This past Saturday was…intense. That’s the only word I can come to, and even that seems to fall short. I’ve spent the past few days trying to absorb it all…and I know I’ve only scratched the surface. It was just that good.
Talking about grace is just that good.
Please bear with me as I stumble over my words and grasp for ways to express what I want to say. I feel as though a thousand weights have been lifted from my shoulders. As the light dawns in my heart and I embrace the idea that grace is for the whole of the Christian walk, I feel joy welling up in my soul. Not that I didn’t already know this…but the practice of my life somehow doesn’t match up to my knowledge.
I was foolish enough to think that somehow I must maintain my position in Christ by my performance, that after grace has saved me, I must now keep myself saved. I read this and marvel…surely if Paul were sitting here with me he would be crying out, “Oh foolish woman! Who as bewitched you…?” (See Galatians 4:1-4), shaking his head the entire time. Works are the antithesis of grace – the exact opposite!
The Word is plain – we are crucified with Christ. We have died and our life is hidden in Him. The life we live on this earth is by faith, by believing God. Trusting in what He says, knowing He is faithful to do what He promised. Faith is what pleases God, belief that He is and that He rewards those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) I often think of Hebrews 11, and how the faith of the men and women mentioned moved them to act, to obedience. Just think of Noah: He was warned by God about things “not yet seen”. God said, “Rain is coming. Go build a boat.” Never before had water fallen from the sky…no one at that time knew what rain even looked like! Yet Noah obediently built the ark because He knew God and believed what He said.
How does this apply to me? God says I am holy and blameless before Him in Christ. This is truly something “not yet seen”! I know nothing about what it would look or feel like to be completely blameless. But God says it is true of me. He has mercifully placed me where I so obviously don’t deserve to be. I am to live each day filled with the reality of this gift of grace that He showers on me, “according to His good pleasure which He purposes in Himself” (Ephesians 1:9 NKJV). This is what gives me the power to obey, because I am obeying out of the depths of joy and gratitude such truth elicits.
How amazing is this grace!!
That’s all I can say right now…there is so much, but words failme for now. More to come…
Grace and peace…
Not to disappoint you, but there will be no scandalous, juicy morsels in this blogpost. Really this will be just my random musings and ramblings…at 1:20 AM.
I am dog tired, but can’t sleep. For some reason I am very restless; and of course, the idea for a blog post would come to me at a time when my mind should be winding down as I drift off to sleep. Not so tonight. And I know if I wait until tomorrow (or I should say, later today) to try to capture what’s on my mind, it will gone. So, here I sit in the darkness of my bedroom, laptop glowing and fingers tapping away at my computer keys. Hopefully something coherent will come from this endeavor…
To state the obvious, it has been a while since my last post. It seems that I have struggled to find things I felt warranted a posting on my blog. To be completely honest, I have questioned many times in the last few months whether or not I should even continue this blog. I have been tempted many times to shut it down, but something stops me every time. I often feel that writing is no longer something I am called to do – and then I get a spark, an inspiration and I can’t lay it down. Who’s to say that this post will be one of many to come, that my long hiatus from blog writing will finally be over, or if this is just a fleeting moment that will be gone as fast as it came? We shall see.
My reasons for considering a blog shutdown are many. They mostly stem from my own ambivalence about why I blog in the first place. When I first started blogging, it was mainly to help me to organize all the many things I was learning while in seminary. It actually became part of my study habits to blog about something as I learned it, to see if I could put the concept or the truth in my own words. The “blogsphere” was relatively small at that time; since then it has exploded. And I wonder – is another blog really necessary in the land of blogging? What is it that I really have to say?
This has been the reason for my prolonged silence – trying to figure out what the purpose of my blog is at this point. I journal a lot, but most of that writing is not fit for public consumption. I am no theological heavyweight, or a political pundit, or an expert in any particular field. I’m just me.
