This morning in the shower I found myself thinking about redemption and about how when God says,
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8,9)
He is talking about His plan for the redemption of all creation. The world doesn’t get it at all, and often neither do “the redeemed.” God’s plan is absolutely counterintuitive to our human, fallen nature.
As I thought in the shower (I don’t sing, I just think), my mental search utility dug up the lyrics to a song by Peter Stuart (aka Dog’s Eye View), Everything Falls Apart. It’s a humorous commentary on human nature and our fallen view of God:
I met God this afternoon ridin’ on an uptown train
I said, “Don’t you have better things to do?”
He said, “If I do my job what would you complain about?
So I let it go to Hell, now I’ll have something to do.
He said, “I’ll let it go to hell; does that sound familiar to you?”
Well everything falls apart
then I get to try to put it back together …
It’s interesting that one of the results of sin is now known as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (not entirely accurately understood as, “everything falls apart”). Our human nature desires to “fix” what is broken and falling apart, and to project onto our imaginary view of God that same imperative. Then, we get frustrated and disappointed and angry with God because he doesn’t “fix” things. Right?
God is not a “fixer.” If so, he could have dealt with the whole sin thing in the Garden. But, God is not a fixer, he’s a redeemer, and we don’t really get it. Neither do the angels, for that matter. We know that the death and resurrection of Jesus is at the very center of the plan, but we’ve only seen part of it; we don’t know yet how it will all shake out (regardless of “Left Behind”). As a result, we’ve developed a concept of redemption that is awfully close to the definition for “fix.”
So, we don’t get it. We still expect God to fix things according to our sense what is right, and when things continue to fall apart, we blame God and “lose faith.” But, we can’t really lose what we don’t have…
Is it “blind faith” to believe in this mysterious promise of redemption? Not at all; there are signs of redemption all around us, if we’d only take note. But, to do that, we have to first set aside our “guidelines for being God” and see what God himself would say. Perhaps instead of (or perhaps, along with) praying, “God, fix this…” our prayer should be, “show me your redemption.”
The coming of the Kingdom, as demonstrated by Jesus in the Gospels, reveals itself in little ways of redemption that do include “fixing” some things. People are sometimes healed, relationships are restored, and so on. However, we are promised that wars, natural disasters, and poverty will continue until that time that redemption is fully revealed. Things still break, restored relationships are still subject to damage, and people still get sick and die. It would seem that a “fix” is no substitute for redemption.
One thing we know: some day, all creation will be redeemed – until then, things continue to fall apart. A mystery, indeed.