Confession: I am a control freak. You too? Whether we admit or not, we want to control everyone and everything around us so that the things we fear won’t happen. So that we are not vulnerably exposing ourselves to pain. So that the unfair thing never happens. Like we have the power to stop this sort of stuff.
Deep down I really do know that control is a myth. I know that one random event or another person’s choice can instantly damage and change the direction of my life. I still vividly remember when all aspects of the justice system became a regular part of my life way back in 1995. A phone call can change the direction of your life.
But we (I know you are included in this statement) still fight for control and even demand it. Our exhausted striving is evidence of this.
If we can’t really have control, we then want a God who does. We project our fears onto this certain God so our lives will be more certain. Deep down we believe that God owes us. I have found myself praying my “supposed-to’s” such as God, you were supposed to intervene in this hopeless situation. My list of “supposed-to’s” leads me to feel abandoned by God. Like God is not listening or that God is too busy or that God really doesn’t care.
A certain faith is less vulnerable. A certain faith is one we create so we feel safe and secure. Maybe even numbed. A certain faith seeks authoritarian personalities so they can know that their faith is certain. (Ponder that one.)
Then I randomly read that the foundation of God’s throne has dark clouds surrounding it. Considering that I read the book of Psalms every year how did I just find this now? One day the record screeches to a stop. This drives me to a full study of the Bible and I learn more.
I have shared often how personal Psalm 18 is to me. In the midst of that Psalm which I have prayed so often—so vulnerably often—I see these dark clouds that surround God so differently now.
He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dark rain clouds.Psalm 18:9-11
This Psalm lovingly uses the drama of mountains shaking, fierce flames, and dark storm clouds. Sometimes I picture God as a she because Momma God is intervening on my behalf.
Don’t mess with Momma when it comes to her beloved!
I have newly learned that this drama with the dark clouds is righteousness and justice coming to me in the response of me calling out to God. This is God actually making my life straight again. This is God making the unfair things fair. Eventually. Sometimes it takes 30 years and callousness becomes the scars we carry. All his ways are justice. I can count on the fact that whatever he (and she) does, he does the right thing!
I love an undefinable God who will right all wrongs, who will repay all evil, and who will balance the scales of justice perfectly–in his own time.
Hope is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. With hope, I can endure almost anything, and certainly more rather than if I lose hope or don’t have hope to begin with. Hope keeps me going because hope is designed to give me (and you) more time, so that whatever we are hoping for can come to pass.
I began this series with the C.S. Lewis’ story of Shasta discovering that in the darkness Aslan was with him through everything. Shasta had to speak to that darkness to find this out.
What if instead of looking into the illumination for God, we look into the darkness?
May my anger and courage–as well as curiosity and vulnerability and faith and brave decision to brave decision to brave decision keep hope alive in me til the end. Psalm 18:36 promises, You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping. My path is wide as my future is hopeful.
I have learned this from this undefinable God. The God who is bigger than my supposed-to’s. The God who is personal. The God who is for me—with his (and her’s) righteousness and justice. The God who is a lion, a father, a momma. The God who is light and dark because even the light and dark cannot define him (and her).
This God loves beautiful me. And beautiful you.
This big, beautiful thought–which is true–ends our series of what I learned from the Bible about God being both light and dark. The series is a 6-parter and you can find the rest here.
- Part 1 – Looking Into the Darkness to Find God
- Part 2 – The Darkness of God
- Part 3 – In God’s Darkness is Where What is Unfair is Made Fair
- Part 4 – The Brave Decisions That Define You–You Have a Choice, Even If You are On Death Row
- Part 5 – Our Hope in the Midst of Darkness