25 November 2013

forget the ducks. at least for a while.

I love to understand. You might say that I'm obsessive about it.

This girl can't just do things; oh no, I need to know the why and wherefore, preferably with footnotes. Are there reasons? I must find them. Are there quandaries? I must solve them. Should my mental ducks wander out of their row, I bustle about shooing them back into line, and can't sleep until they are quacking in an orderly fashion once more.

image credit: Blossom's Mom
In fact, I approach most of life on such a cerebral slant that I tend to reduce even God to a mere concept: I forget that He is a person. I forget that He invites me into His family.

Huzzah theology! Seriously, it's great stuff. But when the Lord of Hosts figures more as philosophical category than dear Father, something has gone awry. Amid all my study, I want to remember that I won't be spending eternity diagramming the finer points of God's sovereignty, but rather, gazing enraptured into His glory. He is so compassionate and kind. He wants me to rest in His goodness.

So I love this reminder from John Piper's superb book The Pleasures of God. It reminds me that my anxiety over my "ducks" is nothing compared to God's love for me, and that I don't have to line them up in order to enjoy His gifts.

Something hinders the release of wonder. Something confines our affections . . .
Oh, how complex are the obstructions of belief! The way our parents treated us, the cultic curiosities of a grandmother, the deadening force of poverty or wealth, the anesthesia of televised worldliness, the boredom of trivial business, the wilderness of lonely wedlock, the heartbreak of wayward kids, the never-ending ache of arthritic joints, the memories of lovelessness and fragile hope-- how many ways the enemy of our souls can make us fear that the God and Father of Jesus Christ is too good to be true.
But Jesus will not sit by and let us disbelieve without a fight. He takes up the weapon of the Word and speaks it with power for all who struggle to believe: "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom."

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