a conversation

25 July 2011

I originally wrote this as one of last week's bullet points, but it got too cumbersome for the format. Here's more about that little reminder...

In all honesty, I have been angry for a long time (for reasons I may share eventually so that others may relate and learn), and it came to a head on Sunday when my simmering resentment erupted in a flurry of questions, accusations, declarations. I told God everything on my heart with unedited and alarming frankness. As others have said, the important thing is to keep talking with God, especially during those times you absolutely don't want to talk. So I talked. And I yelled. And I cried.

And I did it all again on Monday. Why, why would you do that? I asked him. Why?

Does God have to explain himself to man?

Pause. What?

Does God have to explain himself to man?

A mess of concepts and hints of passages I'd read long ago impressed themselves upon me, reminding me of God's awesome, exalted nature.

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Who then is he that can stand before Me?

Who has given to Me that I should repay him?*

I don't deserve an answer, and I don't even deserve to be satisfied. God is working out his will as he sees fit, for whatever reason. But it is also his prerogative to love me, for whatever reason. I heard from God in the sense that he pointed me to his unchanging truth in Scripture; he brought to mind whispers of passages I've read years ago, all the more humbling because I was in no mood to reflect or to receive. God does not have to give an account of himself to man, nor is he required to explain his actions. He is God, and what he does or allows I have to accept without necessarily understanding it now (and this, I believe, is what one calls "faith"). I am also his beloved, which for reasons unknown, is his prerogative (and this, I believe, is what one calls a "relationship").
Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
What if God, although willing to demonstrate his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And he did so to make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom he also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As he says also in Hosea,
"I will call those who were not my people, 'My people,'
And her who was not beloved, "Beloved.'" **

*see Job chapters 38-41 in full (one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible). This part is ridiculously hard to convey, and impossible to convey accurately and without sounding like a mystical epiphany. Out of a nebulous impression I have attempted to pluck discrete bits, define them with words, and string them into the sequence required of narrative. To put it in McLuhanesque terms, I have struggled to convey an oral, all-at-once impression in the sequential medium of print. Anyone who's had that flash of intuition and then have attempted to jot it down but utterly failed to capture it may relate.
**Romans 9:20-25

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