The long story of why I have come to this place would be quite boring, so I’ll give you the cliff notes version. For reasons I will not even venture to share in any detail (a long-standing rule of mine is that I do not get too personal on my blog, unless the sharing serves a larger purpose other than my own catharsis), I had become quite guarded in what I was willing to write about. You could say that I lost my writing “voice”. An irrational fear born of insecurity and uncertainty has kept me silent. The Lord has been rearranging my furniture if you will, and it has not been very comfortable. He has been exposing how my desires as it relates to my blogging were a bit unreasonable and just plain wrong-headed. I have been trying to be someone or something I am not instead of giving voice to the things the Lord has placed in my heart to say. The end result was frustration and discouragement. And…silence…
So, God willing, I want to find my voice again. If for no other reason than to allow the Lord’s healing balm to seep into every crevice of my life that needs it. And if by my sharing the Lord sees fit to encourage someone else, then glory be to Him for His grace and power to use the smallest of sacrifices.
We’ll see where this leads…
Until next time, grace and peace…
So my pastor said something Sunday that reverberated through my heart and sparked all kinds of thought as it bounced around within me. He made a comment about the phrase “WWJD”, or What would Jesus do? His comment was that, although it has been over marketed (which is an understatement), the question has merit and can be biblically supported. And I heartily agree with him.
The sad fact is the American propensity to squeeze every last dollar of profit out of any idea or trend that catches on has robbed this phrase of its potency in our lives as Christians. This phrase now falls off the lips of countless market-weary believers as a kind of joke – even to the point of inserting someone else’s name in place of Jesus’ name. And there are those who would say that this little catch phrase diminishes the enormity of the Gospel and its message – focusing too much on our actions and what we do versus what Jesus did. To that I say hogwash.
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Eph 5:1-2
You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 11:1
The desire of the Christian is to become more and more like Christ – to be conformed to His image (Rom 12:2). We are called to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We are called to walk in a manner worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1: Phil 1:27; Col 1:10). In any given circumstance, we are called to live and respond in such a way that reflects the character of our Lord. To ask “What Would Jesus Do in this situation” is not an invalid question to ask. Possibly sounds corny? Maybe – because we’ve heard it so many times and read it on every marketable item imaginable, from bumper stickers to refrigerator magnets. But the desire behind the question is completely valid and absolutely biblical. Lord – help me to follow Your example as I walk through this life. Help me make decisions that are in line with Your Word. What would You do?
So, this is where I think a valid point can be made. If we reduce it all down to this one question, all we’re teaching is morality – and, as my pastor pointed out, there are many people who live very moral lives that are not Christian and have no desire to be so. So this cannot be the basis or the goal of this question. But let’s face it – if we live in such a way that is worthy of our calling as believers, we’re going to live…well…moral lives, are we not? So we can’t escape it.
But we can’t stop there either.
We’ve been going through the book of 1 Peter since the first of the year, and a few key words keep echoing in my mind: “therefore”; “in the same way”; “so then”. All of these terms refer back to something that Peter has said to them in a previous paragraph. Why should I live this way? Why should I ask what would Jesus do in a given situation? Because of all He has done for me. Because I have this wondrous salvation that was purchased for me with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect (1:19). Because I have an inheritance awaiting me that can never perish, spoil or fade (1:4). Because Christ suffered for me, leaving me an example, although He committed no sin (2:21-22). Because He has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him (3:22).
We obey because we love; we love because He first loved us. Not because we think it earns us anything, but because we know we have received far more than we could ever afford, and it has been given freely to us in Christ. Deep, heartfelt gratitude is the phrase that comes to my mind…
I have more to say, but I just realized how long this post has become. I will have to revisit this in my next post.
Until then…grace and peace…
I love it when God puts together a string of events in my life that point to the same topic. It’s like His way of saying “This is where I want your focus right now…”. My journal entry from last Thursday started this whole thing, where I wrote, among other things: “I need to take seriously all the things that we are being taught at church – that the values of God’s Kingdom of diametrically opposed to the kingdoms of this world. And that, since I belong to God’s Kingdom, I must follow Him, even when I look silly to the world.” Then the sermon on Sunday reinforced – again – what has been spoken of over the course of the last few months. And then last night as I was working through the material for this week’s Bible study class, it was reinforced yet again. I think this is something I should be focusing on in my life right now, don’t you think?
