It sounds strange, doesn’t it to think of God as “solid.” Usually we think of God as ethereal, insubstantial almost ghost-like, but not “solid.” And yes, I’m referring to the great Creator God revealed in the Bible, not wooden, carved statues or porcelain figurines. Some of you readers may think I’m speaking heresy and are ready to come after me with pitch forks and torches, so let me explain.
Over the last few years I have been dealing with a medical issue for which the medical community has no treatment or cure. Through this experience I have had a choice. I could either get angry at God, shake my fist at Him and shout, “Why?” or I could press into Him more closely. I chose the latter. I have prayed for healing (and will continue to do so) and I have asked others to pray for me for healing. But more importantly I have asked Him to show me more of Himself. I have asked Him to teach me how to rejoice. I have asked Him that His will be done. I have asked Him to bring His kingdom from heaven to my little part of Earth. I have asked Him to show me what is important…really important. I have asked Him to show me how to live so that He will be pleased and so that He would praised by those who see my life. In all these things He has not failed. He has shown Himself to be a good, good Father. He has become more “substantial” in my life and the things the world thinks are important have tended to fade from view. He has become more “solid.”
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lam 3:21-25)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
It doesn’t get more solid than that. What is truly insubstantial are all the things the world tries to tell us are important. There is no amount of success, fame, wealth or status that is solid enough to build a life on. They all crumble under the weight of God’s glory.
We tend to think of our adversities as something we should pray “against” or something we should endure or mope about, but the reality is that God uses the trials we experience to actually grow and perfect our faith. In the midst of adversity the irrelevant and immature aspects of faith fall off. Our faith is much more focused. In the context of all God has done for us these trials are minor and temporary and also purposeful. We can rejoice because God has favored us with his great mercy. We can rejoice because He seen fit to bring us to a place of greater and more perfect faith. We can rejoice because we know the end result will be eternity joy and reward. These are truths that we can stand on and are solid. If we would see all our adversities and trials as under God’s supervision and control we would complain less and draw into Him more. We would look forward to a more steadfast, genuine, mature faith. I’m not suggesting that we deliberately seek difficulties and suffering, but simply that when they do inevitably come we see them through the lens of God’s goodness, grace and mercy. And as we do, God will become much more solid and we can hold on to Him much more tightly.