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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Can't Handle the Truth



Isn't there just a small part of you (or maybe you feel it with ever fiber of your psychosis) that fears that if God would answer your prayers out loud, immediately, His response would sound a lot like the classic Jack Nicholson rant from A Few Good Men?

No matter how closely we snuggle up to God, we will never approach equality with Him. We can't do what He can do. We can't put ourselves in His place. We cannot know what He knows. So if we, like Job in the 7th chapter of his eponymous book, ask God, "Why have you made me your target?" we ought to be prepared for a response that shocks us.

Job, though, was probably better prepared than anyone ever has been. He understood his smallness on the universal landscape, which is why he asked why God would even pay attention to him. He cringed under the gaze of the Almighty, wishing he could escape into death. Twice he anticipated his disappearance from the face of the earth and the sight of the Lord . . . he predicted that he would cease to be.

Something fascinating and troubling I noticed in this chapter: Job, a man at the rock bottom of suffering and loss, echoed almost verbatim the sentiments in Ecclesiastes from Solomon, a man at the pinnacle of human achievement, wisdom, pleasure, and flat-out existence. Um . . . if that doesn't show us middle-class folks the need for something more than this world offers, nothing will. 

God, I need you. If the man who lost everything and the man who had everything both felt life was meaningless, I need something more, please. Complaining about or reveling in the circumstances that surround me gains me nothing. The only thing that is pure is you. You are not a corrupt colonel, you are my almight, all-loving God who knows infinitely better than I do that You alone can please me.

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