The repeated emphasis is the fact that my values, motivations and standards should not be shaped by this world, but by the Word of God. It is easy to say, but it is not always easy to detect when it’s not true in our lives; sometimes we subtly embrace values that are contrary to God’s Word and we aren’t even aware of it. The point of my journal entry was that I was drifting in a direction that was contrary to the Word and the drift was so slight I didn’t even feel it. In God’s grace, He opened my eyes and steered me back in the right direction long before I was in danger of smashing against the rocks. It’s amazing how easily we can justify things that we know aren’t right…
The passage of scripture my pastor spoke on this weekend was 1 Peter 2:11-25. He spent a considerable amount of time speaking to Peter’s words in verses 11 and 12. In those two verses we are called “aliens and strangers” (NIV), or “sojourners and exiles” (ESV). This is not the first time Peter uses this language in his epistle. He greets his audience by calling them the “elect exiles of the Dispersion”; he refers to our time here as our “time of [y]our exile” (1 Peter 1:17). As my pastor so eloquently explained, we will not understand the things Peter is calling us to do in the passage that follows if we don’t grasp what he is saying in these two verses. What Peter is calling us to do is so counter to what our natural impulse would be, and so antithetical to the messages of our surrounding culture that we can only embrace them if we first embrace the truth that we are exiles here, sojourners who belong to another country, another kingdom, one not of this earth.
So, I want to spend a little time fleshing this out – what does it mean to live as sojourners and exiles? There are particular areas that I am focused on, although I’m sure my list is not exhaustive by any means. These are simply the areas that hit closest to home for me. Those areas would include: male-female relationships, ethnic identity, money, vocation, body image and entertainment. I don’t know which one I’ll rest on first – we’ll see where my musings take me…
More later…until then…grace and peace.
So, yesterday’s post has led me down another track about our relationship to “the church”. The question before me is this: can we love Jesus but not love His church? This is a loaded question to be sure. I have a very emphatic response to it – no, you can’t! But it is not sufficient to say just that, so I’ll need to unpack this a bit. It will take more than one post to do that, and even this post will be a little longer than I usually like, so bear with me…
I want to start by quoting a few passages of Scriptures. Hopefully, what I’m pointing to will become clear as you read through these passages.
Romans 12:4-6 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, 5 so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.
1 Cor 3:15-17 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames. Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in ayou? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
1 Cor 12:12-13, 27 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit…All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.
Eph. 1:22-23 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.
Eph. 2:20-22 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Eph 4:15-17 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
Col 1:13-20 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
So, that’s a long block of Scripture I know. And I actually trimmed it down before posting what you see here. The bolded text brings out what is on my mind right now – namely, the fact that the church is Christ’s body. Two questions come to mind as I peruse through this list.
Firstly, the Church is Christ’s body. Numerous times in the quoted passages, we are called His body. We are intimately linked to Him, and to each other, by virtue of our belief in Him. We derive our identity from Him and He has chosen us to be one with Him, providing what was required to make us holy and blameless before the Father. How can I say I love Christ but I don’t love His body?
Secondly, believers are called the “temple of God” – and it is the believers that make up the body of Christ, which we established with the first question is the church. If I am a believer, I am a part of that temple of God, a part of the body that is the church. By definition I am these things. How can I not love that which I am a part of? That which Christ sacrificed Himself?
Finally for today, let me just state the obvious: The church is messy. We can all agree with that. We are all in the process of sanctification, and therefore are not going to get it right all of the time. Put bluntly, we don’t always act “holy and blameless”. In my journey, I have been hurt the most by brothers and sisters in Christ, and even if it was unintentional, it was still painful. But they are still my brothers and sisters. Because I didn’t choose them – God did, in Christ, and placed us all in the same family. We are all together the body of Christ, the church, the very temple of the Living God.
I’ll chew on that a bit more and come back later…until then…grace and peace…
P.S. – All Scripture quotes taken from the New Living Translation.
