Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks a Bunch!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord Jesus.
You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.

You came to establish your throne as a king, but the way you did it was so different. You did not come as a violent revolutionary or as some conquering king. You did it by teaching and healing, by silently dying, and by being raised.

When you taught, it was on how to love God and our neighbors, and how to gain eternal life. When you healed, it was beautiful and touching, and a shadow of the restoration you promise to those who believe.

When you died, it twas to take our sin with you. Our flesh, full of sin, can die with your death, so you can peal away selflessness and throw away pride and sin.

When you were raised, it was to breathe life into our spirits, to foster the new man, to adopt him and make him your own. It was to show that we will die once, but not twice, and will have life and life abundantly.

Thank you, very, very much.
-Your Friend James

Friday, May 21, 2010

Epiphanies while going in circles

Lately I've been seeking God on some stuff and haven't heard anything super specific yet. I still haven't, but that's not what this is about. As I went down by the river to pray because I felt a little too frustrated about this thing, I started thinking, (and I think this is how God speaks to me), and I figured, and this resounds through Scripture, that God really wants me to spend time with him, he loves me more than anybody does, and he listens to me. And in a really big way, this resolves a lot of my issue.

But about this issue, I make a decision about this thing, wonder and wonder about it, and then change my mind. (I know I'm being very vague, but don't worry, it's nothing that'll kill me or anything). Because I've gone through this process a million and one times with this specific thing, wanting in my brain to act appropriately, and then like a kid runs after a twenty blowing in the wind, I chase after what I want and forget that I decided to trust God. As I was pacing very small circles in the prayer shack and getting a little dizzy, wondering why I had as much resolve as a dog being called by two kids each with a treat in their hands, I realized/God showed me that these countless failures aren't so much failures as they are God's hand working in me so that I COULD walk laps in the prayer shack, asking him what was wrong with me, and spending time with him.

This was freeing, believe me, but my next thought was that if God wants me to spend time with him, I'll do that. And then, that will crack the safe of my issue and all difficulty will go away. Yay! ...But an instant later, I realized/God showed me that he's not an equation, prayer isn't a key, and my problem isn't a safe. He is a jealous God, knit me to have relationship with me, sent his Son to make me clean, and adopted me. In light of this, my thought was ridiculous! I need to spend more intentional time with the Lord, believing with child-like faith that he's got everything taken care of, but not for a key... It's more like getting clues to a really big mystery that evolves, but never goes away. And the clue-giver keeps giving them so that you ask for more. Or, he doesn't give any clues so that you keep pursuing him, asking for more.

These "epiphanies" didn't bring answers, but they brought peace, and that's what I want more than anything. Not only the read-a-novel-in-a-field-of-flowers peace, but also the peace that makes you want to climb a tree. The peace that makes a cold lake look inviting - your eyes water because of the beauty and widen because of the adventure ahead. The peace that stirs your heart to feed somebody with food, a smile, or an open ear and ten minutes. But most importantly, the peace that tells you God is not angry with you anymore, but is pleased with you because he's forgiven your sins and made you righteous, for his name's sake, so that all will know that he is the Lord.