Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Battle

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” --Genesis 50:20



Sometimes the battle between good and evil feels so strong it is almost incapaci-
tating. Is that the goal of evil--
to incapacitate?

There is so much to consider in each seemingly small verse like the one above. I understand that the brothers (the "you") intended to harm Joseph in this story. They are human. But where I get hung up is God’s place in the whole scene. Did God “intend” for Joseph to suffer all those years so that many could be saved? The thought of imposed suffering for the good of others leaves me cold. It is a topic I have been wrestling with of late.

My last week was filled with an array of emotions and powerful experiences. I watched transformation of souls occur before my very eyes. I experienced it for myself. I felt the power of God in nature and witnessed it in the rain, wind and hail. I saw eagles soar and light shine on trees like something in a painting. Miracles were all around. And, I could sense a battle to stop this good from happening.

Does the heat get turned up when God’s work is being done? Who turns up the heat? God? Satan? The Universe? Me? Many questions bounce through my mind for which I have no answers. I feel like I could try to ignore them and hope they go away or I could become absorbed with them and thus paralyzed from moving forward.

The balance for me is in being aware and willing to wrestle with the thoughts. Even making a small start and putting a few words on paper brings me hope. Not that I will necessarily come up with the answers, but that I will continue to move, to choose life, to reach for the light rather than become absorbed by darkness.

I choose to wrestle. How about you? What does your wrestling look like today?

photo by bill

12 comments:

Tess said...

Sounds as if your week has sown a lot of seeds that will blossom in the months to come.

Wrestle - the word itself is so expressive, muscular, active.

Today I'm sorta, kinda, not bothering to wrestle with apathy. But it'll pass, and I'll start getting muscular again.

There's so much in what you've said to mull over, especially the resistance you sensed to stop the good. Nothing more than mulling from me tonight though kiddo!

Sue said...

Good questions all, that you are asking.

Today, I'm wrestling with lack of sleep. Well, not wrestling exactly. More like just trying to stay upright ;) Actually, in a funny way, sometimes lack of sleep seems to help ennervate me in one area while exhausting me in another. It's strange.

lucy said...

great imagery, tess. good luck with the apathy...i look forward to hearing more commentary once you re-engage :-)

sue, i totally understand the strangeness of lack of sleep...nevertheless, i hope good rest is in your near future!

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Oh, the Mind Sieve will be working on this post of yours - a powerful week in the lives of many persons - you and others that your aided in their birthing or awakening or reawakening - oops I'm reading The Dissident Daughter, can you tell?

SUNRISE SISTER said...

BTW - Your "Bill" photos the last two days are gorgeous! They remind me of National Geographic's photos years ago of viewing the fetus inside the womb - so fragile and delicate requiring you hold your breath in order not to break or move anything.

Wren said...

I went to a funeral today, for a man who was, by the world's standards, nothing to speak of. He was, however, kind, caring and welcoming to the very end, an extraordinary person. During the OT reading, I found myself wondering which one I'd pick for myself, and thought immediately about the lesson in Genesis where Jacob wrestles with God and survives. I wrestle a lot.

Gabrielle said...

I think things do heat up when God's work is being done, particularly shortly before and during periods of powerful transformation; Satan knows all may be lost to him afterwards.

Wren said...

Who turns up the heat? I believe that people can be agents of evil, and that includes ourselves as you point out. Certainly there are, sometimes, people who want us to fail, for whatever reason. Sometimes we do not even stand entirely on our own side. We may have mixed feelings about ourselves and our successes.

I don't believe in an evil force that's out to get us though.

lucy said...

thank you all. much wrestling left to do, that's for certain!!!

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Wren's comment - "Sometimes we do not even stand entirely on our own side." ....there's a lot going on in that little sentence!

Lucy - Keep wrestling - I'm in your corner between rounds and certain you are on a definite path to the winner's circle!

lucy said...

SS--i am thrilled to have you in my corner!!!!

storyteller said...

Welcome back Lucy! As always, your words ignite ruminations of my own. Such worthy questions ... with no easy answers ... yet they linger in my mind ... as will the quote under Anne Lamott's photo in the sidebar which reminds us:
"The most wasted day of all is that on which we have not laughed." I may need to copy that and put it on my wall today.
Hugs,