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Living with Tension

Staff Member
"For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

On this day in 1590, John White, governor of England’s colony on Roanoke Island, returned from a supply trip to find the settlement deserted. None of the hundred or so colonists he had left behind could be found, nor could any clues about why they had vanished or where to—save for a cryptic word carved in a tree, CROATOAN. Their disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

Faith provides clarity on one hand—the purpose of life and how to live it—and mystery on the other—the blessing and curse of free will in action. Christianity involves tension between the natural and supernatural, being in the world but not of it. You believe in permanent salvation and ongoing transformation, stability and growth, joy and pain, faith and works. It’s all so clear and yet you see through a glass darkly.

God’s plans for your life are not cookie-cutter, toe-the-line kinds of plans. He calls you to dive headfirst into grace and also to live a holy life, to fight for justice and to accept His sovereignty. These are paradoxes, not contradictions. Your Father knows the struggle between His Spirit and your flesh, and He’s committed to the lifetime’s work of preparing you for eternity. Faith is not about certainty but turning doubt over to God. Embrace with open hands that your God is and/both and either/or.