Friday, May 21, 2010

Because You're Mine

Why is it bedtime? Why can't we eat cookies for dinner? Why does Daddy have to go to work? Why is the sky blue? Why do you love me?

Why do you love me?? I expect all those other "why" questions from my three-year-old. I even attempt to answer them even though it usually leads to the next "why" question. But why do you love me?? That one dumbfounded me for a moment last night. How does that come from a three-year-old?

Because you're amazing and very lovable... because God wants us to be together... because you're my girl. Why do I love her? I don't know exactly, I just know that I do love her very much.

Why does God love me? I have no idea. I constantly let Him down... I get mad at Him when things don't go my way... I grumble and complain when He doesn't give me what I want or even need... I forget Him when things are going well and run crying to Him when they aren't.

Yet He loves me. Why? Because I am amazing and very lovable--yeah, right... because God wants to be together... because I'm His girl. He loves me because I am His. Period. That's my unswerving hope because sometimes I am not very lovable!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lavishing Grace, Not Judgement

As I sat down to write in my journal this morning, I knew it was going to be a whining entry about how hard I work when "everyone" else seems to be fighting against me and "no one" else seems to care. I wanted to get in touch with my inner feelings.

But I decided to look back at my devotional first. My eyes were drawn to a few lines I had underlined several days ago, "No sin is worse than the sin of self pity, because it obliterates God and puts self-interest upon the throne. It opens our mouths to spit out murmurings and our lives become craving spiritual sponges, there is nothing lovely or generous about them."

I tweeted the first half of that quote and said, "Ouch, Oswald, you're killing me!" Obviously, something in me needs to be killed. Yes, I need to be in touch with what I'm feeling, but there is a fine line that, once crossed, leads to a pit of self-pity and judgement of others. I don't want my mouth to be spitting out murmurings or my life to become a craving spiritual sponge that has nothing lovely or generous about it.

Last weekend, as I was thinking and, yes, saying (perhaps spitting) some unflattering and judgemental things about a Christian brother, I suddenly got a vision of Satan and his demons laughing and cheering because what I was doing was so pleasing to them. Dear Lord! I was mortified! I pray that every time I open my mouth I will remember that picture and re-order my words accordingly. For a child of God to please the enemy and his legions by speaking against another child of God must pierce the heart of God. I don't know which is worse, picturing the enemy cheering or seeing the disappointment on God's face as the defamatory words come spewing out of my mouth.

So today, I will not write a journal entry filled with self-pity or derogatory comments aimed at someone else to try and feel better about myself. Today I want to focus on the beauty and wealth of the grace that God has lavished on me so that I will learn to lavish that grace on others. I want to be, as Oswald Chambers says, "stamped with God's nature," so that, "His blessings will come through [me] all the time."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Though It Linger, Wait For It

My last post was about this circumstance that I wish would change, and how I used to sit around waiting for it to change. My devotional yesterday was about patience and waiting. So do I wait or do I move on? I think the answer is both. What I don't do is sit around! As I'm waiting for something to change, praying for it to change, I continue "reaching beyond my grasp," as Oswald Chambers puts it.

"Patience is not indifference;" Chambers says, "patience conveys the idea of an immensely strong rock withstanding all onslaughts. The vision of God is the source of patience... Moses endured, not because he had an ideal of right and duty, but because he had a vision of God. He 'persevered because he saw him who is invisible.'" I want to have a vision of God like that!

Yesterday at church, our pastor encouraged us to witness to our family and friends who are unbelievers. He talked about not only telling them about Jesus, but also about loving them and praying for them. At the end of his sermon, he suggested that we envision our loved one in the arms of Jesus. It brought me to tears to see my son, broken, beat up by life and addiction, being held close by the only One who can save him. I want to keep that vision in my mind. I want that vision to be my source of patience. I want that vision to be my immensely strong rock that withstands all onslaughts.

So, though it linger, I will wait. But I will not sit back on my hands in indifference while I am waiting. I will continue reaching beyond my grasp. Praying for my son, believing for him, hurting for him, and building my vision of Him who is invisible, my immensely strong rock that withstands all onslaughts. Because that is my unswerving hope!