Recently, I have taken to riding my bike and praying. Not “Lord, please don’t let me get hit by a car along this main roadway”, but more like “Father, thanks for coming along with me on this bike ride…after I spend a little time telling you how awesome I think you are, can we talk about some stuff?” It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I have come to really look forward to these bike rides. I love these conversations I’m able to have with my Heavenly Father and the best part is I have them out loud.
My oldest son recently gave me a book that I’m devouring. It’s about a missionary family in Turkey living in community with their Muslim neighbors. It’s a passionate story of an entire family that desires nothing more than to see the people they have come to love come to know the Savior who loves them. I found myself praying for this family this morning as I was riding. And due to the way in which God’s story is unfolding in their lives, I found myself wondering how this family, including their teenage son and daughter, endure the deep, dark days of confusion they have undoubtedly encountered. Then it hit me. Then my Father starting speaking to my heart. This is usually the time when I look for a quiet place to sit rather than ride, which is exactly what I did this morning. So now He has my attention and what He says to me is basically this –
Confusion is to be expected. Confusion is to be embraced!
Really? Yes, really.
What I’m most thankful for when I believe I’m hearing God reveal something to my heart is when He immediately takes me to Scripture to show me what He means. So, where did He take me? Glad you asked…
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
Yep, recipe for confusion.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
We get confusion instead of control. On most days, we don’t like that. Maybe more than most days.
Then, before I got back on my bike and rode off in exasperation, as this is not the entirely soul-satisfying answer I was looking for, my Father reminded me of the conversations I’ve had with friends in the last few days around that verse “how wide and long and high and deep” His love is. Here are the verses I’m talking about –
“And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.” Ephesians 3:17-19
What I can’t get my head, or my heart, around when I read this passage is how vast God’s love really is!
A big obstacle to grasping the magnitude of love we’re speaking of here is that we immediately try to process it through the grid of our own personal experience with flawed people.
But perhaps the most profoundly confusing truth we will wrestle with, on our personal journey with God, is embedded in this verse in seemingly contradictory pleas in the Apostle Paul’s prayer…”and may you have the power to understand…though it is so great you will never fully understand it”
Glorious, soul-satisfying confusion!
How vast, how lavish is God’s love for you? It is heart-bustingly confusing!! And THAT is a really good kind of confusion.
This path of confusion is leading somewhere…somewhere with more clarity. We’ll get to that in I’m Confused Part 2. Stay tuned…