Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Limiting God

Believing in miracles isn't easy. Trusting in them is even harder. And making a decision when you are someone who both believes and trusts in miracles? Nearly impossible.

Because there are some decisions in our lives that, once we make them, put a limit on what God is able to do next. 

We don't like to say that. We like to believe that God is able to do more than we ask or imagine. And He is. But if you take the gas tank out of a car, you eliminate the possibility that you could ever fill it again. If you don't keep your refrigerator plugged in, it's not going to keep your milk cold; once it goes warm, it won't get cold again. Not in an unplugged refrigerator. So making that decision to unplug the refrigerator is hard. 

Now, there is a certain teaching of faith that tells us that if we have to unplug the refrigerator, if it's the "right" thing to do, if it makes the most sense for whatever reason, then we should unplug the refrigerator and just "trust God" to keep the milk cold. We should go ahead and drink that milk next week because we believe that God will keep that milk cold, against all odds and possibilities. But that doesn't change the metaphysical truth that an unplugged refrigerator will not actually refrigerate anything. 

It seems like a silly example, but the truth is that I'm struggling right now to come up with an example that is not the actual situation that I am facing, and it's not something that I am quite ready to share. Still, the truth remains - I know that there is a certain course of action that I could take right now that would forever prohibit God from doing certain things in my life, even by the largest stretch of the imagination (unless He would choose to do something that even He has never done before, and I suppose that's always possible, though wildly improbable). 

The point is - this further complicates the kinds of decisions that we have to make. No longer are we only making decisions for our own lives, but it feels like we are making decisions for God. It feels like we are making decisions about our faith itself. It feels like we are saying what kind of miracles we believe in and what kind we don't, and it's a big step to take to declare what God is no longer going to be able to do in our lives because we had to make a choice today that forever took that option away from Him. 

None of us wants to be in that position. None of us wants to have to declare which miracles we'll hold out for and which we won't, which we really believe in and those that we guess we really don't. That's really what it's saying, isn't it? We confess that we know God is able, but in the same breath, we pretty much say that we believe He's not likely to do something. That feels like...a very bold statement about the reality of our faith. Doesn't it? It feels like we're saying exactly how much we really believe in God. 

It is an impossible choice. 


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