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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Testing, Testing

"And God tested Abraham." Genesis 22:1. We basically can take the story that follows in one of two ways: 1. The Bill Hicks way, that God is crazy, and if he is omnipotent and supernatural, he's not anyone I want to be worshiping, or 2. The Abraham/St. Paul way, which is, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us."

But hang on. Is Paul crazy? Does he even understand what I've gone through? Ask him, and keep reading. Here's the mystery and the truth: God's not waiting for us beyond our suffering; he's waiting for us in it. Jesus was prophesied to be the "man of sorrows, acquainted with grief." He knows. He wants us to know that he knows.

I can imagine the face of a good friend; I often think he's suffered more than anyone deserves, if there is such a thing. Doesn't everyone think that, though? I wouldn't choose my sufferings, and neither would anybody else. But the only reason Paul can say something like this is that the very Light of the world through the Holy Spirit is burning in his heart. The very presence of the goodness of God is shining in the darkness. It's not a denial of the darkness; it's an overcoming of it.

We have an opportunity, not simply to endure, but to give back, and testify.

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