The Mind of the Pastor

It’s my favorite show.  I can watch it over and over and never grow tired of it.  I love to come home to Mayberry.  A simpler time.  A slower pace.  A place where not much happens.  Oh sure, occasionally a Mrs. Lesh might try to swindle you on a car deal or some bookie barber might trick Floyd into letting him set up shop in Mayberry but for the most part things are pretty quiet.  It’s a nice contrast to our increasingly dark and troubled world.

When I look around, I feel more like Habakkuk than Opie.  I see a troubled world filled with violence, corruption and chaos and I cry, “Why, Lord?”  I look at what passes for normal and good, and I think, “How long before God comes in sweeping judgment?”  If ever there was a time when good is called evil and evil is called good, this is it.  I wonder how long can this go on?  Where is God?  Why isn’t something done?  What is to be our response as Christians?  Are we just to go on our way and pretend all is well?  Are we to be angry, frustrated and depressed?  Scripture commands us to rejoice and be glad but how?  How can I be happy when it seems the Lord doesn’t care?  The truth is we will experience the full range of emotions through difficult times.  We will be angry, frightened, comforted, encouraged, emboldened and even joyful.  Not because we are unstable or mentally off but because we are human, struggling in difficult circumstances to trust in a Sovereign God.  Nothing is “out of control.”  Nothing is beyond His rule.  But His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts and so, we struggle.  In our struggle we ultimate find ourselves resting in the truth of God’s sovereignty.  

Because God is sovereign, faith dares to ask difficult questions.  Because I’m confident God is in control, I ask Him, “Why is this happening?  Why are you doing something?  Are you there?”  Our God is big enough to handle our hurt and frustration.  Such questions are not accusations or doubt but the struggle to believe.  They are the cry of a hurting child asking the Father, “Why?”  Just be prepared.  If you ask, He may answer!  And the answer may be even more troubling.  Remember He is working in you for eternity not for tomorrow.  As a loving Father is working for your ultimate good.  So, it comes back to trust.  I’ve just learned that in times of deep sorrow, heartache and struggle it is more important to know “Who” than to know “Why.”  He is worthy of your trust.  He’s worthy of your confidence.  Rest in Him.  Just keep somethings firmly in mind as you struggle:
•All things are under His control
•All things follow a Divine plan
•All things move according to His timetable
•All things are ultimately tied to the Kingdom of God

I think I’m going to turn off the news, turn away from the internet and commit all things to His sovereign hand.  Then I think I’m going to go see what Andy and Barney are up to.

Have a great week!