for reasons that don't really matter, I recently started reading in Exodus. Sorta unconsciously, I found myself testing God through this; especially while reading through all the specifications the Lord put on Moses in building the tent of meeting, the tabernacle, etc, on and on. Detail after detail after b.o.r.i.n.g detail. yes, I said it, boring. What exactly was the point? For days I read about the intricacies of how each piece was to be made and put together, and I just kept thinking, "how in the world is Moses going to accomplish all of this? This is too much, almost an impossible task being set before him." Then I read it...wait for it...Exodus 31:6-11, "And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, and the ark...(it goes on for awhile, go look it up :)) v.11, "According to all that I have commanded you, they shall do." BOOM. The reality hit me. God is in the business of doing impossible things. I have wondered a lot in the last few days what Moses was thinking, was he vigorously writing down everything the Lord was telling him but thinking in the back of his mind, "ok, Lord, nice picture You're painting here, but keep dreaming. This ain't gonna happen." I am pretty sure...yep, certain, that is what I would have thought...did think, actually, as I was reading it, that is exactly what went through my mind. For some reason, I can easily accept that God does big, impossible things; like raise people from the dead, part the Red Sea, feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. He's a big, powerful God! But when it comes to daily tasks, this scripture brought to light how little I think God wants to accomplish. I fit Him into my expectations and minimize the work He's asking of me. I brush off details because the ugly truth is, deep down, I don't see how He means to accomplish them. I cut God off before He can say, "Look! I have given you this person, I have put this circumstance in place so that you can accomplish exactly what I am asking". Oh, Lord...I'm just...s o r r y. I am sorry I don't trust You. I am sorry I stop listening when I think what You are saying is too much, or too little. Father, thank you for insurmountable detail you laid out to Moses so long ago, so that I can see, today, how You always provide what we need to do what You are asking.
Recently, ever so subtly, God has shown me parts of His heart. A few weeks ago, after reading several articles on Facebook, I logged off feeling...hopeless. So many awful stories. So much pain and suffering. So many stories of senseless acts of hate. Murder. Abuse. Its everywhere, hopelessness. I didn't know what to do. Do I shield myself? Do I stop reading so I don't have to know about these things? That's what I wanted to do...hide; not face it. Not deal with the enemy winning on so many fronts - and spreading hopelessness, in epidemic proportions. After praying with a friend of mine, I very clearly heard God say, "fight". I have long prayed that God would show me His heart. Allow my heart to break for the things that break His. It h.u.r.t.s. I know that what I experience as sadness when I hear or read of these things, is nothing compared to what He feels. And as Christmas approaches and I think about Jesus...it is seeming all the more obvious to me - Jesus is the only hope. Listen! Those are more than just words. Jesus is L.I.T.E.R.A.L.L.Y. the only hope. How God's heart must break for those who are suffering and have no hope because they don't have Jesus. What is the point of suffering, of hurting, of anything really? It all exists to bring us closer to God. And God Himself suffered by giving up His only Son. He knows how it feels. Now, to be honest. I haven't had a lot of horrible things happen in my life. I don't know earthly suffering the way a lot of people do. But I believe that God is allowing me to see how He feels to drive me to do something. Pray. Maybe more, I don't know. But I know I need to pray, especially for those who don't know Him. Can you believe that as Christians, we hold the key to the hopelessness attacking our world? This idea is really something I can barely wrap my head around. I have never felt so privileged. I know this seems, hmm, elementary. But God isn't complicated. We complicate Him. We think we need to be big and fancy and loud. We think we need to add to Him. But He presented Himself as a helpless infant. And He died, never once defending Himself, a death He didn't deserve. God's not complicated. He is HOPE. He has a heart for every. single. person. God, I know this will hurt, but I want to continue to see your heart. Break me, Lord. Drive me to pray, relentlessly. Help me to fight - for you, for those who need to know you.
Jesus is hope
Jesus is hope
Jesus IS hope.
So, no use in sugar coating this. My relationship with Jesus has been...sucky. not intentionally, of course...I just get b.u.s.y. Even now, its 11:15pm...I need to go to bed, but at some point, things just need to change. There is some balance of giving yourself a break, because let's face it, life is crazy, and needing to make different choices - tough choices - that something will have to be sacrificed. Time with my girls? Time spent sleeping? Time with my husband? Work? Time relaxing? (wait -- I DESREVE to relax every once in awhile!) aaagghhhh! Oh, Jesus, how selfish I must seem to you! and how grateful I am for your unending grace for me. We were discussing in Sunday school this morning Matthew 20:20. The general conversation was that our prayers become ineffective when they are spoken selfishly. How guilty I am of this so very often; much too often. And then have the audacity to be mad at God for not answering. Y.E.P. it's ugly, and it's true. So, all of this to say...in an effort to recapture the magic in my relationship with Jesus I have agreed to jump on the memorizing Colossians bandwagon. I found jealousy rising up in my heart when Dr. G spoke about his experience with memorizing entire books of the Bible. How I wish I could speak of the closeness he seems to feel with Jesus; how I long to know His words deep in my soul; to see His word come alive.
I serve a faithful God. I serve a selfless God. I serve a generous God.
Come on Jesus, let's light this fire again.