…I kinda like the thought of a God who gets pissed with certain things and decides to give'em a little wake up call – a tornado here, an earthquake there, a little calamity to express His point.
Of course, it helps when God and I agree on what things / people / ideas He should be pissed with. I'm rather with cartooned Calvin, though. God keeps forgetting to consult with me, first.
Now I need to state that I believe the Holy Spirit is alive and well and still messing with His creation. More clearly, I am a believer in the continuation of the gifts of the Spirit and the active engagement of the Spirit in our lives in ways we can barely understand.
It helps that I experienced total and complete freedom from a smoking habit I couldn't beat after three friends prayed for me (six months after I was married, and a year after I began lying to Imbi about having quit – part of the freedom came in me having to ask her to forgive me for lying to her – things were a little frosty for more than a few hours).
I also experienced my neck being healed from damage that occurred when I was hit by a car as a kid. This after small group prayer during a church service – where all I wanted was freedom from the constant pain when whiplash exacerbated the damage. (Before and after x-rays do exist somewhere – I wasn't smart enough to get copies at the time. There's a lot more to this story if you are ever interested – just to note that when I was 26, a resident at St. Michael's Hospital, a certain Dr. Mah told me I had degenerative disk disease and would be in a wheel chair by today.)
I've also experienced a gazillion times more apparently negative answers to requests for temporal intervention into the lives of acquaintances, friends, family and yes, even more requests from me, for me.
So. Thursday morning. I'm j-keying thru Google Reader. I think it was Challies who pointed to John Piper's commentary on tornados in Minneapolis providing attempted input into the ELCA convention. Based on my history here, you're probably thinking my first thought was, "Now, how stupid was that!" But no. Not even close. (My opinion on the ELCA issue(s) would be quite similar to that of my friend, Jared Wilson – a blog topic for another time.)
If you've had nothing better to do this week and have been following along with Darryl Dash et moi, you know we've been having a blog conversation about the Sovereignty of God. (Apparently, I started it with my recent Piper I35 comments and Darryl decided to get serious about it – joined by others like Jason Coker, Jamie Arpin-Ricci, and two of my favourite Reformed-leaning pastors, Ken Davis & Dan MacDonald.) Its been a good conversation (which isn't yet over as Triple D has more posts coming up. Posts are here, here, here and here.)
Darryl and I are good friends – even if I'm Arminian Wesleyan prevenient gracian apparently semi-pelagian a Greg Boyd fan a heretic and he's Reformed. Early that morning, after the Challies link, I dropped him a note with other examples of where I thought God might have decided to make a point – I won't embarrass myself further here by citing them. I was siding with JP on this one. And. I was wrong.
Well, they and the weather system that decided to do significant damage to Southern Ontario. This whilst the dog and I were alone at our cottage on an Island in Lake Simcoe. (And yes, I was doing a lot of repenting. So anything that happened was the dog's fault – all she was doing was cuddling tightly to me – although at one point I was pretty sure she was praying – eyes closed, paws crossed, head bowed – well, okay, she was sleeping… but still.)
Now. It's quite possible God is ticked with us here in Ontario. He knows there's plenty of reason to be – heck, in my life alone.
But scripture does tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust. Jesus, in the Luke passage Pastor Piper quotes, says, "...those eighteen in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse citizens than all other Jerusalemites? Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die."
The point of this post – we, like the cartoon Calvin, want a God who intervenes where we want Him to intervene. Well, at least I seem to – I shouldn't speak for the rest of you. I do believe He intervenes where He chooses. I also believe that He created a natural order in the cosmos, that was fundamentally disturbed by the Fall – the consequence – broken people, living in a broken world – that yes, God is Sovereign over – but not the instigator of every calamity that befalls us – tornadoes or no tornadoes.
And yes, we all must repent for the end is near. The end of this post, that is.