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Friday, August 25, 2006

Much Afraid

"All of these things
held up in vain
No reason or rhyme
Just the scars that remain
Of all of these things
I'm so much afraid
Scared out of my mind
By the demons I've made
Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go
Oh, Sweet Jesus, you never ever let me go."

Jars of Clay - "Much Afraid" (1997).

Why are we afraid of being afraid? Why are we scared of fear? Why do we need fix everything, to have everything neatly ordered and resolved? Where does this thinking originate from? Not the Bible, surely?

The Bible speaks of time when all will be resolved but it is not now.

Rev 21:4-5 - "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever." And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making all things new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true."

I must make a confession; I will get to making some more advanced comments on this passage soon but right now I am tired - very tired. I have just been wrestling with my two older boys after a day at work and then I read to them both and put them to bed (I know, pull out the violins). For now I want to leave some thoughts that life in the here and now is fragile and delicate. We live, to varying degrees, with the awareness of our finite humanity but we can also live with the possibilities that emerge from our God-given spiritual new life.

There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a time when there is no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. I believe in this, I endeavour to introduce others to the one who can lead us into this eternal future and I stand firmly upon the promise of this future contained in the word of God but...

I also want to affirm those who are confused by the sudden encroachment of death into our world; the way it can snatch away loved ones at the "wrong" time. I want to learn to stand with those who sorrow and cry and I want to sit with those who really feel pain. I can theologise but pain is real. Pain hurts. Pain confuses and numbs our thinking. The time for these things to pass is one step closer every day.

I also believe that Jesus is "making all things new" and I am not sure what this really entails except that I trust him to engage in the process of making all things new in a way that is fully in line with his Father's will.

I am not making excuses. I am not turning away from prayerful trust or from faith but I am seeking to listen more and talk less to those who hurt.

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