Friday, February 23, 2007

But what if he doesn't?

In today's reading from the Psalms, David testifies to how God rescued him:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
Psalm 40.1-2
I have to confess that when I read these things, I sometimes wonder, "But what about those who weren't rescued?"

For some of us, the happy talk we hear so much of in the Christian community actually matches experience much of the time. But that's not true for everyone. And even for those who can relate to this, it doesn't match our experience in all areas, all of the time.

It is true that some of us hope for things that the Lord has not promised; sometimes we want things that are not good for us. But I think of a man who has suffered one chronic ailment after another, physical and mental disorders, depression and exhaustion, sickness and barely tolerable recovery.

Life doesn't seem to fit into neat little boxes. It's not mathematics.

But maybe that's not life's fault. Garrison Keillor commented once, tongue in cheek, that "the theories were correct; it was the phenomena that were wrong." Ha!

So the neat little boxes simply don't describe life, and neither does mathematics. Math is just math, after all, and much as I enjoy math, it's asking too much of it to try to make it explain life.

No, life is a lot messier and more complex than that, and defies complete comprehension this side of the grave.

Meanwhile, most of us have blessings to reflect on and praise the Lord for, which is always a good thing to do.

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