Friday, October 7, 2011

Holy Instability

First, a quote from this article in Christianity Today:
We can stop pretending God is nice, as if it's his job to make our lives well-adjusted or religious or even spiritual. Jesus did not say he came to give us happiness, only blessedness. He did not promise an easy life, only an abundant one. He doesn't call us to be religious or spiritual, but to love God and love others. We can save ourselves a lot of grief if we recognize that up front. 
This means at least two things: (1) He's not going to spare us from heartache, suffering, and chaos. (2) He's actually going to bring heartache, suffering, and chaos into our lives sometimes.
We hear about the first often, and we've been rightly told that when evil embeds itself in our lives through death or disease or destruction that the truths of the gospel remain: God is still Emmanuel, with us. He is, even in the worst circumstances, taking that worst thing, like he took the death of his Son, and turning it into something redemptive. It's only a matter of time.
But the biblical picture shows us that sometimes God doesn't merely react to the evil chaos in our lives, he sometimes creates what might be called holy chaos. Like he did to the Pharisees. And to Peter. And to Paul. And to the disciples at Pentecost. He does things in our lives that leave us confused and bewildered for a time.
In this, too, we are wise to remember that God is still Emmanuel, with us. In this case, he's not merely using chaos, he is instilling a holy chaos into our lives."
    I'm still wrapping my mind around a God who not only allows, but sometimes brings holy disruption.  It's...unsettling...but would I really want it any other way?  "Jesus: The God Who Coddles" is hardly a tagline that promotes allegiance.   
  Here's an analogy.  I go to a gym that uses instability as a training tool.  They don't use machines at all; in fact, they try to destabalize as many moves as is safely possible so as to engage as many muscles as possible.  If you're going to work out, why not do it right?  It works; the results for their clients are impressive. It's not a gym that coddles, but it's a gym that makes athletic men and women out of boys and girls.
  I want a God who destabalizes as many moves in my life as is safely possible.  If I'm going to ask Him to make me strong, why not do it right? And when, in the end, when we see how Jesus made spiritual men and women out of boys and girls, we will give Him the praise He deserves.


  1. I feel that this day in age, especially in my generation, the idea of a God that does "coddle" is more appealing. Most of my generation, myself included are use to taking, asking for and getting. We are guilty of taking the past of least resistance, most likly learned from our parents that coddled us for so long, so when we reflect on religion and what the images and traits of God would hold we would of course expect Him to interact with us the way we are use to by society and the way our own parents do. We grow this false understanding that God is indulgent, emotionally responsive to us, unable to hate even hating the sins that He has commanded against in essence coddling the sinner when a commadment has been broken. I agree it is unsettling and hard to imagine a God that could bring such disruption into our lives. I know in my own life because of movies, social media and role models that wanted to protect us from any disruptive Truths about God and the true attributes and characteristics, I am now almost 30 and find it harder to except these truths. I admit that when I first started to understand that Gods love is unconditional, but not with out giving something back in return we could not walk with Him in His kingdom, and that God can hate (sin), it was much like learning at five years old that Santa or the Easter Bunny didn't exist. Poor analogy looking at the big picture but having something you knew in your heart for so long to be true then to learn its not and forced to look back and question how you view things is in itself unsettling.
    You spoke of Holy chaos, disruptions in our lives that God puts in our way to challenge us and uses to help us seek and grow into Him, I can honestly say that when I had moments of "Holy Chaos" I often looked at it as punishment for sins I was guilty of. But after surroundings myself with believers that seek only His truths and have a strong biblical background, I'm finding these trials as opportunities to test my personal courage and grow my love and faith with for Him. I still question what lesson I need to take away from it but no longer question Him. As someone new to the unabridged, un-edited Christianity I appreciate blogs like this that are available to start conversation and self reflection.

  2. "Unabridged, un-edited Christianity." Well said :) I hope this blog can continue to do that. I find it harder than I thought to look at life honestly, but I have also found it more rewarding that I anticipated.