This is a season of blessing. I am experiencing a lot of fruit from the sanctification that God has brought me through the past few years.
These seasons come and go. And there are also times that are confusing, and you find yourself in the midst of the trials and struggles of this life, and twigs lash out at your face as you push your way through the forest, and there is an overall lack of perspective, and no good rational answer for why God is bringing you through the things that you are experiencing.
But this season of my life has been like an emergence into a clearing on a hill, and I am able to see the path he has guided me through, and I can see the reasons for so many of the struggles, the insecurities, the steep slopes and the forded rivers and the scaled rocky banks.
Today I started writing down a list of blessings in my life and I filled up a couple pages in a minute. There are seriously significant things like a new baby niece, like new eyes (I was legally blind, and had eye surgery and can see clearly without prescription), like the opportunity to go to Western Seminary and study under Gerry Breshears, and there are the little things like good beer, like sweet new shoes which Patrick found in a garbage can and gave me, like Jimmy Eat World’s new album, like the scooter that Brittany owns.
The view that Stuff is About Jesus is advocating is called “Exhaustive Typology” or “Theology of Everything.” In a word this means that all things without exception are images of the reality of Jesus Christ. There is no thing that is not a picture or a “type” of Christ. The building blocks of the world we exist in are pictures to help us understand Jesus Christ. I have come to seriously believe that the reason any thing we experience in this world is beautiful, aesthetically pleasing, exhilarating, satisfying, or just any kind of adjective which means “This thing makes people happy,” is because that thing is a little bit like Jesus.
The reason that evil exists is that we, instead of recognizing that these things point to and mean God, have understood these things to be God, and have thus committed idolatry. But these things are not God, they only point toward God. When we make them out to be God they whither and die, and bring about the horrible evil and suffering which exists in the world. They let down human beings, and so we experience the unspeakable evil of rejecting the infinitely good God.
Recognizing that the world we live in is a world which points to the glory of the Son of God brings us out of our idolatry and into a life of thanksgiving and joy.
Enjoy life. It is good because it’s like Jesus. And when the finite things we enjoy slip away as they inevitably do, we still have Jesus, we still have the real thing. This is why we can enjoy Jesus in both blessing and suffering, in feasting and famine – because he is the real thing and he never fails, never gives up, never runs out. Though everything shifts and changes and breaks down, Jesus remains, and he is everything that human hearts long for.
May Jesus’ Holy Spirit wrap us up in this unfailing, consistent love as each of us walk through the rich blessing and the unspeakable pain which this life brings.