Note: Don't know why but I labored over this post. The first version that went out had many typos and phrasings that didn't quite say what I wanted. Here it is again with some edits. Did I miss any?
Hard not to feel the whole world is under siege from threats both natural and human. Last weekend, a massive, category 4 hurricane blasted Florida just a couple weeks after a similarly fierce hurricane inundated Houston. An 8.1 magnitude earthquake just erupted off the southern coast of Mexico.
Meanwhile, human-initiated threats escalate as North Korea tests nuclear bombs to take aim at the continental United States. Terrorism continues unabated with attacks in Barcelona, London, and Brussels. Here in the U.S, an incident in Charlottesville, Va. uncovers a growing white-supremacist movement.
When threats loom, we often appeal to God for rescue and answers. While God rarely answers directly or specifically, he is actually a situational rescue specialist though credit is usually attributed to factors other than him.
God is ever reaching out to people who don't know him but relates best to people who relate to him, who find his Bible a source of much insight and comfort for the threats life brings. They know he can also bring plenty of muscle when it suits him.
His story features many shows of power more than sufficient to turn back the most formidable foes, to dial nature up and down at will, and bring remorse to people and nations that refuse to acknowledge and obey him.
Although undeniably mighty, shows of power are not God’s style or even his default and rarely does his timing coincide with our demands or desires. He trends more along the line of calming storms than causing them and favors winning over forcing. He is more about transformation than momentary fixes and enjoys engaging our minds and hearts more than solving our safety and comfort issues.
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD: ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18, ESV)
God really, really wants people to turn to him and he will definitely allow a good threat or two to inspire us to do just that. When we do appeal, go as you are and leave biases about him behind. Although a popular notion, blind faith isn’t on the menu of God who created our brains. Rather, use it to engage with him.
When the storms come, via nature or humanity, God promotes a threat reflex that looks most like letting go and letting him.
Although God is known for so-called "fox-hole" rescues, the letting go reflex is honed best in mundane moments when the learning process is detached from dire repercussions. Most of us take many preliminary steps, many of them backward before we fully engage with letting go.
Letting go opens revelation leading to realization that can and will fully sync with the highest levels of our intelligence. However, such realization eludes us if we refuse or fail to let go with God.
A major Ah-Ha! moment is realizing that no matter what we think we’ve accomplished in our lives, we, in fact, have nothing, can do nothing and are nothing without the Lord. (John 15:5) Humility is when his love leads us to truly know that he is the sole source of all goodness that we previously claimed as earned or entitled.
His more enthusiastic followers will testify that God-sourced humility, love, grace, trust, peace and strength stands against storms and packs more than enough to power to vaporize every threat, doubt and belittling remark.
His strength and manner just looks, feels and acts a LOT differently than ours. Ditto with his timing.
Letting go is where we all begin and end with the Lord. Not that we don't continue to falter but I'm growing into the sense that each subsequent "letting go" happens a little further down the line.
Hang in there to develop a letting go reflex. God is almost endlessly patient because, well, we matter to him.