I had a fireplace insert installed earlier this year. It is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my own mental and spiritual health. I’m finding there are very few things more relaxing for me than to lay on my couch after all the kids are in bed. When the house is quiet and dark. To lay in the room with nothing but the red glow of the fire to light the room. That wonderful wood-burning heat to keep me warm.
I love to read a book on my iPad or just quietly meditate on the Lord and his word. A few weeks ago I had the a great night just like that. It was on a Sunday night after a long busy work day for me. I was relaxing and reflecting on all that God has done for me over the last little bit. I think it’s appropriate to take a few minutes out of my life from time to time and just give God thanks for all that he is doing for me.
During this time of reflecting and giving thanks a conversation between God and I began. I felt like God asked me a very interesting question. He asked, “Why do I have to be an ‘or’ God? Why can’t I be an ‘and’ God?”
I thought this question was rather odd and asked him what he meant. He began to direct my attention to both Solomon and to John the Baptist. Solomon was the richest and wisest man to ever live while John the Baptist was the greatest of the prophets. Solomon wore splendid clothing, feasted daily and lived in a palace with more women than any man should. John the Baptist wore camel skin, ate locus and honey and lived in the wilderness.
Solomon lived to be an old man while John was beheaded in his early 30s. To look at both of these men you can make up two different theories of how God wants us to live. Both men were blessed by God and did what they were asked to by him. Yet one lived in splendor while the other lived in lack and imprisoned. We can make a doctrine of prosperity from one and a doctrine of suffering from another.
Why does God have to be “or.” Why does it have to be suffering or prosperity? Why can’t God be suffering and prosperity? Why does God have to be free will or predestination? Why does God have to be a God of war or a God of peace?
The more I thought about all of this the more I realize that God is big enough and complex enough to be both. I think we limit God when we buy into one aspect of God and say he can only be this way or he that way when he is big enough and amazing enough to be both.
My prayer now is, “God be that big in me.” I want God to be that complex in me so that I can represent him the way he deserves to be represented.