop blabbing, and Job, too.
In the case of Job’s story, we the readers get a little peek at the “WHY” – though even then, we are left with all sorts of questions.
Job NEVER gets a peek. He is just asked to keep living, and to trust the final outcome to God.
In the New Testament there is an epic chapter – Hebrews 11 (you can read it here). That chapter lists name after name after name of people who had all sorts of experiences in their lives — some of them really awful — that could have had them questioning “WHY” again and again. And I’m sure some of them did.
Many most of them did, at least somewhere along the way.
Like most of us do, at least somewhere along the way.
But at the very end, verse 39-40 of Hebrews 11, the Good Book tells us that they all hung on to their faith, and kept putting one foot in front of the other because they knew, they really knew, they deep down trusted and knew that what we all see and feel and experience in this trip through life is just CHAPTER ONE of our existence. After death comes CHAPTER TWO.
And that’s the bigger chapter. The better chapter. The beautiful chapter.
What we do and live now in chapter one is just prep for chapter two.
Precisely how it all connects and works is totally beyond us. Like nuclear fission.
But it IS connected.
Trust that it is so.
And keep living.
And keep your faith that the outcome remains in the hands of a Great God – even when the stuff of chapter one seems to be going all up in smoke the way Fort McMurray is right now.
Just because you don’t understand, don’t see the logic, don’t experience the answer to “Why”….
Please don’t quit.
Don’t quit on life.
Don’t quit on God.
Don’t quit on each other.
Pray for strength.
Lean on each other.
Trust that the better day, chapter two, IS coming.
And when you’re not sure if any of that makes sense, or could possibly be true, look to the empty grave of Jesus.
Jesus – who faced some of the absolute WORST that could be thrown at someone.
Including torture and death.
And came through.
Our recent Easter celebrations of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead remind us:
“Remember, death doesn’t have the last word. Jesus does.”
And he, the Living and Eternal Son of the Creator, the One with the last word, is preparing chapter two for us right now. And promises to give us eternal life with him.
Trust that it is so.
And keep living. And loving.