Read this remarkable meditation from Chad Bird on those times of suffering when God seems unresponsive–asleep, like Jesus in the storm.
It’s a powerful example of what I have been calling for, a theodicy centered in Christ.
I post an excerpt and a link after the jump. You’ll want to read every word. I also give a link to his book that this is taken from.
From Chad Bird, God, Don’t You Care That I’m Dying?:
Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief. That is our table prayer, our bedside prayer, our office prayer, our going-to-the-movies prayer, our 24/7 petition. Lord, I do believe, but I also don’t believe. I am a cocktail of contradictions: double-hearted, forked-tongued, pulled heavenward and hellward every step I take. I fear you but I also fear failure. I trust you but I also trust myself. I love you but I also love the limelight. Lord, I am a saint and a sinner, your bride and the devil’s whore. Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.
But the Lord doesn’t help. No, He does far more. He forgives. He takes everything from your screaming to your belly-aching, everything your throw His way while He’s sleeping—He takes all this and pours it into His cup, as it were. He takes all your doubting and unbelieving, all your genuflecting before the idols in whom you really trust, all your double-speaking and double-heartedness—He takes all this and pours it into His cup, too. And He even takes your less-than-fully-sincere repentance, your less-than-fully-honest confession, and all the anger He ought to pour out on you—He takes all this as well to add to the poison that brims ever closer to the rim of His cup.He extends His arms east and west, stretching them out as if to embrace the world. He lets the soldiers do their hammering and nailing, lets the crowds do their jeering and taunting, lets the demons do their shrieking and mocking. And opening His lips, He says, “Give me the cup, Father.” The chalice presses against His mouth, the bottom slowly tilts upward, and the poison of all our doubts and unbelief and the grossest of the gross sins of which we are guilty, all that liquid toxin goes barreling down His throat until the last drop is drunk and the deed is done. Then He closes His eyes, says, “It is finished,” and truly goes to sleep, into the sleep of death itself.
No, the Lord doesn’t help. He does far more. He drains the cup brimming with all the poison which would send us from this messed up world to a world of suffering that would never end. He drinks dry the storm of our sins. Christ doesn’t help our unbelief; He destroys it by letting it destroy Him.