The shadows exist in the painting, the dark corners of grief and trial and wickedness all exist so that He might step inside them, so we could see how low He can stoop. In this story, the Author became flesh and wandered the stage with Hamlet, offering His own life. In this story, the Author heaped all that He loathed, all that displeased Him, all the wrongness of the world, onto Himself. Evil exists so that He might be demeaned and insulted, so that the depth of His love and sacrifice could be expressed as much as is possible in the small frame of history.
We could say He cares nothing for our pain. We could say He is not good. We could say we don't understand why the sky isn't all rainbows and why the common cold exists. But we would be fools. And somehow, He would still like us.
– Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl, N.D. Wilson
Some days, the world as God's expression of Himself makes perfect and beautiful sense to me. When I see a loner strumming his guitar on the beach, singing quietly. When I'm laughing uproariously with friends. When I stand marveling at some unspeakably beautiful scene of nature, shaped by millenia. And when I sit
marveling at some unspeakably beautiful scene in a story, shaped by human souls.
But some days, it is difficult to see how the shadows fit. What purpose they serve. Why our loving Father would allow them to pierce us so deeply.
Do I realize what the cross really means? Can I really say that this darkness weighing on my heart does not weigh more heavily on His? What of His suffering? Is it not more than I will ever have to endure? Does it not prove His love for me more profoundly than anything else could?
I say, "I love you." God made those words flesh by walking them to Calvary.
I believe God's allowance of evil is His way of defeating it. He tells Satan (as in Job): "Take your best shot. There is no suffering you can inflict that I cannot turn to good in the end. There is no darkness you can cast that will not draw My children closer to Me in the end. Watch and see."
God knew the world would fall. He let it. Why? Because His love is made perfect in weakness. Because the shadows draw us closer to Him – closer even than the angels.
The cross makes it impossible for me to say to God, "You don't know how I feel." If I do, I'm a fool.
But He still loves me.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV
Yahweh, teach me to love as You do.