Monday, May 20, 2013

A Quiet Heart.....

An old friend posted this on Facebook this morning:
""I know of a great simplifier for all of life. Whatever happens is assigned...Are some things, then out of the control of the Almighty? Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are canceled. Decisions become much easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quiet...A quiet heart is content with what God gives." Elisabeth Elliot, "Keep a Quiet Heart" Or as Jill Kelly says, whatever happens to us is "Father filtered" - it has to pass through Him first - and He's got it all under control!"
My response:
"I respectfully disagree. While I DO firmly believe that "God can work all things together for good" when we trust him to do so, the free will he gave us and our fellow man means that some troubles befall us based on choices others make. For example, God does not 'assign' a person to get drunk, drive and kill your beloved child. That person CHOOSES, and then God helps you work through it if you trust Him.  I cannot, must not, WILL not believe that God "assigned" my 11 year old daughter kidney failure, dialysis, transplantation and daily struggles with chronic pain and illness. If he did, I cannot, must not, WILL not trust him; for if he is hurting an innocent child for my "eternal good" then I am already damned. But I can believe that her illness is a part of the inheritance of Adam, a result of choices made by others long before her birth. And while I cannot hope to understand the "why," I can trust God to hold us both in the palm of His loving hand and see us through."

It's a hot-button issue with me, the thought that God is the Grand Puppeteer.  Either we truly have free will, and God helps us deal with the consequences of all the choices made over time, or we do not have free will and God and Hitler are the same person:  A cosmic sadist who randomly and/or purposefully visits evil and chaos on those trapped within His creation.  And if THAT is true, then all I ever was taught about the love of God is nonsense.  After all, I rather doubt that Hitler had the "eternal good" of the Jews in mind.

But despite everything I see in the world around me, I have no trouble at all believing in a loving, forgiving God.  I sometimes see Him, in my imagination, palm to face - laughing.  All of the joy, humor, beauty, honesty, loyalty and love of our world springs from His eternally enormous heart.  And when we put our trust in His great support, we find that He CAN work whatever evil has befallen us for good.  That doesn't mean the process isn't painful.  It certainly doesn't mean that once we trust Him with THIS pain that there will never be any OTHER pain.  After all, the world keeps spinning, no?

But it does mean that I can have a 'quiet heart.'  I can rest, and be at peace, knowing that no matter what I or my fellow man have chosen, God will control the outcome for my soul if I let Him.  It is, ultimately, the choice that is given to all of us.


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