Thursday, September 30

Living the Theology

Of course, the whole point of studying the nature God like I've been doing in order to write all those attributes of God posts is that by knowing some truths about him, I can live in relation to him in a way that is more right--that I can know God in a way that works out in the way I live. In the post on God's truthfulness I wrote this:
Those of us who have come to know him--who are his people--need to be real and true as our heavenly Father is real and true. We are being remade into the image of the one who spoke us into existence, so we need to call a spade a spade, and this is particularly important when it comes to our own selves and our own lives. God's people are not people of pretense, but of genuineness. Hypocrisy is everywhere condemned in scripture because it is directly opposed to what God is, and so it is directly opposed to what we ought to be......God's new people are truthful people, people who are being made into the image of the one who created them by his spoken word--by "calling them out of darkness and into his marvelous light."
So that's what I'm doing in this post: I'm calling a spade a spade. Not about someone else (so you all can breathe easy!), but about myself. In the post on God's goodness I wrote this:
Remember too, that when we are his, every single circumstance is a good gift, and an undeserved good gift, so God's people need to be the sort of people who give thanks in all circumstances.
I absolutely believe this is true. How can I not believe it, when it is there in black and white in the text of Romans? And yet, when responding to a question on that post, I wrote this in regards to the difficulties in my life over the past few years:
I'm getting to the point where I think I might be able to say (and mean it) that I wouldn't change anything if I could.
Notice how I had to couch that: "I'm getting to the point...I think...I might be able". And I still could barely write it. The truth is that I believe it sometimes and sometimes I don't--or at least sometimes I believe it a whole lot less enthusiastically than others. Life can be tough, and it's really hard to not think that an easier life would be a better one. That easy is good and suffering is not is a hard notion for me to let go. Deep down in there, I want to hold onto it with every fibre of my being, partly, at least, because if I acknowledge the true gift suffering can be, I just might receive more of it.

Let me talk about my husband for a little bit. He had a very difficult childhood and younger life. (I hope I won't be stepping on the toes of any of my readers when I say this.) I won't go into details, because he wouldn't have wanted that, except to say that his younger life was really tough. In the last few years of his life, though--and this is before he became ill--he had come to the point where he could say quite firmly that he wouldn't change anything at all about his childhood circumstances. He saw that all those hard things put together were part of what had made him who he was, and that some of the useful skills he had came directly from those difficulties, and without the hard parts, he wouldn't have seen those good fruits.

He spent a lot of his time as a teacher working with students with behavior problems. One of the most common remarks by fellow teachers to me about him since his death has been that when it came to difficult students, no one was better at working with them than he was. He was good because he knew, and he knew because he had experienced. His hard times produced good fruit; and as he matured in this life, he began to understand that and embrace his life history as a good gift from a good heavely Father.

I'm not there yet. At least I'm not there in any sort of solid way.