Some Days I Wish God Was a Math Equation

Erik Cooper —  November 9, 2010 — 3 Comments

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon at the hospital, visiting a friend of a friend who is quite possibly (barring a miracle) approaching the end of his days here on earth.  Nothing makes you feel more vulnerable as a pastor. More sober. More powerless.

In these moments, I find myself wishing God was a formula. Give $30 to the charity of your choice, recite this pre-written prayer, and read Leviticus (surely if you can get through Leviticus there’s a prize), and God will heal. Every time. The formula says so.

But God’s not a formula.  His response isn’t always predictable. We don’t manipulate His sovereignty.

There’s only one thing I can attest to: whether I’m in a Honduran slum, a shelter for battered women, or a dying man’s hospital room, God’s presence is always so tangible among the brokenhearted.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 NLT

God never promised life would be easy. That it would make sense.  That our formulas for trying to explain Him would always reconcile.  But He did promise He would always be near. That He would never leave us. That He would be close to the brokenhearted.

3 responses to Some Days I Wish God Was a Math Equation

  1. Here’s how I think of it, Erik. Trying to figure out God is like using simultaneous equations to solve unknowns. Problem is…. there’s always more unknowns than I have equations. It doesn’t work!

  2. Hi Erik,

    I bookmarked your post several days ago because as I was surfing for images I couldn’t allow enough time to meaningfully consider your message. Now that I’ve come back to it with time enough to submit a comment, I see you have not written, yet but have said quite a bit; that is a talent not distributed widely: elegant simplicity and substance. Your message is very much heartfelt. The herd-wisdom would probably be to commiserate about your friend who is confronting the conundrum of mortality, but my sense of vengeance against such things that robs people of the gift of life is too all-consuming. I think instead of commiserating, I might like to direct a well placed kick in the pants which hopefully in the near future you might reflect upon it and say, gee that was one of the best things could have happened.

    Erik I suggest that the staple spiritual diet we have fed on from birth to the present can, and only produces “ministers, and believers” who are paralyzed to act in the face of death, and we retreat before wasting diseases: enemies long conquered and trampled upon by the model whose protégé we are supposed to be. The Christianity that we know today is far from the one Jesus modeled for the heritage we should have. No one of these wasting diseases or even death could stand before Jesus; That is our standard model and we have not been aiming for it form since 50 years after Jesus left the earth in bodily form to live in us and continue doing the same works through us. You should be encouraged to recall Eric that all of the mighty works of Jesus, you also have already done because it is his life that now is in you, and it is no more you; you are God’s workmanship and can trust the works of God. You need to stand in that knowledge and act out that knowledge.

    When Jesus said: you have faith in God, have faith in me also; what he was saying to you and I Erik is: see how you believe in God, then have faith also in the works of God. You Eric are the works of God; his workmanship—Jesus perfected in you a new creation. When Jesus uttered the words “it is finished” it is that work that was completed. He was broken on the cross to be perfected in you; like you break bread to share it with many. Broken on the cross his life could now be distributed across the planet in full force to continue doing all the works that God started and was concentrated in one localized body, but now in the same strength is distributed around the globe in countless bodies who receive him. Of those who receive him he said; the same works that I (heave done these three years) shall they also do, and greater works because I go to my Father.

    The current model of Christianity doesn’t allow us to consider this Eric, but we need to re-focus our vision and remember: Christ’s voice is full of majesty, power, living spirits & voice of words. In him our voice is full of the majesty that in the beginning was God & was with God; and now is the word of God’s power that are the spirit & life which we speak. Christ & we his body, are a life giving spirit—the Resurrection, the Prince of Life, the terror of death, and the destruction of the grave. As sons of God, the dead hear our voice and live. Without hindrance we intimidate, harass, terrorize & persecute death; we free the prisoners & by plagues make the grave barren.

    You have my kindest regards Erik

    Grace for Grace

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