Wednesday, November 08, 2006

His Will, My Walk

Resolving paradox and addressing conflict remains two of the most difficult skills to master.  I continue to see evidence that issues with these areas trip us up more than any other.

An example of resolving paradox is how we respond to the workings of our faith and the conviction of our beliefs on our lives.  All around we see injustice and arrogance, self-centered expressions of free will and rebellion.  To walk with faith we must daily reconcile this with a conviction of faith.  How do we go forth boldly then when so little around us seems fair, just, or honorable?  How do we keep from overlooking our failures in the light of irresistable grace?
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
- Romans 9:19,20
There are appropriate ways to submit our lives to His will, and proper ways to express our questioning and to voice our lack of faith to our Savior, even as we walk.

Consider in Luke 1 when Gabriel comes to the Mary and says, "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus."  Talk about addressing conflict and resolving paradox!  Rightly taken back and bewildered, Mary could have been dismissive or disbelieving.  Instead she asked clearly, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?". The important thing is notice that she didn't say or even imply that it couldn't happen. She wanted simply to know the "How?"

Compare this with another visit from the might Gabriel upon Zechariah who was to be the father of John the Baptist. When Gabriel says, "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John", Zechariah responded with skepticism and a challenge "How shall I know this?" How will you prove it to me is a much different answer which Gabriel did not like. The angel responds , "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time".

From this we must conclude that humble questioning and a teachable attitude will be well received. Wanting to understand about the how and the why God does what He does is acceptable. After all, the same angel responded to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you". Just because it wasn't the answer you expected, doesn't mean it won't be the answer you need.