I believe that the Bible can buttress and enhance the efforts of a sincere heart to discern the best way to live one’s life. But does anyone else ever get frustrated with what the Bible doesn’t say? When I read scripture, I find myself dissecting it and analyzing it. Partly because I enjoy it, but it occurred to me yesterday that perhaps another reason for that is because I’m desperately hoping for more personal answers if I just dig deep enough. Sometimes I think that the kind of pulling apart and analyzing I’m inclined toward can distract from the big picture, but mostly I figure if it stimulates thought and conversation about beliefs and ideals, it isn’t a bad thing.
I wish there were a different kind of map. “The Holy Atlas of How and Why,” perhaps. My hunch is that it’s already been published, tattooed on all of our souls, but why does it have to be written in Sanskrit??? Maybe I should explain my difficulty better. As an example, the Bible tells me that I should let God take my worries, my burdens. “Let go and let God” is an expression I’ve heard. Okay. But how? Scripture isn’t so forthcoming about that. I’ve prayed and prayed for help in letting go, for God to take my fear, or feelings of oppression and yet I find myself yanking them back. It seems like that fear is forever nibbling away at the edges of my consciousness. Why do I do that and how can I stop? I don’t think it is lack of faith; I don’t doubt God’s ability or willingness.
Is it really within my power to banish these feelings? Maybe I simply have to wait for God to answer this prayer in whatever way he chooses. Again, scripture doesn’t get specific. It doesn’t give us a time frame. I can’t help thinking it might be nice to read a verse that says something like, “So, if you give up all your nasty feelings to God at 1:30pm, they should be completely gone by 2:00.” 🙂 Or does letting go simply mean accepting the fear (or whatever else you might be trying to let go) and taking comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone, that you don’t have to take it on by yourself? I can say with complete probity that I’ve done that, but the fear remains. Maybe it’s supposed to be there. Who am I to say?
My prayer today is for quietness of mind and spirit and for a little clarity; a mental clearing of the cobwebs.
I was looking for a passage to close this entry and found Lamentations chapter 3 oddly comforting and challenging all at once. Below I’ve included verses 25-33.
- The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
27 It is good for a man that he bear
the yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone in silence
when it is laid on him;
29 let him put his mouth in the dust—
there may yet be hope;
30 let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
and let him be filled with insults.
31 For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve the children of men.