Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Why God's Love Prevails (and why words are important)
Well, we've made it through the tough discussions and now get to receive a little dessert. Chapter 4 in the WHY? series by Adam Hamilton focuses on why God's love prevails... and it couldn't come any sooner!
The first three chapters were a bit rough, at least among the folks with whom I spoke. Not rough in that we turned on each other; rough in that it sparked heavy discussion that demanded serious consideration.
Why does God allow suffering? Why do some prayers go unanswered? What is God's will for my life? See. Not easily covered in a quick conversation.
But this week, we'll discuss a subject that might just feel like putting on our favorite sweatshirt or grabbing a favorite pillow or blanket, (a snuggie or slanket if you must). We'll snuggle up in the knowledge that God is always with us and no one and nothing can separate us from God's love.
As Adam Hamilton says, "God does not take from us our freedom, nor does God miraculously deliver us from the consequences of our actions or the actions of others. But, God does promise to deliver us, and God promises to sustain us and force good to come from the painful things we experience in this life."
I like that idea. But I got hung up on one word. And as Mark Twain said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."
Something about the word "force" bothers me in that sentence above. Seems to me, God doesn't have to force anything. If He decides it shall be, it shall be. No forcing need be done. But Rev. Hamilton also wrote this:
"God takes the pain and the grief and the wounds of our past, and transforms them into objects of beauty." I love the use of the word "transform." That seems very fitting and Godly.
But no worries. I'm not picking on Rev. Hamilton! Afterall, if there's anything we've learned from this series, it's that we can disagree on issues and phrasing and even theology, but we can do it in an agreeable way. Learning and growing together without fear of feeling small or silly. That reminds me of some other words... some of my favorite words:
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.
See you (and your favortite sweatshirt) on Sunday!
PS- More Mark Twain quotes here