Life shoots us with so many lies...
and so many expectations that are impossible.
We talked last night about how imperfect we are before God-- how as soon as we fix one thing in our life we find 10 other things that make us unworthy of the love of the God of perfection.
Either that, or we lie to ourselves and convince our poor tired hearts that we are doing so many great things for God. As if we could do him some kind of favor without actually needing him at all.
But it all gets so confusing and complicated and, I for one, just need some rest. And we usually find true rest in truth.
he crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
& satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's...
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
[Psalm 103 ESV]
And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. [ 2 Coronicles 20 ESV keep reading ]
Thanks, Hannah for reminding me of this one.
I know this is long, but Paul Miller's words are so completely opposite of anything we hear from life and this idea of "hesed" love is beyond my comprehension... but I'm going to keep trying to understand.
It's mysterious and beautiful and my heart longs for something real-- a love like Gods' int the face of the brokenness I see on the news and at my job and on the internet and in my life.
“You endure the weight of love by being rooted in God. Your life energy needs to come from God, not the person you are loving. The more difficult the situation, the more you are forced into utter dependence on God. That is the crucible of love, where self-confidence and pride are stripped away, because you simply do not have the power or wisdom or ability in yourself to love. You know without a shadow of a doubt that you can’t love. That is the beginning of faith—knowing you can’t love. Faith is the power for love. Paul the apostle tells us that the I beam or hidden structure of the Christian life is “faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6). Faith energizes love. We handle the weight of love by rooting ourselves in God. Our inability to sustain love drives us into dependence on God. Then faith becomes a continuous cry. Like the tax collector in the temple, we cry out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). In overwhelming situations where you are all out of human love, you discover that you are praying all the time because you can’t get from one moment to the next without God’s help. You realize you can’t do life on your own, and you need God and his love to be the center. You lean upon God because you can’t bear the weight of love. So faith is not a mountain to climb, but a valley to fall”
― Paul E. Miller, A Loving Life
Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people is something I don't really love to do
It's like I'm standing in the rain and You offer me a rain coat
But I would rather stand there wringing wet than take the hand out -NF
I’m not naïve enough to think that when I’m struggling, that everyone else is too. Or contrarily, that when life is looking better that someone else isn’t in the depths of their own struggle. I guess the question is how on earth do we meet each other in these different places. How do I love someone who is happy when I’m hurting or someone who is weighed down when I’m floating in joy?
We don’t like to accept help. I don’t like to accept help. I like fixing my life on my own. I like fixing problems on my own and helping people on my own because there is some kind of satisfaction that comes from accomplishing something on my own. But most anything alone is lonely and exhausting.
[And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20]
"It's like I'm standing in the rain and You offer me a rain coat
But I would rather stand there wringing wet than take the hand out"
But then I take on too much and am falling under the weight. But I work it out because I’m independent and capable. But then in seeps over to God, and I forget that I need him. We all forget that we need him. We stand there ringing wet, too prideful to take a hand out. But it isn’t a hand out. It’s grace from the God of the universe that I never deserved to begin with and now I refuse to take it because I choose to be self-sufficient.
Do you have a theme word for your life? Overwhelmed. That's mine. I am always using it in one way or another. Lately I'm pretty overwhelmed with the state of our world, our nation, and my community. It quickly becomes all consuming. I want to fix it all. I want to help everyone.
I wonder if we would relate to people differently if we first looked at how we relate to God.
Because regardless of who we are, we can agree that the way we relate to God affects the majority of our relations with things and people and situations.
And if we accepted grace from God...
If we dropped the need to be perfect— to hold ourselves together so well on our own that we deplete the need for him altogether— then maybe we could have a little more empathy and love to give to other people.
Maybe meeting other people where they are is directly related to where we let God meets us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.[a]