Drawing close to God will destroy our assumptions about who he is. That is a good thing and shouldn’t be a surprise. A growing relationship is a learning process that helps us discover things about ourselves and the other, replacing error with knowledge. We assume many things about God and about his motives. People will proclaim “God won’t let” this or that happen, and I will think, Don’t be so sure about that. The notion develops when we are not intimately acquainted with God in a bond cemented by relationship in the best and worst of times, often at his behest. It is to trade insight of his character for low-level spiritual experiences that do no more than keep us excited and “churchy”. Continue reading
A lesson I’m still learning is the eternality of God’s word. Isaiah 40:8 states, “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” That poses no problem for many of us when we relate it to the word of God as “the Book” or divine rule for humankind. But I find myself becoming “farsighted” and doubting at times when relating that verse to the quiet assurances the Lord has instilled in my own heart.
Ever had something happen that frightens you each time you remember it? Share this one with me.
My mother, sister, and I were returning home after visiting my grandmother who lay dying in a nursing facility in the town behind us. It was nighttime and I was driving. The state highway was very dark but the ride pleasant. About the halfway point while passing through a community, I quickly perceived there to be people or something on the road feet ahead. It was impossible to tell, however, because there was no lighting of any kind, not even the moon. Furthermore, if there were anything on the road, the headlights should reveal it. No cars were in front of us. Continue reading
One of the most important posts on this blog is entitled A Faith Forged in Relationship. There I write, “God doesn’t ask us to trust him blindly. In Scripture and in our lives, he has always revealed himself…revealed his character and made sure that we never have to trust in One we don’t know or understand.”
Each day I opened my apartment door to a breathtaking close-up of Mount Fuji. Often I’d stand for minutes gazing at it, studying it: the timberline, the crevasses, the snow capped peak, when it wasn’t shrouded in clouds. The volcano towered over the coastal region, the land rising from sea level to over 12,300 feet in less than 40 miles.
From Fujinomiya where I lived, the mountain stood about 22 miles away, but it appeared to be “in the backyard,” affirming to me the scale of colossal things. Our Sun is 93 million miles away and still appears as a sizeable disk in the sky. Yet the Sun’s actual diameter is nearly 110 times the Earth’s diameter, like comparing the height of a nickel to a door. Beside it we would see nothing else but it.
The culture can be a real drag on spiritual growth. I’m not naïve enough to believe that the earliest Christians didn’t have their struggles drawing close to God; otherwise, Paul would not have advised, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it even without thinking” (Rom. 12:2, MSG). But modern-day Christians must constantly recalibrate relative to technology and invention, things without conscience but powerful enough to dictate it, which raises serious concerns.
In chemistry, a catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being consumed or affected. A catalyst can also be a person whose energy causes others to become enthusiastic or lively. We like those people. We usually use the word to mean a person or thing that hastens an event or a change.
These definitions kinda describe God, wouldn’t you say? He is the cause of everything: the universe, life, beauty, goodness. Yet he is not depleted. Creation is suffused with his glory, but that wonder remains constant. Continue reading