On Sunday, we read a story about Israel asking Samuel to find a king for them.I unpacked that story a bit, and a couple other things. I wrapped up my message like this:
We often want impossible things. We tell God what we want. And he tells us what the implications are. God does, or one of his delegates like Samuel does. But we don’t want that answer. “Fix it anyway!” we say.
Sometimes God gives us our way. And the results are complicated. Sometimes he doesn’t, not because he’s mean, but because.
I was going to finish that sentence, to offer a because, but every time we do, it rings hollow, it invites discussion.
- Because he knows best: “What’s best about this?”
- Because he has a plan: “How could God have a plan that includes this?”
- Because he is God: “If this is God, I simply don’t understand.”
I don’t understand a lot. I can’t offer justification for the choices God makes, the outcomes we don’t like.
I think sometimes we struggle because our pictures of God don’t line up with who God really is.
I think we need a new king. I think we need a king that will go in front of us and help us with our battles. We need a new king who we are likely to find having community with people who are struggling. We need a new king.
Unlike the king that Samuel warned about, we need a king that got off the throne and tasted our food and drank our water and slept on our floors. We need a king who understands our agony, who shared in our pain. We need a king who may not remove us from suffering but strengthens us in suffering. We need a king that knows that loss hurts, but knows that heaven is amazing, who weeps with those who weep and will rejoice eventually and always.
We need king Jesus.