Silent no more–fool or not
November 7, 2012 § 8 Comments
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. —Proverbs 17:28
There have been all too many times when I ought to have heeded these words. For the better part of the last 16 hours I have tried to abide by them, refraining from posting anything either on Facebook or my blog and resisting the urge to tweet—which is actually not that difficult since I almost never do that.
I slept fitfully and dreamed some pretty strange dreams about mixed martial arts, which is bizarre because I have never watched mixed martial arts. I was angry. I am still—and I keep returning in repentance to Habakkuk 3:17-19:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
This morning and all through the day I have poured out my anger, grief, confusion, dread and even accusations to the Lord. I took my permission to do this from the Psalms and the Prophets. They always returned with faith and rest in God, sometimes even in the midst of all of the above emotional reactions. I think I have turned in faith, at least to acknowledge that God is sovereign and he is wise; I am getting closer to resting.
That rest will come, interestingly enough, when I trust in what I believe—that God is sovereign and ordained the outcome of this election and that God is wise and knows what he is doing. It will come as I remember that God has a view that is broader and higher than my finite and ultimately selfish shortsightedness and a goal that is far more glorious than my imagining.
I know far better than to put my trust in princes, though I also know God uses them to accomplish his purposes. But I also know that he uses princes who do not know him, because
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)
Ask Pharaoh. Ask Nebuchadnezzar.
So, I have opened my mouth (digitally at least) and I am putting at risk my seeming at least somewhat wise and increasing my chances of sounding like the fool I may very well be. I know full well that all of this may seem like so much petulant immaturity. It may even sound whiny.
But, for my sheep, I am honestly confessing where my heart has been and still wants to return because I know many of you feel the same way. I have taken it to the Lord and found assurance once again in the Gospel, that there is forgiveness of sins in the Name of Jesus and that, when I am weak he is strong.
If you have been are still are where I have been today, run to the Scriptures. I would encourage you to fall on your knees and cry aloud the words of Psalm 37, Psalm 73 and Psalm 75. Cry out with Habakkuk to the Lord and go with him from the shock of disbelief at what looked like God’s apathy to the amazement that the just shall live by faith. Groan the truth of Romans 8:26—and follow through to the solid hope of Romans 8:28.
One of Satan’s most successful ploys in our circles has been to convince us that we need to resist “throwing out” Romans 8:28 in difficult times because it sounds like an all too easy response. Not hardly—especially when you need someone to throw out a lifeline. That’s why it is there, my friends.
Tomorrow I may be right back where I was; pray for me that I will return to those Scriptures above and I will be praying the same for the rest of you. May God give us the far-sighted vision of his Gospel at work among us, through us, just as it has been at work for millennia in far darker circumstances and even through the blood of martyrs.
Jesus’ promise still stands: “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).