December 29, 2021

God Lifts Us Up

I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths.

✙ Psalm 30:1 (NIV)
In a letter written while he was in a Nazi prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that, if it's us saying where God ought to be, we'll always find a God there who somehow corresponds to us, who is compliant, who belongs to us and is like us. But if it's God who says where God will be, then it's probably going to be a place that doesn't fit with us at all and isn't pleasing to us—at least not in the beginning. 

We extol God. But in reality, God dwells beyond our praise. Unreachable by us, God nonetheless lifts us up to the realm of the divine. The scriptures never tire of making it clear that the gateway to this realm is going to be found in an unexpected—and not an altogether pleasant—place. At Christmas, we find God in a the hay of a feeding trough. Later we'll find him on a cross. 

The human condition is such that we cannot see the end. What we think we want is not what we actually need for wholeness. And the way we think we want to avoid might be the very path to peace. May I trust God to know the way, even when it leads through ice and snow.

The dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
 Luke 1:78-79
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Raise me up, Lord. I cannot get there on my own, but by your strength I can live beyond my current condition.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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