Residing in the Tension of “He Can” and “Even if He Doesn’t”
As a remarried widow, Tricia Lott Williford is carefully acquainted with the greatest pressure of all: believing Our god can do anything but knowing that he might select not to. Take a moment to learn her honest phrases on how we can nevertheless believe God is good, even when he says no . It is a grace to welcome Tricia towards the farm’s front patio today…
guest post by Tricia Lott Williford
I don’t like the theology that says recovery depends on my faith. What does that mean when Our god doesn’t say yes? Does it mean I didn’t have enough faith? And is a “lack of faith” my fault?
My husband (Peter) and I have two greatly different stories of faith miracles. He begged and pleaded with God from the desperate place in a jail cell, plus God told him yes. The miracle is that he was set free.
“ Just how do we learn to keep both sides of this equation, the belief that Lord can, but the knowning that He might not? It’s the greatest tension of all. ”
I begged and pleaded with God from a desperate place on my bedroom floor as the first husband set dying in my hands, and God told me no . The miracle is the fact that my faith remained intact at all.
When Peter and I pray collectively, when we ask Our god for things, it sounds different. He prays intended for miracles in the hope of a heart-stretching indeed; I pray intended for comfort in the likelihood of the heartbreaking no .
If faithfulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, after that is it his job to grow it within me? If I don’t have it, then how in the world do I have it? And is it our fault that somebody is sick—or dying—because of my “lack of faith”?
That really doesn’t feel great to me. It makes myself feel like I did not study hard enough with this test, as if I’m being overlooked simply by God.
How do we learn to hold both edges of that equation, the belief that God can, however the understanding that He might not? It’s the best tension of all.
Although it does not give us a solution for the tension, the Bible helps us sit in it. This shows us the heart of God, the particular deep love plus grief and profound power, the mystery of how He believes and acts and it is. The Bible doesn’t provide us a reason just for suffering. It gives us a God who may be over it and with us in it, even as all of us live in the symptoms.
“ The Scriptures doesn’t give us a reason for struggling. It gives us the God who is over it and with us inside it, even as we live in the ache. ”
A trio named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, all the way back in the Outdated Testament, shows us how to hold the stress with both hands.
Their buddy Daniel is best known for his time in the lions’ den, and these pals of their are known for making a remain in a fiery heater.
Both these Bible stories obtained some airtime in Sunday school, in large part because Daniel great friends were teenage boys who demonstrated that there is more to getting young than making mistakes.
Adults are rapidly won over by young people who show wisdom and discernment, and Daniel’s friends—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—show us the power of their convictions. Collectively they silently defied King Nebuchadnezzar’s order to fall down plus worship his gold statue, a tower that was taller compared to White House. They chose God, during the face of particular death.
The king gives them “one more chance” to bow down to this statue: “But if you refuse, you can be thrown immediately in to the blazing furnace. And what god can rescue you from my power? ” Daniel 3: fifteen
But the three friends hold their particular ground. They will not flex their convictions.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego reply, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we need not defend ourselves before you decide to. If we are tossed into the blazing heater, the God whom we serve can save us. He can rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to inform you to you, Your Majesty, that we will never function your gods or even worship the gold statue you have set up. ” Daniel three or more: 16-18
They understood what they had asked God to do, and so they believed He absolutely could do it. They even said He’d. And then they complete the sentence with the giant caveat: But even when He doesn’t, we will not bow to any other god.
That’s the balance right there, resting in the tension between first sentence and the last, between the still left hand and the right.
“ When we understand what we want Him to undertake, we believe He is able to, and we might even declare He will. And we select this day to remain devoted to this God. Even though He doesn’t. ”
Whenever we know what we want Him to do, we believe He can, and we may even say that He will. And we choose this day to remain devoted to this God. Even if He or she doesn’t.
Listen, I believe God can do everything. That is a complete phrase, with nothing added.
I believe He is able to perform healing wonders. I just haven’t noticed it in my living.
I believe He can, but I cannot say that He continually does because you and am both know that occasionally He doesn’t. (Otherwise, probably every person any of us have ever loved would still be well. )
Whenever someone tells me I need to have enough faith to ensure that God to bring healing, then I feel like they’re telling me I have to have pure belief without any doubt.
I feel like I have to put all my trust in my left hand and hold this open to receive the gifts God’s waiting to provide me, and I should put all my question in the right hand, lock it up tight, and throw away the key, just to be sure there are no whisper associated with question.
Yet I’m looking at these same two fingers, and I see different choices.
In a single hand is trust: I believe He can do something.
In the some other hand is sovereignty. Even if He does not, I believe He is still good.
Tricia Lott Williford is a author, blogger, teacher, cohost of the podcast Let us Talk Soon, as well as the author of 5 books. Tricia has recently released This Book Is perfect for You: Loving God’s Word In Your Real life , a book about dropping in love with the Bible, even if you have lengthy felt like it was created for someone else.
With raw transparency, honest grief, laughable joy, and a captivating voice, Tricia stocks how God’s words and phrases have become her daily lifeline. Tricia will surprise you as you participate in an unexpected dialogue along with God and His term.
With slice-of-life stories, humor, and charm, Tricia Lott Williford will help you discover that the Scriptures can be your lifeline, too.
[ Our humble thanks to NavPress for their partnership in today’s devotion ]