[vc_row fullwidth="false" attached="false" padding="0" visibility="" animation=""][vc_column border_color="" visibility="" width="1/1"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]I played the typical part in high school: athlete, decent student, youth grouper, kind of nice to my sisters, rarely in a lot of trouble. There were quirks though - like the time I cornered my senior pastor as he was leaving someone's house to ask him to quickly explain to me how predestination works. To his credit, he actually tried to give me a sufficient answer. No, I won't tell you what he said. But I remember not feeling satisfied. The more important (and odd) piece of the story is that, as a senior high school, I was trying to solve whether or not God decides/predetermines/chooses/supersedes our choice for eternity.
In short, I needed to know.
Give it to me in black and white, God.
The whole "need to know right now" thing is a bit like the person who asks questions in the middle of a movie. There's also the fool who talks to the screen (yes, I've done it), willing the would-be victim out of the shadows and safely away from the hooded man in the alley: "Don't go in there. He's waiting for you!" We stand up, flap our arms and roll our eyes, hoping that they might somehow hear us and reverse the inevitable plot line. Ominous strings and a distant timpani clue us in to the fact that we have had no effect whatsoever, so we opt to look away instead. Maybe if I close my eyes, it won't happen.
We're uncomfortable with uncertainty. "Just spell it out for me, God. What's my part and what's your part?" We assume that if God's hand miraculously appeared and started writing the answers on the wall, we would be satisfied; although the last time that happened it wasn't a good message for the recipient, but at least we got the phrase "the handwriting is on the wall." That has come in handy.
Where am I going with this?
A few Sundays ago, we sang "I am" by David Crowder, a beautiful song that stirred this quandary once again in my mind and heart.
I am holding on to you. In the middle of the storm, I am holding on.
Am I? Holding on?
I have zero confidence in my ability to maintain or hold my relationship with Jesus. My heart is fickle and prone to dullness.
The Lord asked Job (Job 38:8-11) about his ability to contain the ocean, to hold it back from spilling beyond it's boundaries. Actually, it was more of a "where were you when I did this?" kind of question.
The answer was and is simple. I can answer for Job:
I was nowhere. I am… nothing.
I can't even hold back water that drips from my kitchen sink pipes - even though it's supposed to be easy-peasy, hand-tightened, diy, pvc, blah blah blah. I need a plumber.
Job and the rest of us need God to prescribe the boundaries of the ocean waves, to tell them they can't go any further. We also need His strong hand to hold and secure for us an eternal life with Him.
I still like the song though. There's something about busting your gut and singing the chorus that stirs my heart and propels me forward in my relationship with Jesus.
So, what does it mean to "hold on" to Jesus?
My Super Bean, newly 15 years old (Lord, help) and still a pistol, will soon be getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that weighs a few thousand pounds. We will be teaching her not to kill people with it. She used to be so tiny, sounded like Minnie Mouse, and liked to "hold on" to us. She would look up, stretch out her arms and say, "Hold you?" I would swoop her up, tickle her, and hold her. Her little hands always found a sweet place around my neck, but there was no question who was doing the holding.
Maybe it's that kind of hold.
Grace is said "to stoop and bend down" to us (God's favor). I would add that grace swoops down to grab hold of our lives, and our small hands and hearts find a place to rest in his eternal grip.
Maybe it's time to stop cornering God with demands to tell us how it's all going to pan out and reach with faith.
But what about the--?
Shhh, no talking during the movie. Wait for the ending. I bet you will like it.[/vc_column_text][mk_icon_box2 icon_type="icon" icon_size="64" icon="mk-li-paper-plane" icon_color="#02b3ff" title="Follow Chad's Blog and never miss a post." title_size="24" title_weight="inherit" title_top_padding="10" title_bottom_padding="10" align="center"]