October 16, 2007

me vs. the Almighty

And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. --- Genesis 32:24

Why is it that every so often i find myself wrestling with the All-Powerful, the one i supposedly bow down to and recognize as Lord of All?

Why is that i find myself on the opposite side of the ring, but i wait for the all-too-obvious outcome of the match before going over to His side again?

As one who follows God, there are things, issues, details i do not understand. Following my own instincts and using my own understanding was way easier (though the results were disappointing, or worse!). A mystery buff and research scientist to boot, i just want to *know* everything --- is that too much to ask?! ;p

"Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"

It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days." --- 1 Kings 3:9-14

Hmm, that doesn't seem *too much* to ask; God gave even more didn't He? Centuries later James the church elder and Jesus' half brother (yes, i have to point that out!) writes:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. --- James 1:5-6

So...it's OK to ask God if i don't understand. He'll give me wisdom as long as i trust that He'll do so --- and if i don't have enough faith, i can ask for that too! :) So far so good, but to be honest i have been behaving less as a truth-seeker and more as a stubborn brat. ("But Lo-o-ord!!!! That can't be! What about ---?!?!" in that whiny, overly dramatic tone!)

This looks like a much better (and more mature) way:

"Dear God,
i don't understand why things have to be this way.
i don't know the exact details of Your plans, or my part in them.
and sometimes, i don't think it can be done (sorry!).

But i know that You know.
i know that You are in control.
and i know that You are loving and just.

i want to know You more.
You said in Your Word that whoever seeks You with all their heart will find You.
But You will reveal Yourself to me, and give me wisdom,
according to Your own perfect timing.

So i guess what i need all along
is more FAITH
to trust You
Truly there is none like You,
i have seen more than enough
from experiences past and present.
But i am stubborn and skeptical and doubtful
and it's hard to trust in someone other than myself
and it's hard to believe in something i hadn't seen yet (because duh teci, it's in the future!).

please give me more faith
because i don't get it
i don't understand
and i can't do it (or i don't want to)
if it is Your will too
please help me get it
please help me understand
please help me do it.



Thankfully, i'm less confrontational with God now. (Um, that's only according to me though!) The wrestling/boxing ring has matured into a legal courtroom, where i present God with essentially all the reasons why i should not be trusting Him. (Yow! That sounds too...cold-blooded and heartless.) Call me the prosecutor who dares put God on the stand to defend Himself. (Oh boy. i thought my spiritual maturity was increasing?)

But all throughout the trial in my mind, my heart would be whispering to God, "Lord! i must be making a mistake. Or there must be a misunderstanding somewhere. Please resolve this. For me and for all of us. Please don't let anyone sin and/or turn away from You because of this. i already know that You're right, it's just that in this issue i don't know why...not yet anyway."

"But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us."

And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes."

Immediately the father of the child cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" --- Mark 9:22b-24

i have to emphasize that we will all be held accountable, for each of our actions, on Judgement Day. Yup, that includes each instance of doubt, delay, or denial.

But God knows our hearts, our lives, and exactly what we're going through. He loves us and is willing to accept us; the Father gave us the Son to take the punishment for our sins so we can spend eternity with Him. How much more will God explain what we need to understand...spell it out if need be? :)

They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?" --- Luke 24:32

Help me, Lord. i want my heart to burn too. You're the Answer to every little question i have.

Sorry if i keep using the wrestling analogy!

But You do know that i'm on Your side...already :)

You know that, just like Jacob, i just need to hold onto You, especially in the dark of night.

And You know that every time You win (and You always do!), i actually win too :) i find another reason or too why i obey, why i trust, why i seek, why i love You :)

So let's get it on! Life is too complicated for us to not have a rematch soon :)

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