Monday, November 10, 2008

Shitty weather and the Kingdom of God

So, saturday night I'm slogging along nailing shingles down in neat rows. I knew a couple of months ago that it would be a close race to get the roof done before the weather deteriorated into nastiness. The nastiness was asserting itself. It was cold. It was damp. It was windy, it was raining, it was dark and cloudy and foreboding. In a word, it was shitty.

Nobody really likes working out in weather like that. I don't either, but it had to be done. So there I was, slowing grinding it out. It was miserable.

However, before I went out, I made a nice cheerful fire in the wood stove. Our woodstove needs care and feeding about every 45 minutes to an hour. So once I got the fire going, out I went into the cold wet gloomy weather to do battle. But while I'm out there freezing my fingers off, and feeling the rain soak through my pants, I know the fire is blazing away in the living room. In a little while, I will go feed the stove, swap my wet gloves for dry ones and soak up the heat for a few minutes. The knowledge of the existence of a hot woodstove makes my present experience up on the roof far more tolerable. That radiant heat soaks right into your marrow in a way that nothing else can. The cold and the wet have no real chance when faced directly with the power of fire.

This makes for an excellent analogy for a Christian's current experience in life, and the expectation of things soon to come. The world is broken and sinful. Anybody with eyes to see knows that things are not "right" with the world. There is injustice, pain, starvation, war, cruelty, random violence, hurricanes and earthquakes. It's a long list of problems. Without an accurate view of the redeemed and perfected world at the end of time, it could make for a pretty miserable experience in the midst of so much suffering and unfairness. But Christians know better. Things will get better. My current plight is temporary.

In my view, there is no long term injustice. When God fixes things, He does a good job of it. There will be no halfway measures in the end. When the paralyzed man is made to walk again, I feel confident that he will not walk with a limp. Whatever wrongs we suffer in this life will be made right. Whatever wrongs we commit in this life, we will have the opportunity to make amends with God's help. Of course, this gives excellent reason to live an obedient and holy life, to the extent we are able. Less stuff to fix later on.

This all assumes you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian, I am merely throwing gasoline onto your personal fire. By definition, you do not have access to the One who makes everything right. For some reason, obvious or obscure, you have chosen not to trust the Master of the Universe who will right all wrongs. You could trust Him, for He is the most trustworthy thing in or out of the universe. You should trust Him, for you will be relieved of the burden of living in a broken world with no apparent solution. And I pray that you would trust Him. Why would you not? There is no down side.

Finest regards,


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