Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Promises of God

I recently got a haircut. Random, except for the fact that it proved to be the glue that held together this three-part epiphany I’ve had recently. Let me preface this by saying that I think for many Christian college students, trust can be really hard, particularly as we approach our last year or graduation.
Part One:
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my future. It’s a bit of a short lived process, and it has the potential to be depressing, because I have absolutely no idea what to do with my life. I can’t even “chase my dreams” because I don’t really have any. No dream job, no dream life, no dream accomplishments. And yet I find it very hard to be content. The Lord brought this to my attention very forcibly, and before I had time to formulate a smart, Christian response, I prayed, “I wouldn’t have trouble being content if I didn’t have to trust You!” When I stopped laughing at myself, I realized how true it was. If I knew where I was going in life, if I could be certain that I am going to be happy and safe and so on, I could be content with where I am right now. Only here’s the thing: I don’t think it’s true. If I knew what would happen in five years, and I was looking forward to it, I would tend to miss what God is doing here and now. And if I was afraid of what was coming, I could lack the courage to respond in a Godly manner. Though I may really hate it at times, I can see that it is better for me to not know what is coming.
Part Two:
I was sitting in the salon chair as the stylist cut off several inches. And I hated the way it was starting to look. The control-freak in me rose up and I nearly asked the woman to step back and leave my hair alone. Then I remembered that the last time she cut my hair, I had the same reaction. In the end, however, it worked. I don’t get to pick the style of my life. God has a plan. He’s working it out perfectly, and knowing how it will look in the end isn’t any guarantee that the process is going to be pleasant or attractive. I had chosen my own hairstyle and I didn’t like the in between look of it, but it turned out fine. God knows what he is doing.
Part Three:
I was reading the Bible about a week after the haircut, and I came across this passage:
“For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 5:2-5).
So here’s the great part, the third epiphany, so to speak: I may not know what my 50 to 60 more years of life on earth—God willing—are going to include, but I have been guaranteed for eternity.
The promises of God may not be what we want them to be. I would dearly love for God to tell me if I will ever pay off my student loans, if I will ever have a steady job that I am passionate about, of if I will ever get married. But He doesn’t tell me that. Instead, He tells me that He has a perfect plan with surprises and opportunities and challenges I cannot imagine, and that at the end of it, I will be further clothed, so that what is mortal in me will be swallowed up by life everlasting. Not only has He told me this, in His great love, He has guaranteed it through the presence of His Spirit. And that’s better than knowing what if I’ll pass all my classes this semester.


"Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder." -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

No comments:

Post a Comment