My favorite (and only) sister, Lisa came up from the Washington DC area to visit recently. She is a fabulous cook! So along with her came a scrumptious dinner all ready to be eaten, a great bottle of wine and lots of decorating magazines! Lisa and I can make an event out of having a cup of coffee. She is F-U-N… and funny! Our husbands say we have the “Lucille Ball” factor. Lucy and Ethel have nothing on us!!!! Lisa always says that I am the wiser sister… and she is the younger, more beautiful sister! Yes, that’s Lisa!
We really “get” each other and can laugh till be cry and almost wet ourselves at the drop of a hat! Everyone should have a Lisa in their life! My life would be so much duller without her!
On this recent trip that Lisa brought her fabulous meal, wine and magazines we went on a little shopping excursion. We never go on a shopping trip… there are always antics and falderal and a touch of mayhem with lots of memory making fun involved! We were off to find a new bed for one of her work-in-progress bedrooms. We headed straight to my local Pottery Barn Outlet where we were sure that a spectacular tufted headboard would be waiting for her to buy!
And guess what… it was! Not only was it perfect… it was extraordinarily wonderfully perfect! In our sisterly fashion we danced with glee at our discovery. In retrospect, it must be sight to see two mature women embracing each other and jumping up and down over a tufted headboard!
Because I am the veteran outlet shopper the first thing I did was to rip the price tag off of the bed. That way no one else could get it. We had staked our claim. My sister thought this was a brilliant move… again, wiser sister here…
The headboard was tall… no, very tall. It was the kind that if you propped decorative pillows on it there would still be lots of tufted beautifulness to see! Our great joy began to wane when we began to wonder if it would fit into her car. My mantra is “sure it will… we will make it fit”.
Pulling out a tape measure, we took down the headboard’s measurements and headed straight to her SUV. I was so sure it would fit. For heaven’s sake, she had a SUV!!! And why, oh why, would that lovely tufted headboard be there if not for her to take home!!!
It did not take but a few quick measurements for Lisa to declare that the headboard was not going to fit. Measurements, having never deterred me, I was thinking of all kinds of way to get the headboard to her home… in her car!
“Let’s make it fit!”! “We can cram it into the car”. Can you drive down the 695 and the 895 and the 495 loop around DC with the back of your car open? I’m sure we can cut up one of Bobby’s blaze orange hunting vests and make streamers to tie to the headboard as a warning to drivers behind you.” I could just imagine Lisa driving through the Baltimore tunnel and the headboard falling out the back of the SUV. Well, the thought of that sent us into fits of laughing and ugly crying!
So, in the parking lot of the Pottery Barn Outlet we came to the realization that SOMETIMES THINGS JUST DON’T FIT! Although not life altering, it was disappointing (and very very funny)!
SOMETIMES THINGS JUST DON’T FIT.
Did you know there are two doctrines in the bible that seem like they don’t fit? And these doctrines and the puzzle they have caused have bothered, plagued, troubled and caused discord for centuries. They have divided the unity of the church and caused may believers to lose sleep if not faith!
A doctine is a belief or set of beliefs. It is what we hold in common as believers.
In the bible God CLEARLY stated that He chose us.
YOU DID NOT CHOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU THAT YOU SHOULD GO BEAR FRUIT AND THAT YOUR FRUIT SHOULD ABIDE… John 15:16
BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO HAS BLESSED US IN CHRIST WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING, EVEN AS HE CHOSE US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD SO THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS BEFORE HIM. Ephesians 1:3-4
These are just two of the many scriptures that tell us that God chose us before we chose Him. Scripture that says God does the choosing when it comes to salvation.
God’s holy word makes it perfectly clear that God chose us before we chose Him. The word “chose” in the Greek, the original language these passages were written in, is exelexasthe… pronounced ek-leg’-om-ahee. It means to pick out for oneself, to elect, to select out of, to make a deliberate heart-preference choice. And this is done with a specific outcome in mind.
In other words, the Bible says that God chose people out of all the people of the world. It was a specific choice with a purposeful outcome. And what was that outcome? To be holy and blameless before Him and to bear fruit for His kingdom. We also know this as being saved!
HOWEVER… there is another doctrine or belief that says that this…
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. John 3:16
This is probably the best know truth in the bible. It clearly states that we do the choosing! If WE chose to become followers of Jesus then we will be saved.
Well, which is it? Does God do the choosing or do we? YES! They are both right! These are called parallel scriptures. They live side-by-side each other in the Bible.
But here’s the rub! God tells us that these two statements are TRUE . But how does that work? How do they fit together? This has been the angst and dilemma of biblical scholars for a very long long time!
Men have been trying to make these doctrinal statements fit together when God’s word does not tell us how they work together. We keep trying to cram them and shove them into logical place. Some Christians are even willing to make up their own doctrine to make these fit into a nice neat package!
The truth is they don’t. There is not a nice neat way these great doctrines fit together. God’s thoughts are so great and big and amazing that there are just some things He does not share. But there are so so much that He does share with us and He proves over and over again His sovereignty in all things that sometimes we need to bow our knee or fall face down at the throne and just believe because He says so!
Let’s stop trying to make God’s word what it is not… man’s!
God says… HE DOES THE CHOOSING… AND IT’S OUR FREE WILL TO CHOOSE HIM.
That’s it… nothing more, nothing less and certainly nothing in between!
It’s good to know that someday we will probably know how these two parallel doctrines, that have caused the people of God so much trouble, fit together. But we will probably be in heaven when we understand. And that’s good enough for me!
As far as the beautiful tufted headboard… it never fit! But that’s okay… Lisa ordered it for full price and a nice big truck dropped it off at her front door!