Wednesday, May 3, 2017

195: most recent thoughts on believing in the beauty of God's unknown plan

I have completely lost my voice, it's getting close to a time when I should be getting ready for bed, my throat feels scratchy, but I want to write what I've been thinking. Might not be as coherent or well-examined (or succinct!) as if I had more time. Disclaimer there.

Do I believe in the beauty of God's design? Do I believe in the beauty of His redemption?

I'm reading Laura Story's When God Doesn't Fix It. For those who don't know, Laura Story is a Christian songwriter. Shortly after she and her husband Martin married, he suffered from brain trauma and now has short term memory loss (reminiscent of the movie Remember Sunday but not that bad). Her dream had always been to be a stay at home mom, like her mom before her. But instead she had to deal with seeing that dream die as she became the breadwinner for the family. And she and her husband have had to walk through his medical issues and figuring out how to do life differently than they had ever imagined. She writes:

"When Martin and I said, 'I do,' we set out on a boulevard of marital bliss. Then came a bumpy detour called 'Brain Tumor.' We took the detour and followed its winding ways. but I kept thinking the detour would take us back to the main road. It took me several years to realize that it wasn't a detour; it was the road. It was taking us farther away from anything familiar and would never lead us back to the boulevard of dreams where we started. . . .
I had to reconsider other dreams. Our parents had always been our role models--both our dads worked outside the home while our moms took care of their homes and children. That was our dream too. I'd always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Now my only option was to a be a working mom. I didn't know what that would look like, or even if I could do it." (ch. 9)

"It's easy to sign up for a short-term mission project or donate money . . . . But would you be willing to sign up for the brokenness in your life, if you knew your brokenness would bring glory to God and enable you to learn to trust him in everything?" (ch. 10)

"When Martin and I walked through his medical trials, we saw a lot of things die. Our vision for our future. Our dreams for each other. Our idea of a perfect family. Sometimes they died all at once; other times, our dreams slowly withered away. When they did, I thought they were gone forever. But occasionally God allows a dream to die so that we can see his power greatly displayed." (ch. 16)

(I did NOT summarize the book, just picked the relevant parts, so get the book for yourself! Here's a vid of Laura Story singing her song "Blessings.")

My mom and I went to Sight & Sound's movie production of "Jonah" last night. They characterized Jonah as a man who had been waiting for 17 years for God to give him another prophecy. When he heard God say He was going to destroy Ninevah, Jonah was ecstatic. Then he realized, wait, why would God tell him to warn them unless . . . . And at that point Jonah began fighting God. He wished God had never spoke to him. He told God He was asking too much of him. He ran away. He decided he couldn't do what God asked and decided to disobey and separate himself from God. He even was willing to be thrown into the sea and die instead of having to do what God wanted him to do. Of course, God kept him alive. God got him to the point of reluctant obedience.

When I think of redemption, I think of a mosaic sun catcher of colored broken glass. Like something made "perfectly" has been broken and recreated. Usually I think of the breaking being a result of sin, and so God redeems the ugly to make something beautiful.

What if God does, or allows, the breaking? What if He breaks what I think is perfect? How much do I believe that whatever beauty He is going to create from the brokenness is better than what I thought was perfect?

We all have what we think is perfect. And we all experience brokenness. It is common to man.

Ok, not sure where I was going with that.

Not sure where the thread of Laura Story and Jonah and the mosaic weave together....

God. Do I trust God when He breaks my plans and presents me with the unknown. Do I look at the unknown and then look back to Egypt and say, but THAT would have been better, Lord? Or do I look at the unknown and say, You are good, You create amazing beauty, and I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Or is it (more likely) two steps forward in faith and one step back in wishful thinking?

How much do I trust that, in His power, He will make something more beautiful (by His definition) than I would have, and how much am I willing to let Him?

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