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From Confusion to Clarity Part 1

by Norman P. Grubb

From Confusion to Clarity

by Norman Grubb

What a world of sad and frustrating confusion exists for us while we live in a world where duality governs our outlook. The moment comes to each of us in God’s special way for the individual. It is a distorted life of disease and unrest, while we see with double vision. Is God really in charge of affairs, are all things a unity or a duality, for it certainly has the appearance of the latter “while we look at the things that are visible”.

What a moment of great release and reconciliation of thought and action was given me when I heard the word that “God caused the light to shine out of darkness.” I understood He caused light to shine into darkness, and was ready to applaud that action of God. But for Him to produce one out of the other simply was too good to be true. There comes for us all the moment when the veil is lifted for us concerning the mystery that surrounds the seeming contradiction in God and devil, Light and darkness, suffering and blessing. God says He makes one out of the other and does not have to juggle to keep things in what to us look like a sort of uneasy balance. A great saint and preacher I heard in my youth, Dr. F.B. Meyer, says with clear and affirming faith that suffering is the gift of God to His church and to us each as we “fill up that which is behind of the affliction of Christ,” as Paul said concerning His life and ministry.

How strongly Paul speaks of the difference in the value of his being "caught up into the heavenlies", hearing words that were not lawful to utter, and the account that follows of his unending sufferings in his pursuit of his ministry in the church. The sufferings are what in his sight weighs the most for the extension of the kingdom of God, rather than the special privilege he had of any out-of-the-world experience. Suffering was for Paul that which enriched the church and fulfilled the purposes of God “in his flesh” as he said.

This seeming duality in the ways and acts of God has been the battleground for the faith of many a saintly and devoted servant of God. To my knowledge not much has been written about the battles some have had. The outstanding case to me as I have read through about this of late is that of Martin Luther. His writings and teachings concerning how he came to see the inner truth of the matter are most enlightening. He records how he struggled and agonized at a certain period of his life and ministry and how the enlightenment of the seeming contradiction came clear to him.