Saturday, June 18, 2011

Do you feel that God has failed you?

Shattered Assumptions.... When expectations or “assumptions” are shattered, people tend to fall into a belief that God has failed them.

People, who were once confident and at ease with their surroundings, suddenly find themselves dealing with a natural disaster, an act of violence or harrowing event that has broken their sense of security and constancy. So broken is their sense of stability, that they develop what is called a trauma-worldview. They see life through lenses that anticipate bad things happening. They begin to project this into their present situations as well as their future.

Our inclination at times is to promise God’s protection from such events. We then leave individuals feeling even more shaken by the reality that God did not “protect” them from an affliction. At times we attempt to put ourselves in the position of explaining God’s ways (as if we could), thinking an explanation will erase the painfulness of the event. We are at times uncomfortable with God’s silence and lack of explanation, so we attempt our own.

How does the gospel speak into these moments? How do we have a gospel-centered hope without allowing our expectations to inform what that must look like? Hope is found not in the stability and security of life. It is not found in the positive illusions we might hold about our lives. Nor can we rely on the promise of an explanation that may possibly justify suffering. Our worldview is consistently threatened by the painful realities of existence, when it should be tied to the person of Jesus. Our goal needs to be to develop a worldview that is so bound in the character of Christ—so secure in a relationship with our Creator—that it cannot be shattered.

(selections from Julie Smith Lowe, Shattered Assumptions, Westminster Today, Summer 2011)

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