Writing straight theology is easy for me, but returning to my personal walk is a challenge. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, sometimes I have to be honest about where I am. These words from the Cure’s song Maybe Someday sometimes haunt me.
No I won’t do it again, I don’t want to pretend
If it can’t be like before, I’ve got to let it end
I don’t want what I want, I’ve had a change of head
I got to let it go and leave it gone,
just walk away, stop it going on
Get to scared to jump if I want too long
Being hopeless is not a place that a Christian should be, but I have to admit sometimes I feel this temptation. I have been tired of being without hope for awhile. So I have to come back and ask God where is the hope? I read 1 Corinthians 2 where it says:
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”
I read this and I say “well my eye has certainly not seen nor has my ear heard.” But Paul reminds the Corinthians that he came to them and he decided to know nothing among them except Christ and him crucified. I can write good theology but it means nothing if I can’t stop resting my faith in the wisdom of men and instead find solace in the power of God. The power of God. What power of God?
We don’t always experience the power of God the way the disciples did. I know that God gives different gifts to different people. I don’t have to worry about not having the gift of healing or of the prophetic. This is not about answering the why’s of those questions but instead reflecting on the power that is readily available to us. There is power in simply knowing God. As much as we may want Jesus to be present with us, he said that it was to our benefit for him to go away. He said this because he would send the comforter, the counselor, the companion, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seems to impart the power for our gifts, but for this discussion he grants access to the very person of God. Jesus was the human God with us, and the Spirit is God with us now. Until we stand in his presence physically again.
The power that is readily available to us is in his resurrection. The other is the power of prayer. He rose from the dead. That means his words are true. Two powers available to me. He is near and he listens. He has risen and my sins are forgiven, not just forgiven but the power of sin that used to enslave my soul has been broken. My soul is free from the bondage that made sin not only my master but my only option. I was an enemy of God condemned to live apart from him. My life was on a track with a one way ticket to hell where I would experience some form of wrath from a Holy God.
The power of God however broke those chains and now I can draw near to him. I am a new creature. I am a new person. I need to learn how to live as this new being, with plenty of old baggage to still sift through. But he has broken my shackles. Because I am no longer a slave to the sin, I am now a son of God. The writer of Hebrews reminds us:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Because Jesus came as a man and experienced temptations and yet remained without sin he is able to sympathize with us even in our weakness. He understands…
Dear God I need your mercy and grace, help me in my time of need. I am failing in my challenge of belief.
I think of the song from the Cure and how often my thoughts are similar and then I think of a bit of Psalm 42.
I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
There is real power in God, but then I realize where my eyes have been looking.
And then I remember another Cure song, Trust, and I can hear God’s voice echo.
Still the hardest part for you, to put your trust in me
I love you more than I can say, why won’t you just believe?
I know that I no longer want to just say that maybe someday it will be different. I know that it won’t happen if I leave my hope to my feelings. I have to renew it.