Big Deals

February 24, 2010

Big deals are strange things, aren’t they? Overall, the perspective of “deals” is an odd thing because what is a big deal today may be forgotten tomorrow. Or what is a very small deal may turn out to crush you with it’s impact. Or the big deals of yester-year may be eclipsed by the deals nearer in the rear view.

I bring this up because lately, I’ve felt more shaken by “smaller deals”. During and shortly after the events that happened concerning my Mother, I found my character and faith solidified in a way that I had never experienced before. I had seen such travesty, brokenness, and loss…. And yet saw such love, grace, support, and… well, God through it all. It was all so, so Big!! Ha! It was like I was stuck in the orbit of something so big that nothing else had much pull.

Other things that were usually big deals were almost laughable! Grade, finances, work, etc. Worry about these things? Why? Gas for $4.35 a gallon? Why are we talking about this? THERE IS HEAVIER STUFF GOING ON!!!

In many ways I want to go back there. Ha, obviously in some ways I don’t. But I guess that’s one reason why I really like weddings, and hearing about friends having kids.. Because these are the big deals, the weighty things. The things that make you stop worrying about your waist size, or if your steak is done the way you want it, or if the cute girl in the corner noticed you.

I don’t really know where I am going with this. All I know is that I was suddenly in a place where I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that God loved me and my family. And my confidence in that made me… well, confident! I knew that I didn’t have control, but I knew the Dude who did.

It seemed short lived though. In the same summer I was placed in the position of pursuing a girl long-distance, and had a great many obstacles in my path. But like I said, I was confident. :) So after four months of bridge building, of patience and prayer, of personal investment, she ran for the hills. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, she ran. And after seeing over a dozen of my close friends get married, with no choice but be saturated by the “romantic energy”, I watched as my pursuit went up in flames.

Honestly, I felt like I was on the short end of a cosmic joke. I even had a friend with the same name as the “pursued girl” who had a running joke that she was going to marry me, and thus started every conversation with “Hey hubby!”. Oh, I still did my best to navigate through this with my sense of humor, but things weren’t funny anymore. And if the God who loved me was in control, what the frick was He doing??

I was left shaky, and the big deal that had shown me such a clear picture of reality was now being eclipsed and obscured by the flair of a failed romance. Which in the grand scheme of things, is not really that big of a deal (sometimes). But it had pulled me away from confidence, my peace, my assurance that God was really good. Why had He let this happen? And it really wasn’t the fact of it happening that hurt the most, but more of how it all happened. The sequence of events seemed to be almost deliberately horrific.

That all happened quite a long time ago it seems. I didn’t talk to God for a while after that, but things got better. He, above anyone else, understands our angst sometimes even when we ourselves don’t fully understand. I did the usual mulling over all the possible “reasons” for God allowing what had happened to happen, and am content in saying that I still don’t and may never know (while here on this earth). And God has slowly healed me from it, even though I’ve had several other scrapes since then. It’s kind of an older, yet still significant topic we talk about from time to time.

I’m finding that my main struggle with my faith is basic trust. I’m one who likes the answers. The methods or sciences behind why things are the way they are. I’m okay with the big things. Like when I die, I know where I’m going, etc. But what do we do when the world seems to shatter? When the fragments of our life are hiding the face of God, and the demons are screaming lies in our ears? What do we do?

There is a passage of Psalms that comes to mind when thinking about this.

To you, O Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.    – Psalm 30:8-12

Just so you guys know, there are no breaks in the passage. It’s those four verses, straight in a row. Now, I don’t know if David wrote this in two separate sittings, but between verses 10 and 11 there is a dynamic shift in attitude. What happens in between these verses? I really want to know! What led David back to his hope and joy in God?

Ha, I could write about this for a while. Because like I said, it’s an old yet significant topic. It’s a rough topic though, because most of the time all we have to work on is speculation, so there are few solid answers. Even in Job’s case, he didn’t get a straight answer to his questions of God (at least not in the scope of the book). But coming to a place of understanding that God’s lofty yet intricate perspective is not understandable is…. difficult, but necessary.

He does tell us, “In this world you will have trouble.” But He also says, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Haha! Is it possible for discouragement and encouragement to equal out to just “couragement”?) I think it all just takes time and growth for this “trust” thing to take a stronger hold. Oh, but I do long for the day when I can throw up my hands in joy and say “All this is too wonderful for me”, and settle into a solid orbit around the “big deal” of God.


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