truth

here is an interesting perspective on how much truth to give someone in their moment of pain and how our hearts have to be divinely prepared before some truths make sense to us at all.

a taste:

2.Then there’s an important truth of practical and pastoral theology. Sometimes the right explanation is the wrong explanation. It may be correct. It may be orthodox. But some people just aren’t ready to hear it.

That’s one of the lessons we can derive from the book of Job. Some of what his friends told him was unobjectionable in its own right. But it was tactless to say those things to a grief-stricken man.

Sometimes the truth doesn’t help. Sometimes it’s futile to explain things to an individual. And that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the explanation, as such.

and here is more after retelling the story of Tamar, Judah and Perez:

It also served a larger purpose in God’s redemptive plan. As a result, the tribe of Judah became the line of promise (cf. Ps 78:59-72; 1 Chron 5:1-2). And, for her part, Tamar became a link in the chain leading all the way up to Christ (Mt 1:3).

Of course, that’s with the benefit of hindsight. We know how the story ends. We know how things turn out. But from within the story, from Tamar’s timebound perspective, it may seem utterly bleak.

And, of course, future Christians are to us what we are to Tamar. The past makes more sense to those living in the present. Our present is someone else’s past. Our future is someone else’s present.

As timebound creatures, we all find ourselves in inexplicable situations. What was bad at the time may be a future good. What was bad for one man may be good for another.

And that’s how God often operates. Making the best of the worst. This isn’t just an afterthought, either. Rather, it’s a divine strategy which underlies much of human history.

If that’s too much for you to stomach, then you might as well become an atheist. You can sit there on your pink cloud, with your can of air freshener, and rue the terrible things you see below–or else you can agree with God’s way of doing things, and learn to see the hidden wisdom of his ways.

emphasis added by BKI

what he said. “if that is too much for you to stomach, then you might as well become an atheist.” That is what I want to tell people like Wes Widner.

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