On Being Christian

the way of confusion

I’m not all that comfortable with confusion. As an ENTJ I’m prone to over-analyzing, and attempting to really nail things down so everyone in my same time zone can also be perfectly clear, just to be on the safe side.

As Christians, in my experience, we tend to believe confusion is bad. It implies I may be out of God’s will, that somehow I misunderstood his clear direction and leading in my life. “God is not a God of confusion!” we quote warningly. We feel a vague suspicion we’ve done something wrong, a fear that somehow, somewhere along the line we got off track.

But what if confusion is the right track? In spite of my discomfort with confusion, I’ve frequently found myself in situations that weren’t what I expected. We all experience times when things don’t seem to be working out the way we’d anticipated, when we perhaps prayed and sought wise counsel and very clearly saw God’s direction in a specific situation that inexplicably turned out to be a dead end. We don’t understand. We are confused. So our “Help Me” prayers gradually turn into “Why, God?” prayers, which of course lead to the somewhat panicked “Show me what to do!” prayers. Aside from the omniscience thing, sometimes I think God must find us terribly predictable.

Oswald Chambers explains it this way:

“There are times in spiritual life when there is confusion, and it is no way out to say that there ought not to be confusion. It is not a question of right and wrong, but a question of God taking you by a way which in the meantime you do not understand, and it is only by going through the confusion that you will get at what God wants.”

God is not a God of confusion, but in this life it’s easy to misread people and situations and even our own intentions. And in our confusion we can turn to him as a God of Love, whom we can trust implicitly to get us where he wants us to be.

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