Saturday, January 28, 2012

.how will He not also?.

"God and I,
we've long had trust issues."

-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
Trusting God has been hard for me the last couple of years.
So often our reasoning for trusting God's faithfulness is based on ways we can see it in our past and our present. "He's been faithful before, He'll be faithful again" sings a popular song on Christian radio these days; "Has thou not seen how thy desires ever have been granted in what He ordaineth?" comfort the lyrics of a hymn from the 1800s. I wrote last year about my struggles with that since HNGR: What about if His providence in the past looks like no definition of the word protection, what if none of their most simple, basic desires have been granted?

I love this book and can read it and learn from it, because the author goes there.
I've been soaking in this chapter this week:

"In an empty pickup truck I hear voices scarred- the voices of people I have long loved and their voices cry pain and I honor them with the listening:
When your memories have an old man groping for your crotch, hot, foul breath on your face, and your skin crawls? Give thanks?
And an ultrasound screen stretches still and you're sent home to wait for the uterine muscles to contract out the dead dreams?
Or the woman you lay down with, shared the naked and unashamed, she beds another man, hands you back the wedding albums, and says she never knew love for you, what then?...

The words sear. I know their voices and I remember their faces...
I wait, just wait. In the wait memories blister.
And in the still, Spirit comes and He whispers a name.
And I see a world through His lens: "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?"
He gave us Jesus. Jesus! Gave Him up for us all.
If we have only one memory, isn't this one enough?

 Why is this the memory I most often take for granted? He cut open the flesh of the God-Man and let the blood. He washed our grime with the bloody grace. He drove the iron ore through His own vein. 

Doesn't that memory alone suffice? Need there be anything more?
If God didn't withhold from us His very own Son, will God withhold anything we need?

If trust must be earned, hasn't God unequivocally earned our trust
with the bark on the raw wounds,
the thorns pressed into the brow,
your name on the cracked lips?...

All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ, all remembering a remembrance of Him.
For in Him all things were created, are sustained, have their being.
Thus Christ is all there is to give thanks for; Christ is all there is to remember.

It is safe to trust."


Charles Van Gorkom said...

Wow. How I do agree. Such excellent writing, such a more excellent subject. Thank-you for the blessing. "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."

Cass said...

That is beautiful. While reading the beginning of the passage I thought about Jesus's words, ""My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I find it interesting that is the only phrase by Jesus during His crucifixion to appear in more than one Gospel.

Jesus knew abandonment. He wrestled with the same question. I don't entirely know why, but for some reason that makes me feel better. Perhaps because I know that even in our seeming abandonment and confusion, God is here, because He was there, on the cross.

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.