Looking Back… At Bonhoeffer.

God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘Life Together’)

When the clouds are rolling in and tears blur our vision, it does not mean God isn’t there. It does not mean our Savior has left our side. It does not mean the Counsellor has left us. It merely means there are clouds and there are tears.

There are times when it is made clear to us how broken we are, when we realise that the life we grew up in has left us scarred and that there will be many more scars created as we continue to walk along this rocky and narrow path. Tonight I am aware of this. Tonight it seemed to be all that my blurred vision could focus on. All I wished was for the scars to be formed, because scars are healed wounds that are not our present but a reminder of the past. That isn’t the way this life works, though. We are not assured of a painless life. We are assured that we will suffer.

I find it hard to grasp this. The same God that is love, promises that we will not come out of this life without pain. If He is love, why is there hurt? It is simple, and I have said it many times before. Because we are broken. Even more than than, our brokenness is not merely because other people broke us – it is because we chose to turn away from God and try to live by our own standards. We broke ourselves. God will not cover us in bubble wrap. Truth be told, I do not want to be in a protected bubble.

The scars that I bear, and the still open wounds, show so much of God’s grace. Your scars do the same. There is a song by Thrice that says, “every scar is a bridge to someone’s broken heart” and it is true. How can someone in a bubble reach out to someone who does not know Christ’s love? It would break their bubble and send them tumbling to the ground too disoriented to help anyone else.

I have strayed from the point. In those times when I ask questions about God and suffering and feel abandoned, there is something I must remember. God is not a God of emotions, but the God of truth. I have scars and will have more scars by the time God calls me home. God will not place me in a bubble. He will stand with me, though. He will be within me.

Yes, there are clouds. There are also tears and storms. There are brick walls and blindfolds but God is always there and He is the same today, tomorrow and forever. The truth forever stands, and His truth is what we must stand on, not our ever changing emotions.


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