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Thursday, October 22, 2020

What No-One Wants To Talk About

 It's something no-one really want to talk about.

Losing faith.

It's been a hellish week of pain and puke and growing tumours and...can it get worse? (Short answer: yes, it can.)

If it were punishment, I could accept that...but it seemed more like indifference.

So my faith flagged.

Not faith that there is a God, mind you...the sheer complexity of life, and the huge odd against it developing randomly (something like 4 to the 300th power against a 300-ribosome chain of DNA building itself from 4 basic amino acids, to start...which translate to 4 times ten to the 180th power...which is a 4 followed by 180 zeros...as a comparison, if the Earth is really 4 billion years old, that's 2 times ten to the fifteenth power seconds...a lot smaller).

Yes, I know about Bartel and Sostak's 1993 experiment that 'showed' that catalytic RNA molecules could speed up the process significantly, but they 'selected in' the catalytic RNA (they compared it to dog-breeding for desired coat qualities) and provided a friendly and stable environment for the reactive process. In other words, they added a form of intelligent design to the equation.

So, yeah, I believe in a Creator.

But is the Creator beneficent? Does He care about me, or am I merely an expenaable pawn on a comic chessboard?

I can't get there through reading Scripture, or through Praise and Worship, or through listening at the feet of learned men.

But I can get there through context.

And the context off Christianity consists of three days at a long-ago Passover.

"Father, why have you abandoned Me?"

Jesus could ask the quetion we seem to be afraid to approach. He asked it for us, at the beginning of His journey.

The three-day road from the Cross to the empty tomb.

God didn't come to live among us as a man so that we'd have easy, pain-free lives, and have all our worldly dreams come true. God isn't Santa Claus.

He came to defeat the grave for us. And that, for me, is enough.

He died in blood and mire, the blood and mire in which our lives are based.

And then He rose, that we might rise.

(OK, a slight correction to the 'listening at the feet of learned men' bit above...I never had doubt about the veracity of the Resurrection, but don't have the energy now to explain why, so may I direct you to Lee Strobel's The Case For Christ?)

Are You really out there, God?

Do you really care?

Is my thinking deeply flawed;

am I talking to the air?

Is there something left for me

as bitter days wind down,

or is my testimony

the miming of a clown?

I search on King James’ pages,

in words of preaching men,

in tomes by august sages,

and it is only then

that I see when doubt and mistrust loom,

Christ’s context is the empty tomb.

Music from John Denver, with Looking For Space. (Click here if the video doen't appear.)

I do try to answer each comment in a timely fashion, but with Internet providers really stretched, I have only about half of the access I once did. Please bear with me!

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  1. so very true. God saved us from the grave, God enabled us to have relationship with him. true true true.

    1. Annette, that salvation is really everything, isn't it?

  2. You always have an excellent perspective, Andrew. Today I am blessed by "Jesus could ask the question we seem to be afraid to approach." We are NOT alone! I am also blessed by John Denver. Thank you! Prayers, as always, continue for you and your wife. <3 Karen (FMF #7)

    1. Karen, thank you so much for these kind words (and I'm delighted that you enjoy John Denver!).

      We're truly grateful for your prayers.

  3. He rose.

    We're grateful.

    We live because He died.

    What love!

  4. Andrew, so very grateful that even though life is not easy, we are never alone. "And then He rose, that we might rise." Amen!

    And praying for you and Barb this morning. So grateful for these Friday posts!

    1. Joanne, I think that knowledge, that we are not alone, is what makes it possible to get through the days.

      We thank you so much for your prayers!

  5. The empty tomb is the cornerstone of our sometimes small faith. But it's faith nevertheless. Prayers, my friend.

    1. Susan, I think the empty tomb is both cornerstone of faith and foyer of grace's mansion.

      Thank you so much for the prayers!

  6. It's comforting to know that Jesus experienced suffering and abandonment s he understands. Praying that you know him with you and that you are never alone.

  7. "Christ’s context is the empty tomb". The best perspective. Sending prayers Andrew x

  8. Bless you and keep clinging to that empty tomb and victory if the cross. Loretta

    1. Loretta, thank you...the Empty Tomb and the Cross become more vital each day!

  9. YES Andrew! Context!! Pondering the same questions lately, without the equivalent challenges you are, but still, uniquely mine. Amazing you help me articulate and I am sure, for others also. Praying you find respite from your pain and a renewed faith in His promises.

    1. Mary, thank you! Your kind and affirming words are truly a balm after a pretty awful week.

  10. Praying for you and Barbara. Grateful even our Savior walked a hard road and can be our very present help in times of such trouble.

    1. Mariel, thank you so much for the prayers...we walk in His footsteps, grateful for the Way He has shown.

  11. Alway grateful to see another post from you. Your words bless and encourage me--and I'm sure many others as well. Praying for you and Barb. May the Lord ease your pain, and keep you forever strong.

    1. Grams, your words honour me more than I can say...and your prayers a source of strength.

  12. Beautiful post, Andrew! I especially love this line, "And then He rose, that we might rise." Thanks for inspiring us to trust Jesus in the blood and mire of life! Praying you find moments of His comfort when you get stuck in that place.

    1. Beth, thank you so much...and thank you for being the one whose words and care led me to discover a personal relationship with Christ.

      It's a priceless gift.

  13. Resiliency in action. He was afflicted. By His wounds we are healed. We don't want to suffer but we are thankful for our suffering. God says it is not wasted. He uses even the hard things for His glory, though it doesn't seem to make any sense to us. Like Christ, we become broken bread and poured out wine. Your life is broken bread and poured out wine. You live with one foot in the hereafter as day by day you hover between the earth and the eternal. You show us at times glimpses of what will be one day, when earthly pain is conquered and suffering is ended. "White shores." "That's not so bad." I look forward to that glorious "one day." Hoping you are encouraged in some way. God bless you. Andrew, I'm praying for you.

    1. My dear Norma, indeed, the pain is not wasted. I would not change my life for anything; I would not wish the cancer away, because it's truly been God's most sublime gift, the greatest honour He could have given.

      He's trusted me to see things that I would never have seen in ordinary time, and to reach into my heart, and His, to make something beautiful (I hope so, anyway) from the mire.

      I'm so grateful for that, and for your prayers, my friend.

  14. Awwww, my friend. Your honest words here minister to my heart. We don't understand all the Whys of God's plan. If we get stuck in that and in the doubt-thoughts that arise, we're doomed. I so appreciate how you came back tot he most hope-filled truth there is: the empty tomb. Jesus died so that we might live eternally. Our lives here are temporal, but in the big scheme, our eternal lives will be amazing because of the empty tomb.

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I'm praying for you and for Barb.

    1. Jeanne, it's so hard to see the 'why'...but I guess the only 'why' I need is that it's part of God's plan, and gives me a chance...by free will...to speak to His glory.

      To be sure, I'm supported by Christ and the Holy Ghost...I could not do this on my own...but when I surrender to the need for help...well, I'm happy.

      Does that make sense?

      Thank you so much for your prayers...these have been dreadful weeks, and they are so appreciated.