I do believe in miracles, I see them everywhere and they boggle my brain. I wrestle with this a lot, because I am so rational, so reason based. Don’t laugh, it’s true. Contrary to what the peanut gallery says about me, I am a great skeptic and always looking for the man behind the curtain.
I have found Him and He is actually not a Wizard at all, nor a con artist selling snake oil. God is more real than life itself.
That alone is an astounding miracle. God is full of surprises, talking donkeys, burning bushes, whales that swallow people, and He has a way of breaking all the rules, “the rules” in this case simply being the things that we believe to be true, the order we try to assign to our world, the expectations we have about God, how small and manageable we try to make Him.
The people world, sadly much of the Christian people world, can be so full of rules. Do this, don’t do this, be a good person, and God will reward you. Than when the poo hits the fan of life, we’re left reeling, Lord, I’m a good person, what the heck?? You owe me, I kept your rules. I don’t deserve this! We had a deal.
How quickly we forget the God of Job, there was none so righteous, and so Job was actually chosen to suffer, boils… and a wife that cursed him. Then there is Jonah, where God says, I need you to go speak to the people you hate the most of all. Jonah tried to flee, and who can blame him? Then there is the prophet Isaiah, “my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years..”
God is actually rather adventuresome, if you ask me. He likes to take us right out of our comfort zone and drop us on our head. I was just pondering how we would all respond to Isaiah if he showed up at church, naked, rather filthy, and announced “God told me to go f0rth and have a naked walk about…”
Those are the things I lament when I lament about “legalism.” It is not a complaint about doctrine or a desire to throw out all “the rules,” it is a complaint about the way we often limit God, try to reduce Him to nothing more than a judge, who establishes a set of behaviors and punishes lawbreakers. While that may well be one aspect of His character, He is also a God who reminds us over and over again that He is the one who made “the rules,” in the first place, and that our capacity to understand them can be even more flawed than our ability to obey them.
One simply cannot be 100% rational about faith and cling to one’s list of rules. The basic foundation of our faith demands we accept that God, in 3 parts, became man, descended to earth, lived a sin free life, and then we killed Him, but He rose on the 3rd day and is now seated in victory at the right hand of the Father.
He broke all the rules….. while fulfilling the law. That’s a God of talking donkeys and other impossible things that don’t fit in a box, or a tomb for that matter.