I wrote this entry back in November 2009. I decided to unearth it, not because I’m being lazy (sheepish grin), but actually, I never really finished my thoughts on this subject. So, I’ll start with this post, and then explore the topic more in the days to come…
I have been reading and listening to some teachings that have to do with the nature of Christianity that has sparked some thought. These teachings generally run along the lines that “God did not save us to have a religion; He saved us so we can have a relationship with Him.” On the surface, this sounds good – and in a sense I believe it is correct. Those who are in Christ have access to the Father and are called sons of God and co-heirs with Christ. These very titles have relationship in view, and therefore, the idea that we are called into relationship with God is an accurate assessment.But does that jettison altogether the idea of religion? Must it be an either/or proposition, or is there room for both/and? My feeling is that this idea sets up a false dichotomy that does not serve us as we walk through this terrain called faith in Christ. My view is that we are called to both.
This is what I mean: Webster’s dictionary defines religion as follows: “A belief in a divine or superhuman power to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator and ruler of the universe; expression of such belief in conduct and ritual; any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy.” Now, of course, this definition is not uniquely Christian; but it does describe the Christian faith. As a Christian, I have a belief in a divine power, namely God, or Yahweh, as He has revealed Himself in the Bible; I seek to obey and worship Him; I acknowledge Him and Creator and Ruler of all things; and this belief shapes my conduct and ritual (i.e., the things I choose to do or not do).
Additionally, as a Christian, there is certain body or system of beliefs that I adhere to: That there is only one true God, and He has revealed Himself as Trinity; that Jesus Christ is indeed God Incarnate, born of a virgin, born under the law to live out that law perfectly; and then to die for sinners (of which I am one) to satisfy the wrath of God against my sin; that He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven; that He is coming again. I believe that we all stand guilty before God and in need of redemption, and our only hope of redemption is through faith in Christ Jesus. I stake this belief on the Bible, which I believe is the Word of God. There are many, many reasons that I have come to believes these things that I will not expound on in this short entry. That would take an entire series…I should seek to discipline myself to share that with you. But, suffice it to say, I have reasons for the hope I have, reasons that I believe what I believe. I shall share them with you in future posts.
This is just the bare minimum of what I believe, but you get the point – my faith has a particular set of beliefs that I adhere to, and in my humble opinion, one must adhere to in order to be a Christian. So, I have a religion. This is not a bad thing. Religion is not a four letter word. But here’s the twist…
One of the beliefs of this “religion” is that we enter into relationship with God through our faith in Christ. I am now a child of God, which implies a certain relationship to God – He is my Father. This is a relational term. Our God is a personal God, who seeks fellowship with us, and communion with us. That communion was a feature of Adam and Eve’s life in the garden before the Fall. That communion was broken by the Fall and has been restored through Christ. So, in order to fully express my religious belief, I must desire, crave, long for that intimacy with my Father.
It is not an either/or; it is a both/and. The problem is when we stop at the religion and never get to the relationship. We are not fully embracing our religion as Christians if we never seek that vital union with God in Christ. We do not embrace the religion of Christianity in its deepest and fullest sense until we have come to desire a closeness to Him, and draw deeply from the power of His presence and love in our lives. It is that vital union, that deep abiding that changes us, that shapes our conduct and ritual, that gives full expression to our faith. We must know what we believe about this One to Whom we have been called. We know Him by knowing what we believe about Him, obeying His Word, and experiencing His presence in our lives. These encompass both ideas proposed; in my view, they are inseparable.
I know I’ll have more to say…until then…grace and peace…
So, initially this post was to be a continuation of my touting the benefits of reading through the Bible. Somehow it morphed into the glob of rapid fire questions you see below. This list of seemingly random questions have a purpose and speak directly to my excitement about Bible reading…
It started with my musings about how reading through of the Scripture has blessed me over the years. As I mentioned in my first post on this topic, reading through the Bible can help us guard against being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. So much of false teaching comes from taking verses of Scripture out of their context and stringing them together to prove the doctrine you are arguing for. This was how I was first introduced to Scripture – and it led me down a path of believing things that the Bible just does not teach. I spent much of my early Christian years watching teachers on TBN, being served healthy servings of Word of Faith theology. But as I grew hungrier for the Word, I started to question most of what I was absorbing from these teachers. And as I started reading Scripture more thoroughly, I started to realize something was awry.
