Monday, April 28, 2014

what I'm reading: untameable love

It's all very well knowing that God is in control when you're going through a hard time. Well, actually, it's more than "very well" - it's hugely comforting, because he's our loving, wise Father. But at the same time, it's scary, because he's in control and we're not.

Tim Keller captures this tension perfectly as he reflects on the disciples' reaction to Jesus calming the storm:
Why were they more terrified in the calm than they were in the storm? Because Jesus was as unmanageable as the storm itself.

The storm had immense power - they couldn't control it. Jesus had infinitely more power, so they had even less control over him.

But there's a huge difference. A storm doesn't love you. ... Nature is violent and overwhelming - it's unmanageable power, and it's going to get you sooner or later.

You may say, that's true, but if I go to Jesus, he’s not under my control either. He lets things happen that I don’t understand. He doesn’t do things according to my plan, or in a way that makes sense to me.

But if Jesus is God, then he’s got to be great enough to have some reasons to let you go through things you can’t understand. His power is unbounded, but so are his wisdom and his love. ...

Jesus is filled with untameable love for you. ... He can love somebody and still let bad things happen to them, because He is God – because he knows better than they do. ...

If you have a God great enough and powerful enough to be mad at because he doesn't stop your suffering, you also have a God who's great enough and powerful enough to have reasons that you can't understand. ...

Is he safe? "Of course he's not safe. Who said anything about being safe? But he's good. He's the King."

Tim Keller's King's Cross, 54-55; quote at the end is by CS Lewis.

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