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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Dark Side of the Moon

Posted by admin in November 17th, 2008
Published in Uncategorized

When I was a little kid I could never figure out where the moon went. You know, when it was in the “new moon” phase (which I think is a funny thing to call a dark moon). But when I was a kid I couldn’t figure out why sometimes it was there and then it was part there and then it wouldn’t be there at all. My Dad tried explaining it to me, you know, that it was always there but sometimes you just couldn’t see it. Huh?

I remember in seventh grade science class my teacher brought in a model and actually rotated the earth (not the earth, but the little globe thing she made) and the moon around the sun and that model helped me understand a little bit better what was happening. But my family will tell you I still struggle with that whole, half moon, quarter thing. (That and fractions). My Dad’s words though are applicable in a lot of situations. For example, love. When you fight with your spouse and things are rotten and you wonder what ever attracted you to this person in the first place…your love is still there, it’s just not real visible. Or how about when friends and family members move away. Far away. Like to Africa and you don’t have Skype. They’re still there, just not visible. I think this is also true of our loved ones who have passed away. They are still there. In heaven. They are just not visible. But has anyone experienced this phenomenon when it comes to God?

Big D and I watched a movie this weekend. Rare for us. I love movies (and I don’t call them films). Daryl not so much. He was raised without television and didn’t step foot in a movie theater until he was in his 30s. So, anyway, we watched this movie and in it the main character at age 39 miscarried her one and only pregnancy. Later she wants to try in vitro and she asks her Mom to come and hold her hand during the procedure. Now this gal had a devout faith—followed Scripture, prayed before every meal, you know, devout. And before the doctor started the procedure her Mom asked her, “Wait a minute. Aren’t you gonna pray?” She didn’t want to. In fact, she refused to pray. The Mom asked the doctor and nurse to step out of the room and then she faced her daughter. “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you want to pray? You are making the most important decision of your life and you’re not going to pray?” The daughter shrugged it off, refused to talk about it and then after being forced into a corner by her Mom’s questioning she screams, “Because I can’t trust Him! I had faith before and the baby died; now I want to leave Him out of it. God is not good.” Her Mom, concerned that her daughter would lose her faith, held her and said, “He is good. You have to believe that He is good. But maybe He is just… well…complicated.” And it’s true. God is complicated. He is mysterious. He is difficult. He is indescribable. He is above our ability to comprehend.

You see, one of the things that bugs me about the whole area of apologetics (sorry Big D I know this is your field) is that the very practice of apologetics may give us a sense that we can make an argument for the existence of God, but can we prove He is really good? For example, if God is all knowing, all loving and ever present why do the innocent suffer? If He is all powerful, all loving and ever present why do bad things happen to good people? The fact is God is complicated. He sometimes is like the dark side of the moon. We know He is there, but we just cannot see Him, feel Him, or sense His presence. That’s when faith has to kick in. It is at these moments that I must declare: I am not moved by what I see or what I feel or what the world tries to tell me. I trust God by faith believing that His character is good and His Word is true and that He cares. Apologetics can never explain the dark side of God–God’s mysteries; His seemingly illogical side. Whether you believe He causes or He just allows there are things on this side of heaven we’ll never understand nor be able to explain.

When Corrie ten Boom was in Ravensbrueck concentration camp she was sharing the salvation message with a group of young women who were scheduled for the gas chamber the next day. Most of them impregnated by SS prison guards (and yet I have friends that can’t conceive?!? Go figure). As Corrie was sharing with them God’s love which was manifested through Jesus Christ a woman, lying on one of the overcrowded, lice infested, top bunks sat up and shouted, “I am the first violinist of the Austrian Symphonic Orchestra. She lifted her hands to show broken, rag-wrapped, twisted and gnarled hands. The Nazis had busted her hands with a rifle butt and then refused to set the broken bones. She’d never play the violin again even if she did survive the camp. Her crime? Being Jewish. She lifted those hands and looked Corrie right in the eyes, “Your God is not all loving or He would not allow this to happen; He is not all powerful because if He was all-loving and all-powerful His love and His power would have prevented this from happening. You cannot have it both ways.” Standing there and at a loss for words Corrie waited, then she put her hands on the woman’s and said, “If only you could know Him.” And that’s what it boils down to isn’t it? Knowing Him. Trusting Him. Believing that He is there even when we cannot see Him? Like the moon.

What is faith? It is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Good arguments, sound evidence, historical and archaeological finds may bring us to belief in God, but they certainly cannot hold us to Him. There is a mighty chasm between God and man that must be crossed by faith and faith alone. Because our God is mysterious and there are things about Him we will never understand this side of heaven. But we trust His Word and that He would not lie to us. He tells us that He is good; that He is perfect and we sometimes must cling to that by sheer, gritty, determined faith. All the explanations and all the models help, of course they do, but when all hell breaks loose and every dream lies shattered it takes faith to shout with Job, “Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.” God is good all the time and I know this by faith. Peace.

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38. big sister said,
November 17th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

This is absolutely the greatest message – bar none! This is ‘spot on’ my sister-friend. Praise be to God who knows all and supplies all we need – in the days I have lived my life and in the days I have yet to live my life, I desire to trust Him, know Him; I wouldn’t want to re-live a day that was most difficult as it is because of these difficulties that I know Him and trust Him more deeply – “Write-on”…

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