When I first started to step out of Word of Faith teaching, my mind began to swirl with question on top of question. At first I sought to suppress those questions – for me, that indicated a lack of faith, which must be avoided at all costs. But I could not shake them; they just kept coming. Here is just a sample:
Does the Bible teach us that we can “hear from God”? You know, that “still, small voice” thing. If so, where? And how does it work?
How do I know if I’m hearing from God, or hearing my own thoughts dressed up to sound “godly”? The heart is deceitful above all else, is it not? Besides, even the biggest of gurus on “hearing from God” don’t always agree with the how – and they usually resort to their own opinion of how it works. Did God tell them that? How do I know?
If things don’t turn out as I think they ought to, based on what God “told me”, then does that make me a failure? Have I “missed God’s will”? How do I fix that? What do I do to find the path again and go forward? Ask God to speak to me again? And what if I get it wrong again?
Do you see the treadmill? The work and toil – and STRESS – that comes along with this line of thinking? To constantly be wondering if I’ve heard God or myself; if I’m following His path; if I’m truly in the “perfect will of God”. And when it falls apart, who do I blame? Well, I certainly can’t blame God! It must be me – I must be defective; I must not know what I’m doing, or can’t hear right, or have unconfessed sin or…oh my gosh! I’m dizzy!!
And why, if God wants so much for me follow His will for my life, would He make it so difficult for me to figure it out? Was “God’s will” that obscure to the prophets, or to Jesus Himself, or to the Apostles? Why is God all of a sudden playing hide and seek with us as it concerns “His perfect will” for our lives?
Do you see what I mean? Is this the ‘freedom” God has set us free to experience? It does not feel like freedom to me; it feels like another form of bondage.
We can argue – well, you just don’t have enough faith to believe those things God has promised will come to pass. But is that what biblical faith is about? Is biblical faith trust in my ability to believe God so I can get out of Him the things He has promised? Is God that capricious that He would hold out these things that I need to have faith to receive, withhold them because I don’t have enough faith, and yet not be completely clear just how much “faith” I ought to have in order to receive them? Because that’s really what this teaching is telling me.
Let say for example’s sake that I am in a horrible accident and injure my leg to the point of being in danger of losing it. I pray for healing, and believe God for my healing, but my healing doesn’t come and I ultimately end up losing the leg. Who is to blame? Are you going to tell me that I am to blame? That my faith was deficient? That I didn’t believe God enough for Him to grant me healing that is “guaranteed” in the atonement? Are you going to tell me what is in my heart? We can’t say that God is to blame, right? But my lack of healing would indicate my lack of faith, correct? What about the thousands who come to “faith healing” services who walk in blind, deaf, mute or unable to walk, and leave out the same way they came in? Are you going to tell me that all of them did not have enough of faith? I guess so…the proof is in their lack of healing…
But wait…doesn’t the Word say “If you have faith of a mustard seed…”? That’s not a lot of faith now is it? Surely I had that much faith. Oh…but it was mixed with doubt you say. But what about the father whose son was filled with evil spirits, who exclaimed “Lord I believe! Help mine unbelief!” (Mark 9:24; see 9:14-29 for the full context) That’s a plain confession of faith mixed with doubt if I’ve ever seen one. But did his son get healed? Absolutely!
And here’s another question – Paul, arguably the greatest missionary in history was ill when he came to the Galatians, and they ended up caring for him (Galatians 4:13-14). Why didn’t he just “apply his faith” and heal himself? And if he couldn’t do it – boy am I in trouble! I mean, he was an apostle! And when he counseled Timothy on his stomach ailment, why didn’t he just say “Claim your healing, my dear son, in the Name of Jesus by Whose stripes we are healed”? No, he told him this: “Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.” (1 Timothy 5:23)
This is just the tip of the iceberg of what ran through my mind as I began questioning what I was being taught. And it’s still on my mind, because this is so much of the teaching that comes from pulpits and televangelist shows on a weekly and daily basis. This is the treadmill I found myself on when I was captive to these teachings.
