Saturday, July 19, 2014


People make assumptions about life. We all do it. Assumptions are basic rules that are always true. We hear a fact. This fact is similar to other facts. So, we assume its ramifications are like those other facts.

Your mother loves you. So, she provides good things for you. She provides things that you like, like pecan pie. She wants the best for you, so she guides you toward the things that comprise the best. She doesn't want you to get hurt, so she protects you as best she can. But she is limited.

God loves you. So, he provides good things for you. He provides things that you like. He wants the best for you, so he guides you toward the things that comprise the best. He doesn't want you to get hurt, so he protects. And he is not limited.

So, why do followers of Jesus get hurt?

Maybe God really doesn't love us. Maybe God really is limited. Maybe there are other factors and our assumptions are wrong.  Maybe.  Maybe.  Maybe.

It is very complex question. Lots of people, a lot smarter than I am, have tried to answer it. I couldn't get close in the post; I couldn't get close in a series of posts.

Like habits,  human beings make assumptions.  Assumptions are built subconsciously, unconsciously. They affect our behavior, our expectations,  our responses and our relationships. They are built from past experiences,  cultural norms and ideals. And they are often wrong.

I assume God loves me. My assumption is based in large part from God's declarations in the Bible. Its proclamation that the Father sent Jesus into the world,  to die on a cross, to raise from the dead, to restore our relationship with him, and to satisfy God's justice regarding sin.

I also assume God wants to restore the reign over his kingdom.  There was a rebellion,  and as a result,  life is not as God wishes.  We are all experiencing the effects of that rebellion.

I also assume the rebels are resisting God's efforts. And like certain terrorists, who blow up city buses to create fear and stop any momentum towards positive living, they don't care who they hurt or what damage they cause.  God's enemies are only interested in causing pain,  fear and misery.

I also assume God could crush the rebellion with a wave of his hand.  And I also assume that God's love extends to the rebels,  and his desire for relationship with all peoples, includes them as well.

And. And. And.

People make assumptions to make life simpler and easier.  Decision making is greatly reduced in complexity.  Of course,  decision making can miss necessary factors and be wrong. So, assumptions need to be challenged periodically.

Or maybe we need to approach life differently. Maybe life is too complex for us to analyze.  Maybe we need to trust our relationship with God,  and the "fact" that God is eternally present with us, has all the time in the world for us and wants to speak to us and guide us. So, we need to cultivate the practice and skill of tuning into his presence and hearing him speak to us.

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