Disillusioned? No, Distracted

God is not there for you to vent at Him, nor is He unaware of your desire to do so. Consider Job’s encounter with God:

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great! (Job 38.1–21)

Think God made a mistake? Gird up your loins like a man.

It’s all well and good to acknowledge what resentment we have against God and what disappointment we have with Him, since there’s no point in lying to Him, but to wallow in it and indulge it is only immaturity:

Just because we need to be more honest does not mean that your ashcan side is the true you. You confess sin in order to move past it. (Tim Smith)

Authenticity isn’t for its own sake but for healing, sometimes repentance, so we’re supposed to get beyond juvenile displays.

I think this is especially hard for Asian university students to appreciate. The face-saving culture can prevent a certain degree of authenticity, but reaction against it, which seems especially easy for girls, needs to grasp this truth, that godly catharsis is more about restoration than merely “letting it out”: there’s a reason the word “catharsis” means ‘purification’, namely that we lay it down at the cross.

Then we learn to “look at your life through heaven’s eyes”, as Moses’ father-in-law Jethro says in The Prince of Egypt.

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2 responses to “Disillusioned? No, Distracted

  1. Excellent point. Often times we focus on being open with our feelings and such and forget that “venting” is not for its own sake but for us to move past it, to purify ourselves of our sin and fleshy desires.

    Like

  2. Hmm, being a writer/must-always-express-self type person, to express is to clarify, understand, and purify. To me, venting – by its own nature – always leads to some degree of being able to move past it, however small. But good post, and good reminder.

    Like

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