Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know! -- Proverbs 30:4
Friday, August 30, 2013
Know or Blow
I hear strong echoes of Job. It seems like a good week for humility, for questioning what all of our vast knowledge and technology does for us. Hubris was the name of a book I saw a few years back. I didn’t read it, but it was an indictment of George Bush’s war in Iraq. Some of what was said may have had some merit. We have to be wary, though, of analyses that are little more than projections of the speaker or writer. I tend to do it myself. If I don’t like someone or consider them an enemy, it is easy to attribute to them the worst possible motives and make that the basis for even correct actions and decisions.
This week marked the end of a long, drawn-out, and very expensive struggle for some people I know. The conflict began from just such a dishonest assessment of another’s motives and character, plus a good dose of greed. I don’t think the resolution was entirely satisfactory to either side, but it wasn’t grossly unfair to the ones I believe were in the right.
I talked with them immediately after all the agreements were signed. We talked about God’s justice, but, as I pointed out, that really means we recognize God’s sovereignty. Faith, contrary to what many seem to teach, is not about getting “our” way. I know people who will stand in the driveway and rebuke the winds whenever there is a storm. They haven’t blown away yet; neither have I. I’d like to think that if I did get hit with a tornado, and survived, after I was through crying about all the stuff I had lost and that had gotten torn up, all my memories and work that had blown away, I could still trust in the God who remembers everything and loses nothing. To me, that is faith.
Instead of chiding people who suffer for the weakness of their faith, we should be humbled before those who have great faith in the midst of great suffering.
If I were running the world, it would be run differently. That is without question. The question is whether my way would be better. The answer is, No.
This may seem to be the end of freedom, of free will. As Rick said yesterday, it’s the beginning of freedom. When Nicodemus came and questioned Jesus in the darkness, the Light of the World replied, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” I can’t grasp the wind in my fist, can’t control it, can’t tell it where to blow, but being born of the Spirit sets us as free as the wind itself.