Friday, 3 April 2015

Lord help my unbelief.

What if I do not want to let God go? What if I want an answer from him? What if I won’t accept “no” for an answer? What if I am determined to wrestle with him? Can I then get his attention? Can I get him to turn this way? Maybe for a minute or two? Maybe longer? Maybe for a private chat? Can God then take a break from managing the universe and sit down with me and say, "Here I am son”?

And when he is seated with me, I would have so many questions to ask him. The questions would flow like a broken levee. From the beginning of time to the end, I am tempted to fire away, unrestrained, like an eager beaver burrowing into the darkness of all secrets; digging them out into open light.

But alas, that would be a luxury I do not have. That would be too time-consuming; most of all for Him. Because if you think about it, some questions can be put on hold. I can now think of a few that don’t share the same urgency. Like the creation of life, for example, from a singularity of non-materiality to the reality of what we are witnessing today. Wouldn’t that be amazing to know? Well, even though a tour back 14.3 billion years (and before) would be mind-blowingly awesome, I guess that can wait. It is not on the priority list. I don’t really need to know all that right now.

Or how about questions about the future of mankind? I imagine myself asking him along those lines and him unveiling to me the great mysteries of this world and how it will all converge at the end in glory and majesty. I venture a guess that I would be so wide-eyed at the end of the narration that I would be immobilized for hours or even days, frozen. And yet that can wait too. It is again not on the priority list.

Our beginning and our end is either about the past of things or the future of things and they can all wait. I am in no hurry to know them now. They can very well remain top secret locked in the chambers of the divine vault and guarded by a thousand seraphim and cherubim until such time when God is ready to disclose them. It’s His sovereignty and only His wisdom can decide on the timing of such thing. On my part, I shall respect his timing. He knows best and I trust that He will do what is best.

But, if I’d managed to scrounge out a private audience with Him, and I know my time with Him is limited, I would have only one thing in my mind. One request to make. By now, God should know that it is not about the past or the future. It is not about the beginning or the end. It is something that is closer to my heart, something quite personal. It is something in the immediate present. It is something about a heart that seeks to understand but has not been able to do so by itself. And it is not a complicated request actually – at least not as complicated as the quest to know our beginning and our end. In fact, it had been posed by a father before two thousand years ago.

Here it is in a deceivingly simple nutshell: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” That is the one thing I desire to talk to God about. Let me elaborate this unbelief in three forms of divine assistances.

This is the first form: O Lord, help me to see your love as an unconditional love which loves unconditionally, literally unconditionally, without leaders coming to me and offering to console me with words like “He has better plans”, “It is not in his will”, “Be strong and continue to believe” or “The Lord does as he pleases”. Let no one speak for you Lord. I am brought up to hear from them all my faith-believing life. They no doubt meant well but I don’t need well-meaning statements. I need meaningfully personal ones. I need statements that come from you direct, and not from what people think you think about what they ought to think. Here’s the second form.

Help me O Lord to understand why is it that nothing is impossible for those who believe and yet, for those who believe as best as they humanly could, and believe for things not for self-gain, it just does not turn out the way they have believed it to be. This has been the confounding status quo for centuries since the day you first told us about believing in you.

Or have we misunderstood you Lord? For all this time, have we taken your word and used it to serve only our own purpose? Have we bent it like Beckham and scored a goal to thunderous applause only to find that it is, alas, an own goal? Or have we believed in what you’d said without truly understanding what you really mean about what you’d said? And in our rush to launch the rocket-promises of the scriptures up into the all-things-are-possible stratosphere, have we forgotten to read the fine print, study the manual carefully, or worse, insert the batteries of common sense?

And finally, the third form: Help me O Lord to understand why is it that I see a glass, but darkly now, and only get to see it fully later, and know it in part now, and only get to know it completely later, when all I want to see and know has nothing to do with the great mysteries of this universe whether past or future. But instead, it has everything to do with the most mundane mystery of the reality of my faith. What is that? That mundane mystery has nothing to do with the struggle for more wealth, health and victories in life. Neither has it anything to do with more growth in the faith nor more charity in the hearts of men. It is just a simple and earnest plea to see you in the flesh. A doubting Thomases’ request no doubt and one which I stand to forfeit a portion of blessing because it is premised on physical sight. But it is still desperately needed in one’s crucible of irresoluble faith; forfeiture or otherwise.

So, if in you, I live and move, and have my being; then with you alongside me, wouldn’t I behold and embrace, and have my irrefutable hope? And to know that you exist not just in the realm of the spiritual but also in the realm of the physical would be an empowerment unsurpassed for me. It would be like to talk and walk with you the same way I talk and walk with my son every morning when I send him to school. As real as he is to me Lord, help me to understand your reality in my life the way I intimately understand my son’s tangible reality in mine (and no less).

For if you should help me to see and know fully your physical presence in my life, I would then have no need to see and know fully the many splendors and grandeurs that make up this incredibly rich universe you have created. I would have no need to know because no reality can exist without yours and it is your reality that all realities are dependent on solely, fully, overridingly and predominantly.

So, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. And that is the only assistance I ask from you if given a chance. The truth is, no mystery is ever greater than the irreconcilable mystery of your unconditional love and power in this world of the most undeserving of sufferings. And should you unravel this mystery for me - making me understand it with bolted restfulness - I would then have found a resolve within that no assault of wretchedness in this world could ever rob me of.

Let me end Lord with this familiar scriptural chorus. For when I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from you Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. And I am lifting my eyes now Lord, looking to you, searching for you, hoping in hush-ness, believing that only you can help my unbelieving. So help me God. Amen. Cheerz.

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