God's won't

I've heard the phrase "God's will" throughout my life; as the son of a preacher man, I've got the lingo down and "God's will" is at the top of the most heard list. It's a valid phrase, although it is usually butchered by whoever's talking about it. Folks have justified everything from unplanned pregnancies to Sept. 11th on God's will. I can't talk much about God's will anymore, whatever the hell that may be. But I can speak of God's won't.

GOD WON'T LET YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT GETTING HURT. Almost two years ago now, I resigned from a pastoral role I was in. I had been working alongside a good friend, but the bright balloons of "wouldn't it be great to work together" began to pop one by one - mostly due to something called living from the heart. And when the last one popped, there was nothing to do but fall. Although we publicly declared my setting out for new vistas as God's will, I don't believe we knew what we were talking about; it just sounded good and we buttered it with some bible verses so folks could swallow it. Maybe so we could too.

But it hurt. Bad. I wanted God to come in and blow the top on some secrets in that ministry, but He said, "I won't." I really hoped God would strike a couple of idiots with butt boils or locusts lips, but He said, "I won't." I prayed that a last minute mailman would enter the room that morning of my resignation with bags full of "We believe in John" letters and the judge would rule that "yes, Virginia, the heart really is good." But God said, "Nope. Won't do it, John. We're just gonna' have to fall on this one." But there was one other "won't" that surfaced during that time - the still, small Voice said, "I won't let go of you. Just hang on." And now, almost two years later, I'm beginning to see men as trees walking, beginning to see the necessary woundings that are a part of living from the heart.

There's a dangerous theology out there that says if you do the right things, you won't get hurt. You can read it among the religiously-always-right-evangelical-all-stars, hear it ooze from cable t.v. Armani-preachers, or get it from your neighbor with all those fish decals on the back of his naviburban. But that stuff does more damage to God's Kingdom than all the incantations Harry Potter could ever conjure up. GOD WON'T LET YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT GETTING HURT. I imagine Jesus wondered about that while nailed to a cross. And the still, small Voice said, "Just hang on."


  1. These thoughts have been very true for me this last couple of years... It's not for lack of love that God allows us to be wounded. Unwounded people tend to be shallow people. You don't know all you need to know of God if you haven't known him in the storm.

  2. Some lovely grace led me to discover this post today.

    I was stripped of my belief in doing-right-generates-reward thinking twelve years ago. Though I never would have chosen to experience the six seconds of hell that dragged me into a curiously scary new world, I held on. Some days it was all I could do to hold on.

    Thank God for the grip He had on me.

  3. Pounce12:53 AM

    2004, I was handcuffed, chained to a table not because I was ‘dancing in place’, but because I had danced!

    I danced because I wanted to, I continued dancing because it felt good and I wanted to be free. At that time, all my freedom-dancing led me to a place where I didn’t believe God existed anymore. “How would God let me be tortured like that?” Six years later, I am learning why he said, "I Won't help you!"