More On Our Present Situation

black Brownie Hawkeye camera on brown surface

Navigating through this crowded room called the present, I flip through the photographs of my memory when I perceived a better time. Evoking a past when not so much of life’s intrusions had yet to challenge me, a bit of jealousy comes over me wishing to reclaim those days. But we know life is not static and no one escapes intrusions. Images are but mere shadows of resemblance, never the real thing but some fond, sentimental version. Every moment is but our present situation confronting our sentimentality.

There is a sense in our present situation. No, it is more than a sense, it is an all-out action, an organized plan, an industry of elevating self. The effort is a reclamation project wishing to take God’s words, even His meaning, and claim them as our own. Those organizers wish to call it humanity with the implied suggestion this is the end of it, the goal to which we should aspire and no farther.

If life teaches, the lesson is beliefs don’t always hold up under the light of truth. God wishes nothing between me and Him (even my sentimentality) and this means He must from time to time shatter my idea about Him.

I entered my marriage to my wife with some idea about how it was supposed to be, how it would be. Reality soon supplanted my vision. Through this reality, l love her not the less, but the more. I have come to know marriage not as the ideal I pictured but as it truly is—the union of our faults and virtues together as one. And isn’t this our marriage to Christ, a shattering of how we think it was supposed to be? I wish to know Christ not through some sentimental idea but as He really is. God, in His love, obliges me with intrusion.

Through a lens of another sort, life is grief over separation from God. All the sadness, the pain, the longing one experiences in grief through the loss of a loved one, is the same grief and sadness we experience through suffering when life forces us to question ideas, even God himself.

Our struggles must not claim us or defeat us or even reduce us to sentimentality. Only through the struggle, on the other side of it, do we find our idea before the struggle was sacrosanctness. God’s desire is for us to return to him in full devotion through joyful obedience. Every Christian must know there is temptation to misinterpret this truth, to humanize it, to place it under the auspices of our will. Loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind is our shield.

George MacDonald wrote, “Christ died to save us, not from suffering, but from ourselves; not from injustice, far less from justice, but from being unjust. He died that we might live—but as He lives, by dying as He dies who died to Himself that He might live unto God, and he that does not live to God, is dead.

“Those who have ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).

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