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Archive for May, 2008

Okay, I just have to comment on something I read on someone’s blog. Not mentioning any names…anyhow, they were discussing an article they had read regarding the discovery of a supposed earth-type planet as close as 20 light years away. This person made the comment that such a discovery would “cause widespread panic in religious cultures, which might have us realize evolution is more plausible than most would like to believe”. While I agree that philosophical chaos would possibly ensue, I took a moment to wonder at the theology that would cause said chaos. How little is the God he believes in? Is it not possible that a God as infinite and magnificent as ours could not create multiple galaxies with multiple civilizations with multiple plans for multiple creations? I don’t believe He has, but if He had, I wouldn’t mind it a bit. My relationship with God has nothing to do with exclusivity…and what kind of logic says that it would make evolution one bit more believeable? I think it would be more likely that it would be another stroke for intelligent design. Anyhow, just had to have a little rant about this statement. Still, I don’t think anyone who had a true relationship with God would be too worried if life was discovered on other planets. I bet we’d find out that they know Who He is, too….

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The Toolbox

This is another theory. However, it is nowhere near as pat as some of my other theories, and often has extremely serious implications.  It is this – that God has a toolbox, and you never know what tool he’s going to pull out of that box to shape you into something different than what you used to be. I began realizing this at about age 15, when He pulled out the first power tool He’d ever used in my life in a way that was visible to me. Of course, there had been a little poking and prodding, as if He was deciding what He wanted me to be. (I do realize that He had decided all that before the foundation of the world, but that is irrelevant – I guess it’s more as if He knew what he wanted me to be, but was just checking the quality of the wood). So, at age 15, out came the power tools. Let the molding begin. Divorce was the tool. My parents divorced when I was 15 and the shaping began. Unfortunately, human nature seems to be such that we don’t much notice the small tools – it’s only when God gets out the power tools that we begin to sit up and take notice. Even then, sometimes, we look back at Him and wonder what on earth He’s doing cutting and sawing and hammering, as if WE have some better idea what He should be doing – things such as blessing, and giving, and loving! Trauma is a powerful teacher. Other power tools He’s used on me include a fairly broken heart, an unplanned pregnancy, financial difficulties, homeschooling, and lately, nursing school.  I consider myself blessed as these tools seem benign compared to those I see Him use on others. Still, they have been great tools in my life, and wrought in me what character I possess today.  How do these work as tools in my life? Firstly, they drive me to my knees, and closer to Him. Yes, there is gratitude and rejoicing in the good times and with the blessings, but the best times with the Lord are the times when you learn to trust Him when you don’t understand what He’s doing at all and it just feels like you must, by now, be nothing but sawdust. Watching God’s people go through their molding may seem heartbreaking – most of the tools are no joking matter…broken relationships, a difficult family member, repeated transplant surgeries, miscarriages, an extremely wayward or abusive husband, a terminally ill child – these a handful of the tools that God uses to shape people. When you put yourself in the hands of the Master Builder, you must be prepared for the consequences. They may not be pretty. In fact, unless you are already perfect, I can guarantee they will get quite ugly from time to time.  There may be those of you asking why the tools get so extreme. Perhaps out there is someone who responds quickly to the gentle proddings of the Holy Spirit and changes accordingly. If there is, I would like to meet them and discover their secret. Most people I know, including Jesus Christ Himself, learn obedience ‘through the things we suffer.’ Suffering is the tool. Remember Much Afraid from Hannah Hurnard’s ‘Hind’s Feet on High Places’? Her companions, assigned to her by the Great Shepherd, were Sorrow and Suffering. You see, this theory is nothing new. Still,  when going through great trials, Christians still look around and wonder what they are being punished for, or worse yet, try to cast the devil off when in truth they are being formed and shaped into something so much greater than could ever be wrought by gentler means. Obedience is not the only thing learned through suffering. Other lessons include dependence on God (you learn to lean), faith in His strengths (made perfect in our weakness), and our own complete insufficiency (your tools are specially chosen to show you that apart from Him, you can do nothing). Not to mention that He promised to make it work out for your good. He can heal every sort of broken thing, and make it better than before. Maybe months, maybe years down the road, you’ll look back and see the changes wrought in you by the tools. Maybe you won’t exactly be able to pin them down. But when you carry your character into eternity, that will be the proof that God was working on you all along.

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