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Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Friday, June 12

Today’s Readings: Psalm 1; 1 Samuel 12:1-6; John 17:9-17; 2 Corinthians 7:10-16; Psalm 119:49-72

As I shared with our Tuesday night Sacred Grounds conversation group last week, I learned something in seminary that made me feel as if I were an odd duck compared to most people. The thing I learned in one of our theology courses is that the single most difficult question most people wrestle with is the question of theodicy (i.e. “Why do bad things happen to good people?”). I must have a warped gene because that question has never bothered me at all. For me, the whole issue of free will answers that questions. It suggests that God is not a puppeteer controlling each and every dimension of our experience. Because God does not control each and every dimension of our experience, what we perceive of as "bad things" are going to happen. Because of this awareness, I’ve taken all of the energy some invest in asking, “Why did this happen?” and formed a different question that has become foundational in my spiritual journey: “What am I going to do with what has happened?” That simple 10-word question has completely transformed my life by taking me out of a victim's role. In reading today’s passage from 2 Corinthians, Paul says some things that reinforced in my mind how important my little old question is. For in writing of what can happen to one when one faces adversity, Paul wrote: “And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart” (2 Corinthians 7:11-12 from The Message). Talk about doing something powerful with something bad!! Today, I would invite you to look back on a recent setback and ask yourself, “What have I done with the experience?” You might be surprised what growth the event can spark – IF you open yourself to that possibility. Til next time…

1 comment:

Dutch said...

In her meditations on the Psalms, from chapter 119, Barbara Monda writes, "Hope fills my heart because you have touched me with love." I am moving out of a time of painful conflict. Small experiences of love in the breath of God give me hope that the future will bring more of the same.