Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm Not Signing Up for a Religious Lottery.

"But you trust that He's good... right?" 

My mother swirled her tea as she placed this question gently on the table. She smoothed her hands, checked her rings, waited for me to answer.

"Well...," I hesitated. "No, not really."

Sometimes I stand looking at the panorama of my past, my arms stubbornly locked across my chest, and I say, "How is that good?" Arrogantly, I size up the mountains, the colors, the people and I adjust my lens toward the distance and say, "Nope. Not what I would call good. Not entirely good. Somewhat good. Here and there lovely. But overall, completely, totally, wholly good? No."

In the dark of my living room, under a blanket last night, I listened to a man of God I admire address biblical womanhood. Calling us higher. To be clothed in strength and dignity. To laugh at the days ahead.

Not out of naivety, but out of hope in the Lord.

And today, I listed my grievances to a friend. He listened, as anyone could do through a chat window, as I typed.

"When do I get to say, "Look what the Lord has done for me!" and even in writing that, I'm revealing my ingratitude for the Gospel. ... if the Lord does nothing else but make me an example of Grace, that is grace alone. He already redeemed my soul, why am I asking for more?"

He says, "That's truth. Interesting how quickly entitlement slips into our thought process."

I agree: "It's so second nature..... It's so Eve."

The more I think God is not good, the more I am revealing my own idol of self. I am reaching toward a fruited tree, because surely what God has given me is not good enough. Surely he's withholding.

The more I tell you that I question God's intentions in my life, the more I am laying open the waste of my heart. I am sinking my teeth into the juicy, indulgent self; dripping with sin and rebellion.

When I deem something that I do not have as "good" and then turn to God to "direct" him in that, I am in a way saying —

You don't know better.
You don't know more.
You don't have this under control.

There is more rest for me in trusting in God's sovereignty, even above my limited human perspective of what "good" is. God is good. He is bound to his own sovereign promises. He is not withholding good from me.

I don't have faith in a God who is sometimes good. My hope is not in a gospel that partly redeems. If it were that, then I'd just be signing up for a religious lottery.

It's tempting and too easy to become my own storyteller. I know what happens when I pick at the bark of this tree and feel Eve within me, sultry and unsubmissive, tangling around my fingertips. I know how that story ends. And that, that is not good.

But for grace.


  1. I love your honesty. Oh, how I have had such similar thoughts, similar ways of idolatry.

  2. favorite blog post yet. probably because that explains so many people's lives, including my own sometimes. you're not the only one who feels like the only one. keep going, girl :) miss you!

  3. she visits me frequently is our cross while on this journey through this one life..we all face it and I know it well friend. and it is ...but for grace. i am breathing it in today for there is nothing else I can or even want to to..happy weekend and i love your realness always

  4. thank you for finding beautiful words for things that bump around in my heart...

  5. Thanks for being encouraging. miss you. catch up soon.

  6. Hey Andrea, I've never read your blog, but happened upon it at just the right time. I love this one because I too can so relate. I'm very bitter about the "good" God has done in my life. It seeps from my soul, and when I notice, it makes me very sad. How did i get here? I am also an idolater of self and forgetful of the grace I have received. Boo.