I lost a pair of sunglasses over the Summer. They were expensive and they were the first really nice pair of shades I’d ever bought for myself. At a hundred and thirty bucks, they were most definitely not the type of possession you wanna leave on the steps of the parking garage downtown as you finish chatting with a friend on the phone. Oh well. I came back five minutes later to find a woman standing by. She informed me that a man with long blonde hair had bent down to pick something up as he walked up the three or four steps out into the alley. I ran all around downtown looking for someone who fit that description. Alas…
“He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.” (Psalm 18:12-13)
The above passage describes a God you don’t want to be on the wrong side of. A God with whom conversing you don’t want dangling prepositions at the end of your sentences. But you know God to be something else. Powerful, yes. There is no doubt about this. An old pastor of mine had a painting in the hall to his office of a fortified lighthouse withstanding gale force winds and waves to match. This is God. Both the fortress and the power to destroy any other. But He’s gentle. His love and kindness almost make you forget that He holds the keys to hell. Jesus says: “rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28b) Okay. You can imagine how I felt after I realized they were gone. My sunglasses, that is. But then again, they weren’t polarized (an extra forty bucks) and also I was living in the worst forest fire I’d ever seen and so the sun was occluded anyway because of the thick smoke settling on the valley floor.
“For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. Withhold not good from whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” (Proverbs 3:26-27)
Yes but what about my sunny-gs? The worst part about it was that I had had something taken from me! I scrimped and saved and finally got my Ray-Bans. I’d wanted a pair since seeing Men In Black back in the mid-nineties. And now this. What was the lesson? Obviously keep a better eye on your stuff or whatever. And I don’t mean to be flippant. But time goes on. I called my brother in the Marines. Asked him to help me get a new pair. He obliged, of course. Because, well, “a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17b). The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. His wonders to perform. And so, a week later, I bought another pair–polarized this time–and life is good. But God is better.
In closing this part, can I say I wasn’t a hundred percent satisfied having bought the non-polarized lenses? I can look back on the incident and be happy that I now have polarized lenses as opposed to non. But does that mean God did everything? Did He cause them to be stolen, me to conveniently forget about them? I’ve left more important things in more conspicuous places for longer. God knows. Deal with it.