Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16th

My dad's facebook page is just such a reservoir of interesting and great things! This morning, I found this:

"Faith has nothing to do with our ability to concentrate on God for at least five uninterrupted minutes; faith is my glorious awakening to the fact that my Maker is mindful of me! He cannot get me out of his mind!"

Francois Du Toit.

Oh, so beautifully true! Jesus has  more than once assured me that His desire for me is far greater than my desire for Him.

Sometimes I worry that if I stop "being" a certain way, I'll stop experiencing His love and intimacy and He reminds me that it was He that came to me, not the other way around.

He did not come because I was "being" any certain kind of way, but simply because I was His and He has a plan for my life beyond what I can grasp or understand right now.

"You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to produce fruit, fruit that won't spoil," He says. (John 15:16, The Message)

It's such a paradox, isn't? I've often wondered if intimacy with God develops in one a high comfort level with paradox. I have certainly found it to be true, myself.

Here's another thing I've been thinking about: I've been wondering in a new way if every stage of our lives is necessary to reach the next one, so that there's no point in judging ourselves for being at a certain place or at a certain level of understanding.

One simply cannot reach the end without going through the middle, and so long as we are in the world, we are in the middle.

It makes me think of this:

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

I Thessalonians 5:16-18

I don't like being in the middle; it's very uncomfortable. But I think that it's in the middle where all the riches are; in the middle of depression, or suffering, or limitation, or confusion, or anger.

Trying to skip over those things means that we never really reach the end; we just put everything on hold- trying very hard to live in denial for as long as possible.

I did that for so, so long. I put off my anger at God and asking and facing the tough questions.

But you know what? I wasn't ready then.

I had to go through the middle. I couldn't be stronger or more wise than I truly was; I still can't be.

But I can trust my Good Shepherd. I can even rejoice and give thanks for where I am in my life. I can do this because I can completely trust my Savior.

In each moment, I am in open and living communication with Jesus, even in my pain and sorrow and suffering and confusion, I am open to Him.

I can trust that Jesus will never let me out of His hand, that He will never stop His transforming work in my life and that He will get me where I need to go.

It's like this:

"The Lord is my Shepherd. I will have everything I need.

He lets me rest in fields of green grass. He leads me beside the quiet waters.

He makes me strong again. He leads me in the way of living right with Himself which brings honor to His name.

Yes, even if I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of anything, because You are with me.

You have a walking stick with which to guide and one with which to help. These comfort me.

You are making a table of food ready for me in front of those who hate me.

You have poured oil on my head.

I have everything I need.

For sure, You will give me goodness and loving-kindness all the days of my life.

Then I will live with You in Your house forever."

-Psalm 23, New Life Version