I am reading two books at the moment. They are at two different ends of the spectrum, and I am having a hard time reconciling their differences. The first book is one I first read years ago, Disappointment with God. The author, Philip Yancey, explores why so many Christians are disillusioned with Christianity and God. He attributes this disillusionment to expectations that are not met. We expect God to intervene on our behalf, based on sermons we've heard, books we've read, and scriptures we love to quote. Victorious scriptures. Messages of promise. But, so many of us live everday lives that are far from what we desire. Sometimes, our prayers go unanswered. Sometimes, those we pray for still die. The loneliness that grips our heart remains. Can God be trusted? Why doesn't He intervene more on our behalf? Why is He silent? These are the questions Philip Yancey discusses in his book.
The second book that I picked up yesterday at the church library is a compilation of "His Mysterious Ways" from Guidepost magazine. Each story relates an amazing intervention from God- hearing voices, seeing lights, near death experiences, and other obvious interventions from God.
As I realized how the topics of these books differ, I began thinking about who God is. I still haven't come to a conclusion. If God is silent in some areas, why does He act so amazingly in others? Why does He show Himself when we least expect it, but fail to answer our most heartfelt prayers? I have felt the silence of God in areas of my life. I have struggled with disappointment with God. Yet, I have also seen Him work in miraculous ways in my life.
Who is God? Can He be trusted to act when I need Him? Can I place all my trust in Him and be sure that He will come through? Times of silence leave me questioning. My church upbringing tells me "yes!", God can be trusted all the time. I know this. But when faced with experience, sometimes I struggle to discover truly who God is and to come to grips with how He acts, or fails to act.