Slightly Obsessed #215: Sunday School Had It Right by Pamela Thorson on 2018-06-06 08:32:38
“Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.” -Psalm 148:13
A Ugandan friend once told us that growing up in Sunday school, he quickly learned how to answer the Bible questions in class. “The right answer,” he said with a smile, “is always, ‘Jesus.’" As a child, no matter what question was posed in class, he always answered, “Jesus.”
I have been reminded of his story recently as our family has been in a situation I never dreamed we would face.
It came in announced and stripped us of our sense of dignity and safety. It shook my faith down to the core and made me rethink all I believed about God. For the first time in the many decades I have been a Christian, I had moments in which I felt as if God had left the room when I needed Him most.
These last months, as I have sifted through the ashes of what I thought I knew, some unshakable truths have emerged:
*God is real.
Though the pain is worse than anything I have ever imagined, I can see now how God has been working in our situation. Our prayers are being answered, just not in the way I hoped. This has led me to a deepening revelation of something I often professed but which I had rarely faced in full surrender:
*God is sovereign.
I can claim His promises, chastise the Devil, pray until I’m blue in the face, worship earnestly, argue convincingly, work until I’m exhausted, and quote Scriptures all day, but the reality is that God is in charge. Those responses may be appropriate and even Bible-based, but if I’m doing them with the motive of getting my way, they are not going to be effective.
The Father is fierce in His love for us and unswayed by our desperate attempts to escape the discipline of His work in our lives.
*God’s Word is immutable.
I based so many of my actions in my adult life upon the promises of the Bible. My first reaction when we were dropped into this furnace was shock at the seeming betrayal of my trust. This was not a trial I ever expected to face. Not ever. The last year has taught me that I had attached many expectations, principles and personal interpretations to select Scriptures. I had created an elaborate scaffolding around the Bible that colored my vision of God.
*Nothing really matters except our relationships with God and others.
Nothing we do or believe can change a single hair on our head. It all comes down to the Savior. Jesus Christ alone is worthy. He wants us. Just us. Not what we believe or accomplish. When we are stripped of all we have to offer Him, He clothes us with grace and calls us His. Then He commands us to be as radical in our commitment to Him and as gracious in our commitment to each other.
Today I still don’t understand much of what has happened. I sit in the rubble of my carefully crafted world as the questions swirl around me. I am being schooled, and I know just this one thing:
The answer is “Jesus.”
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #197: Are We Spiritual Darwinists?
Two secular scientists recently stumbled upon evidence challenging their evolutionary assumptions. Do we subconsciously doubt God's power and quietly live a similar Darwinian existence? Are we ready to be challenged to believe in His power to intervene in our lives?
Slightly Obsessed #229: When Pain Is a Good Thing
The pain takes us down and drives us to our knees. We long for relief, for a way out. But in the secret place of suffering, we discover that pain is our friend.
Slightly Obsessed #228: The God of the Grateful
My world had just fallen into a pit. We had a young daughter, four other children, and no insurance. I was so sick that I didn’t even know if I could get to the doctor for tests. Despair rolled over us in waves.
Then God spoke.
Slightly Obsessed #227: Release the Beautiful
As we smiled at the people we met on our walk I wondered at the social custom that requires face-to-face congeniality on a bike path among strangers who would soon be in our respective cars fighting over a lane change. It’s easier to be mad at people when we can’t see their faces.
Slightly Obsessed #226: Triune
In its most basic element, our very existence mirrors His Godhead in trinity. Each person enters time and space as three: body, soul, and spirit.
Slightly Obsessed #225: Why Lightning Doesn't Strike the Wicked
The popular radio host was on a rampage, vehemently damning God. He crowned the diatribe by flinging a challenge at God to strike him down at that very moment. He smugly interpreted heaven's silence as proof that there is no God. But what was really happening?