Believe or not, I hesitated in even sharing this on my blog. There is still a part of me that is affected by the teaching I was released from. I almost slipped back into it – but my reading through Scripture, taking in the sweep of the Bible’s grand story, stopped me. And I cannot share my thoughts and enthusiasm about this topic without sharing the why behind it. And this part of my faith journey is very much a part of that why.
Now, in tomorrow’s post, I will continue this stream of thought and talk about Bible reading, and why it is important. And not only Bible reading but Bible study…but that’s getting ahead of myself. But for now, I need to stop. This post has gone too long…
Until then…grace and peace…
I’ve been perusing through my old site in preparation of shutting it down, and I came across this entry from July 2009. Seems this is a lesson I must learn over and over again.
Here is a question that I’ve been thinking about lately: How do we “wait” well? Because, let’s face it: one constant in the Christian life is the notion of “waiting”. We wait on the Lord – and it is always inevitiably because He works much “slower” than we anticipate or most of the time would want Him to. He rarely works on the same timetable as we do - although, as I heard many times over growing up in the church, “He may not come when we want Him to, but He’s always on time!” How true that is – and how I appreciate that more and more as I grow in my relationship with the Lord.
When I consider this idea of waiting, one word comes to mind: patience. Let me state the obvious for those who know me well: patience is not a strength for me. And when I pray for it, I’m always in for a bumpy ride – because God always answers our prayers for patience with something that will try us. Patience does not grow in times of ease – patience must be tested and tried in the fire to be refined. And so, you are asking for it in spades when you pray for patience! But, it is indeed a characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit, and so it is in there – we must cooperate with the Lord as He seeks to bring it to full bloom in our lives.
Back to this question of waiting well…the fruit of patience must be allowed to grow in my life if I am to wait well. This hearkens back to what I wrote about meekness and humility – patience and waiting imply bowing the knee. Accepting God’s will, God’s timing, and God’s ways as good – as best actually – for the given situation in which I find myself waiting. Because He can see much more clearly than I – He has the totality of the situation in view, whereas I can only see the moment in which I am existing. And from His view He knows better than I what I need and when I need it. He also knows the purposes for which He is calling me to wait.
This is all well and good, but how do I go about being patient, meek and humble in those times of silence and waiting? What I finally rested on is that it is a simple matter of trust. Trusting the Lord’s heart; trusting His goodness; trusting His will. Trusting that He is sovereign, He is holy, He is righteous, He is pure…and He will withhold no good thing from me as His child. Also knowing that His purpose for me is holiness, not happiness (although, it is in that pursuit of holiness that I will find true, lasting happiness; but that’s a topic for another day…)…and He will do what He knows will bring about that result.
And hasn’t He done so for me so many times before? Remembering and meditating on the goodness of God will help me wait well…
So, when I find myself in those moments of impatience; when I’m throwing a temper tantrum and wagging my finger at the Lord saying, “Father, when…Father, why…”; I must ask myself if I am trusting Him in that moment. The answer is always no! I want what I want and I want it NOW! And really, if I were honest, now is not soon enough for me because my impatience is born of the idea that I should have gotten my way ages ago! How grateful I am that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. How grateful I am that the Lord is long-suffering (the KJV phrase for patience – I love that!) – because He certainly suffers long with me!
And when I have finished, and I’m sitting on the edge of my bed, exhausted and nearly hyperventilating from crying so hard, eyes puffy and make up gone, I am usually amazed by the Lord’s response. He doesn’t point out to me how ridiculous I look (because most of the time, it’s quite a pitiful sight!). He gently and lovingly reminds me that if I wait on Him, it will be okay. He gently calls to my mind those times and those ways He has done so before, and assures me that He will do so again.
Now, there is a certain element of melodrama to that description, but it is true that I can indeed throw “temper tantrums” with the Father. And one of the things I love so much about the Lord is how gently He restores me when I get to this place. He picks me back up, and reminds me that He is Lord and Father, and I can trust Him. His way is best; He loves me, and is working all things for my good. He is working, even though I cannot see it. And I just have to…………wait.
Grace and peace…