Friday, October 16, 2009

oh, drear

the clematis still blooms

The weather man announced yesterday that half of the days of 2009 have been rainy. Since the southeast has experienced drought the past two years you would think this would be wonderful news. Not everyone agrees and as I move through the grocery store I hear snippets of conversations. Complaints about the rain.

On the upside rainy days make for good reading/cleaning/sewing/baking days.

My current read, Philip Yancey's book The Bible Jesus Read is completely different than I expected. I appreciate Yancey's unique way of looking at the hard Scriptures and his willingness to dig deep and not give trite explanations for difficult passages.

I've marked some of the pages I want to read again with little sleeves from DMC floss (can you tell I am alternating between reading and stitching?).

Here are a few quotes that got me thinking:

It [the Psalms] contains the anguished journals of people who want to believe in a loving, gracious, faithful God while the world keeps falling apart around them.

He talks about the curious juxtaposition of certain psalms:

By itself, Psalm 23 leads to an easy- answer faith; by itself Psalm 22 leads to spiritual despair; together the two offer a bracing mixture of realism and hope.

I have come to see these psalms as calling for different kinds of faith. Psalm 23 models childlike faith, and Psalm 22 models fidelity, a deeper, more mysterious kind of faith. Life with God may include both. We may experience times of unusual closeness, when prayers are answered in an obvious way and God seems intimate and caring. We may also experience dark times, when God stays silent, when nothing works according to formula and all the Bible's promises seem glaringly false. Fidelity learns to trust that, out beyond the perimeter of darkness, God still reigns and has not abandoned us, no matter how it may appear.

Thoughtful words. Whether you are having a Psalm 22 kind of day or a Psalm 23 kind of day: God still reigns.

3 comments:

Lady Farmer said...

Cheri~
Oh! How I appreciate that explaination of Psalm 22! Now I don't feel like such a heathen for thinking at times (one in particular ) that "God stays silent,nothing works according to formula and all the Bible's promises seem glaringly false."
I have struggled with this dark feeling yet trusting "that God still reigns and has not abandoned" me. I have learned to trust in His character not my feelings.
I think I will have to get Yancey's book.
Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever made it through "The Bible Jesus Read", but I liked "The Jesus I Never Knew". Ike decided to take on the whole Christian Liberty Academy high school reading list at once, and checked out War and Peace (Yes, THAT War and Peace), The Tale of Two Cities, Moby Dick, and the Complete Works of Shakespeare yesterday. He is not one to faint over heavy challenges and is a third of the way through "Tale of Two Cities" already. (On the side, I checked out the Lamb's introductory books on Shakespeare that tell the stories in normal English....just in case.... I know I would need them!) These gloomy, cold days are made for reading. Linda

cheri said...

Lady Farmer, I think the man in the New Testament sums it up when he says,"I believe, help Thou my unbelief!"

I just finished the book. Highly recommend!

Linda, please tell Ike I am so impressed!!!