Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hope for the Hopeless

Always doing what feels good has never resulted in happiness.  In fact pain seems necessary in life to the point that we can't imagine good without bad, light without dark.  But there is love that requires no hate, I believe, and even if it can't be imagined here, it can be experienced in brightness in latter times.  

Hope is like an arrow that strikes through the darkest depth of night.  It lights fires with no kindling, and it flows like honey from the mind of God.  

If what feels immediately good doesn't lead to happiness, then I must have some misconceptions in my head about how life ought to be lived.  

But why is it so hard to do the right thing?  Why does the right thing feel so yucky?  It seems a thankless task.

Some come back singed by their own choices, the whirlwind of this world, others come back burned, and some like myself come back brutally burned and devastated beyond recognition.  And coming out of that, trudging step after trudging step is a long, arduous journey.  

But some never come out at all.  Which is a puzzling question indeed!  Romans 9:21 (NIV) says "21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?"

I've meditated on that verse in some length, in Romans chapter 9 Paul is writing about the goodness of God, the sovereignty of God over what he creates.  It makes me wonder, that maybe some people aren't really immortal human beings as we understand it.  Maybe some people are actors, set up to play a certain part in God's plans, but they don't really have existence or a soul.  Just a theory.  

And what about John 15:22?  "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin." These are the words of Jesus.  It raises an interesting question: So if someone doesn't hear the gospel, they are not guilty of sin?  From this passage of scripture I would have to assume the answer to that question would be: "yes."  A lot of scripture doesn't fit into the conventional theology of the evangelical church.


I think tonight must be an anniversary of sorts.  You ever have that feeling, like the cold sensation on a given day is a reminder of some anniversary of some terrible event that can't even be recalled consciously?  

I used to wonder at predestination, before I knew a thing about Calvinism.  I figured I was predestined before the foundations of the world to die of slow drug death and join club 27 with all the great artists I so enjoyed.

In fact it lined up in an interesting way.  I had been hoping that the world would end in December 2012, you know the thing with the Mayan calendar.  Of course the world didn't end.  But December 2012 was when I was born again into the family of Jesus Christ.  See, God does have a sense of humor.

You wonder at the memories, and how to catalog the data, and what position to take on the things that happened.  It was good, it was bad, could it have been avoided, was it necessary at the divorce of my family.  What caused it, could it have ended sooner?  The only thing for certain is, at the beginning, God was there, all throughout he was also there, and at the end he was also there.  And he knew the entire time, from the first moment of the march downward, that I would one day call upon the name of Jesus Christ and be reborn as a result.  

I'm looking forward to praying tonight.  Have you ever felt the presence of God?  Throughout your day acknowledge his presence, in the car, at work, at home, wherever you happen to be.. I'll whisper, Jesus Christ is here.  God is here.  And I can feel it a bit more, and a bit more, sometimes less, sometimes more.  The presence of God floods into the room when I say a few simple words addressed to the throne of God: "Dear and loving heavenly Father, please hear my prayer." 

It's just that simple.  Sometimes we can't feel it though, we can't sense God because we're so backed up with self pity, depression, remorse, resentments, and self hatred... and those things have to be dealt with.  I've found the 12 steps used by many recovery groups to be absolutely invaluable in the process of coming to the conscious present recognition of the always present God of the Bible.