Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Faith & Insanity

"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time." ~ Oswald Chambers~

What is it that persuades someone to hope beyond the evidence of their experience? When everything around you tells you that the world is nothing more than a place of cruel torments and that God, if He exists, loves to mock His creatures, what gives you the audacity to declare that God is good? Or that life's horrors are the path to glory?

Your shrink will tell you that it's insanity (what color would you like your straightjacket?). Your pastor will tell you that it's faith.

But don't worry, you're in good company.
  • Noah, that old fool, was a-building a huge boat for probably upwards of a century on a land-locked bit of ground while raving about escaping judgement by means of this mercy of God.
  • Joseph continued in patient and excellent service, on the hope of a dream (literally!), after being betrayed by his own brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused by his master's wife, and forgotten in prison by those he had helped.
  • Mary maintained that God was her good and merciful savior even after He exposed her to the dangerous accusation of "unwed mother". She even heard voices and saw things that no one else saw.
I think I'll take my place among these raving lunatics. And there is a reason - even while the rest of it looks crazy. If God is not who He says He is; if life is not a training ground for something more; then nothing matters at all. There really is no difference between cruelty and non-cruelty, between good and evil, between "making a difference" and living for "all the gusto you can get".

So get the straighjacket ready, if you like. I'll just go on singing.


MiPa said...

Beautifully written. May join you in singing? Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

"to hope beyond the evidence of their experience"...I can't tell you how this statement took my breath away. In my most quietest of moments I wonder why God saved me from the anger and bitterness that could have been life...why me??? My family and siblings do indeed label me as "insane" ....but just so you know...red or yellow would be a fine color for my straight jacket ;)...and my favorite song to be singing while it is being put on...Amazing Grace! I so enjoyed reading this...it reverberated many of my own thoughts. Thank you.

Kim Anderson said...

See you in the funny farm. I'll be in the sapphire straightjacket, probably belting out "At the name of Jesus evry knee shall bow..."

I wonder if we could considerit a sort of women's retreat?

kpjara said...

Really beautiful!

ampraisingHim said...

Very appropriate for my life situation right now. Thanks for sharing.

eph2810 said...

Love it - Love it - may I have my straightjacket with flowers on it? Or do they come only in white?

Thank you so much Kim for sharing your thoughts this week.

Blessings to you today and always.

Loni said...

I will be one of those other insane people with you! :)

Very well written. THANK YOU!

Nic said...

I too agree with Sissy B that that one statement really reached out and grabbed me. I have had experiences in life that would have brought an unbelieving person to the ground but b/c of what I experienced through God's grace and mercy I have learned to trust Him, even when the times are tough.

I'll cast my lot in with the rest of the lunatics if you'll make some room. ;)

Susanna said...

That was a wonderful post. Thank you so much. It is very true - if God is not God and salvation in Christ Jesus is not real then nothinh else much does matter. He is gracious indeed.

Carol said...

Thank you for a great article. I've just been counseling on line with a young woman who is struggling with the foolishness of faith. (Oh, how Satan wants to cripple us into unbelief!) I will recommend your blog to her.

Call me crazy, but extravagant faith in God is the only way I have survived. Bring on the straight jacket!

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

This assumes that Noah, Mary and the like are true stories, and not fiction-- an assumption which, if false, would make you a crazy person who turns to imaginary characters for proof. The company from which you draw comfort would then be little more than an extension of your supposed illness.

This is the problem- the faithful so often end up citing the Bible for support, when believing the Bible isn't fiction is itself an act of faith. It's an endless circle.

Moreover, I'm a little disturbed by the "nothing matters at all" comment. Surely, if this is the only life we get, everything matters that much more! Surely there's a reason people who don't believe in God aren't looting and pillaging?

I'm open to discussing it further; just food for thought. :)


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