Sometimes life is extremely painful. We face extraordinary doses of wicked problems, obstacles, and conundrums. That we survive is a testimony to the human sprit and hope. In the midst of all this it is easy to ask where God is. If God is alive what is Divinity doing? If God is out to get us then why doesn’t Divinity just finish us off? If God is described by mercy and compassion then why do we face the pain that we do?
I don’t have complete answers, even for myself. I do know that recent events have reinforced three truths. First, Divinity is engaged in our lives. This is true no matter how many exceptions might be thrown up as evidence to the contrary. There is no other explanation for the awesome beauty, intense compassion, and unmerited acts of mercy that we find in life if open ourselves to the experience.
Second, Divinity is under attack. There are two competing frameworks; Individual realization versus Group or I versus We. The God I know is the essence of shared community value. We seen this is the principles of mercy, unconditionally acceptance, and ultimately love. When I examine the wicked problems and sources of pain the search always comes to one of two ends; an “I” choice or the absence of hope.
Third, we have a role to play if this is ever going to end, and it will end. We have the opportunity to be part of the “I” side or with the God who defines love, compassion, mercy, unconditionally acceptance, and every positive energy that we know.
The challenge is acceptance. It is especially true with the role we play. We want both options, to do things our way and for God to rescue us from every bit of pain. Yet this option is inherently conflicting. God offers us something special; to be one Divinity’s side and to win a battle that has already been one. I find myself reacting that “this is tough teaching, too tough to swallow,” (John 6.60) yet it is the truth.
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