THERE HAVE BEEN MANY times in my life when I needed more than God.
At least that’s what I thought.
In such times, I needed something tangible, like money, or a person who could do something for me that could either catapult me over or through the space in time where I stood.
Whatever I thought I needed was to take me back in the past to what was, and other times it was to take me forward into the future to what could or should be, but always to get me out of what is—the present—which sucked.
When my prayers were not answered and God did not open the door to my past life or to the future I wanted, my brain sounded the alarm, resulting in panic. The words rang throughout my being: I must do something or I will die. I’m certain I will die. This is where the truth is learned.
The church lady is an atheist.
If I cannot stand amongst the dragons and giants in my present life without worry and fear, I do not trust God’s promises. If I believe I will die if I cannot have what I lost or what I think I must gain, I do not believe Jesus, who said he was the life. Not the way to life, but “I am The Life”.
If I am filled with unending anger, impatience, unkindness, or I lose my self-control; I am not obedient to God.
If I lean on my own common sense, intellect, and understanding, with a fair appraisal of my circumstances, I will be unable to deny that God, at least in my life, is unfair, ruthless, and impotent.
I might as well not waste my time in church nor call myself Christian.
Fear and worry are what interrupts my sanity and diminishes my faith in God. When I lose something, I don’t want to grieve the loss; I want it back.
I don’t want what is, have a good cry, and thank God for what was, with a hopeful outlook on my future. All I see is a bleak future filled with shattered dreams.
But if I am honest, it is those shattered dreams that bring the pain.
My deepest grief is an expression of self-pity, filled with an entitlement to have whatever I planned for my life, as if I deserve to live it without any failure, unmet expectation, or death.
When I stand squarely in what is, and nothing more; when I am willing to endure the pain of loss; when I know I cannot save myself from what is; this is the place where I see my limited humanness and the shocking frailty that I really am.
This is the place, more than any other place, that I will taste death, and in my horror, I will know that I am powerless to escape.
This is the place, when life isn’t going as planned, that I need God. This is the place where I see the purpose for my faith, and religion is replaced with relationship.
And the same God, who reached down to me many years ago with an open hand, reaches down once again, when I least deserve it.
He whispers: “Why do you kick against the goads?” Acts 26:14
But if you can do anything, have compassion…and help [me].”And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’!
All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately [the man] cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23 (my brackets)
As always, it is my intent and hope that my words may encourage you wherever you are in your journey.
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If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.--Jesus (Mark 4:23)