Friday, September 18, 2009
Reflecting on God's goodness
Jewish believers all over the world are celebrating Rosh Hashanah today....as defined by the torah.org website:
Rosh Hashanah is the first and second days of the first Jewish month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of the Jewish new year. The celebration of this holiday is marked with solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, as it was on this day that G-d created Man on the 6th day of creation. Every year, on this day, we proclaim G-d as our one and true King.
It is good and right to reflect on these things today and everyday. I needed reflection this morning because ever since I got up I have been battling a bit of anger. It rose up like a flare when I wasn't expecting it, and it was unwelcome. Upon further introspection I realized that it was directed at God. Maybe anger is not the right word. It's not a shaking fist at God kind of anger; more like a "what are you thinking/what's your plan here" kind of anger. Frustration really.
Someone I care about very much is not being taken care of the way I think they should. I guess that's what it comes down to. "Like, hey God, this is someone that is Your kid!" None of these feelings take God by surprise. He welcomes dialogue, and questions, even challenges. Sometimes an answer comes thundering back, like when He answered Job out of the whirlwind:
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'? "Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
I love the little barb He throws at Job in verse 21: "Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!" Did God's love for Job diminish because he questioned God? Absolutely not. God wasn't surprised by Job's feelings, questions or thoughts any more than He is by mine.
Sometimes He seems to put examples right in our path that validate even further everything we are feeling! "This is a test, this is only a test."
Even as I voice my prayers through tears, puzzlement, and frustration, a miracle occurs; thoughts start to form. Grace infused thoughts.....I remember all those times He has kept me, kept my friend, sustained me, strengthened me, provided for me, raining down His great mercy, love, forgiveness year in, year out. Always in His perfect timing. Grace comes full circle. I still have questions, but I know the One who knows the answers, and that makes all the difference.
Sometimes we need "trust" lessons. Sometimes we need to know He is right there ready to grab the bicycle seat lest we wobble and fall.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.