Monday, May 1, 2017

Do You Grieve the Gap?

Do you grieve the gap between what you know to be true and your experience of that truth? Between the concept of a gracious God and the reality of your gracious God?

This gap is not okay.
It ought to bother us.
We ought to grieve.
It's not something to throw up the white flag on and make a truce.
It's something to fight to close.

We don't want to be hypocrites. We don't want Jesus' words in Matthew 15:7-9 to apply to us:
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
We want to "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps 34:8) and "trust in the Lord with all our heart" (Prov 3:5-6) and be "satisfied with the steadfast love of the Lord" (Ps 90:14) and "know his love that surpasses knowledge" (Eph 3:19) and "rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Pet 1:8).

Nevertheless...the gap will always remain, to some degree or other, in this life.
And it will often be a painful, frustrating, discouraging reality.
It will bother us.
And it should.

Nevertheless...the gap will not always remain.
One day, faith will become sight.
One day, all of our doubts and unbelief and coldness and spiritual insensitivity will be eradicated.
White-hot, holy, whole-hearted, single-minded, sincere and sweet love for God and others will be our constant lived experience!
We will know fully even as we are fully known.

AND (here's why I'm writing this), the experience throughout our lives of grief and longing and sorrow and frustration over the gap, will actually make the closing of the gap that much sweeter.
In God's mysterious and merciful providence, the painful longing for wholeness will make the experience of wholeness that much sweeter when it is fully and finally fulfilled.

So, let's keep grieving the gap.
Let's keep seeking to close the gap.
Let's set our hope fully on the day when the gap will no longer remain (1 Pet 1:13).
But let's remember this: not only will that gap one day close in the restoration and renewal of all things, but the presence of grief over the gap in this life will make the presence of perfectly integrated enjoyment of God that much sweeter.

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