In other words, I'd like to "know" that the confusion, disorientation, or questions, were all part of God's forming in my life, and not what some propose is just life's normal random actions.
A lot of people disassociate their life's events from God. They can't associate God with the difficulties of life that are occurring in the present.
In recent weeks, I've talked to numerous people about "things", "stuff", life's struggles and even pain; and the overriding assumption I hear is that "is this God"?
I don't know that the answer of "yes" makes anything better, because a "yes" also creates a further quandry - "why is God doing this?" At the same time the presumptive, "no, this is not God" creates a further question of "why is God allowing this?"
Doubt is not an enemy. It can spur us on to deeper soul digging and make us reach for a faith that we've never tapped before..
Our tendency is to live in the moment, and that moment is often deceptive.
To ask the question, "where are you Lord?" is not a sign of disbelieving, but can be a doorway to new discoveries of God's Spirit at work in our life.
John Calvin wrote something in Book 2 on the nature of our will that I found really interesting.
"Augustine (in Psalm 31 and 33) compares the human will to a horse preparing to start, and God and the devil to riders. 'If God mounts, he, like a temperate and skillful rider, guides it calmly, urges it when too slow, reins it in when too fast, curbs its forwardness and over-action, checks its bad temper, and keeps it on the proper course; but if the devil has seized the saddle, like an ignorant and rash rider, he hurries it over broken ground, drives it into ditches, dashes it over precipices, spurs it into obstinacy or fury.'"
We have to think about what is going on in our soul? Am I driven by fear and anxiety; or am I willing to be slowed and thoughtful?
Jesus said to us when addressing his own disciples on one occasion that was full of tension... Matthew 11:1-10
1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.
2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples
3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.
6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
10 This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
They were all wondering, "what's going on here?" Even John was wondering and sent emissaries to inquire about what Jesus was doing? Jesus' reply is two-fold:
1) To John's emissaries he said, "go back and tell him what you see." All that was occurring was clearly God at work.
2) To those who wondered Jesus said, "What did you think you'd see? Did you think you'd see comfort and luxury as a sign of God? You're mistaken if did."
To each, Jesus points out they did not understand or see correctly what God was doing.
Are we any better? I think it's clear, the answer is "No".
We'd like to have answers...what we get is "have faith"..."trust"... "believe in me..."
Jesus ends this passage with his famous words... Matthew 11:28-30
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
While it is normal to ask the question: "Is it God?" The answer seems to be, "Take the yoke, harness it to Jesus, and stay in peace as you walk through the experiences that create questions and doubts."