On the way to the airport for my recent trip to Dallas, I got a call from someone whose home Iâ€™ve stayed in a number of times in the past. He was in a bit of a crisis and wanted my input. As he described the events playing out in his life, he told me he was never more circumstantially confused and personally unsettled about all the things going on around him. None of his old boxes or definitions seemed to be working. Yet, he said, never had he known such peace and confidence in the midst of it. He seemed a bit unsettled with that reality and wanted to know if I thought this sounded like God.
Absolutely. It has Godâ€™s fingerprints all over it. Religion teaches us to put our security in our ability to have things all figured out. The only problem with that, however, is that most of our â€˜figuring outâ€™ is based on human wisdom and false assumptions. It promotes the illusion that we are in control of our own lives and thus can be at peace when all is well and in turmoil when it is not. Thatâ€™s why when they unravel, as they inevitably will, people are thrown into confusion and doubt about Godâ€™s love or their own worthiness.
Paul wrote about the peace that passes all understanding, the security God gives us in himself when the storms rage about us and yet we know that we are safe in him even if we donâ€™t have the foggiest idea whatâ€™s going on or how things turn out. Living relationally means exploring the moment with him and finding our security not in a well-defined present, or in guaranteed outcomes to our current crisis. God invites us to find our security in him alone, and his unfolding purpose in our lives whether we see it or not. It is enough that we live in him each day, doing what he asks of us and resting confident that he will accomplish his work as much in the valley of the shadow of death as he does in the green pastures and still waters.