Tuesday, June 17, 2014

what I'm reading: where else have I to go?

This is one of the saddest and most encouraging things I've read.

It's from Tim Chester's brilliant book (read it! do!) The Ordinary Hero.
In 2007 violence erupted after disputed elections in Kenya. Beth, a Kenyan studying in the UK, and part of The Crowded House, the family of church planting networks to which I belong, emailed me at the time:
This past week I’ve realized that I don’t truly know what God being good, wise, sovereign and faithful means.

I know what it doesn’t mean – it doesn’t mean no suffering in this life. I know that whatever he allows is for his glory and our good. But I also don’t want to be flippant or simply parrot phrases as though I’ve merely learned them by rote.

I talk to my aunt and uncle who are doctors and have hardly slept during the last three days because of the sheer number of people coming in. I want to know what it means to talk to them and then say “God is good”.

Surely any earthly parent would come running at the sound of their baby’s blood-curdling shriek. So I want to be sure I know what I mean by “God is good” when we have prayed and prayed to the soundtrack of the screams of children being burnt, knowing that the stench is getting to heaven and silence is the response.

When I watch on live television people being dragged out of cars and hacked to death, my mind spins – and not because I have wondered if God is sovereign, but because I know he is ...

Life as I’ve known it has changed and will never be the way it was. And a huge chunk of me grieves … I’m not losing faith, for where else have I to go? Whom else have I in heaven but him?

I read through Job today in one sitting and realized that Job had a lot of questions, but God didn’t answer any of them. He only revealed his character and that was enough. Job says, “I had heard of you but now I have seen you.”

And so that’s my prayer: that God would move me from having heard of him to seeing him, and that his comforting, sustaining and sanctifying grace would abound in the gap of hearing and seeing.

Tim Chester The Ordinary Hero 18-19, 22.

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