Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I'm not every woman...

Ok, I've really done it to myself now...I'm in 3 different studies (I started the year with 6...) and this is the current topic for each:
Downpour:  Self in the dust, a picture of repentance
In Christ's Image Training:  Humility
Celebrate Recovery's 12 step program:  Powerlessness
Sense a theme here?  It gets worse.  I recently picked up the new CD from Sara Groves, Invisible Empires and one of my favorite tracks is an intentional slam on Chaka Kahn's I'm Every Woman...
I'm NOT every woman/It's not all in me/I'm proud and guarded/When it comes to my needs
Try to keep the whole thing rolling/Try to keep an on-time train/This frenatic fascination's/
really driving me insane
Anybody feel that?
The song is titled "Finite" and it perfecly sums up what God is speaking into my life right now.  God isn't interested in making a better me.  He's interested in making Himself in me.  C.S. Lewis put it this way:
Imagine turning a tin soldier into a real little man. It would involve turning the tin into flesh. And suppose the tin soldier did not like it. He is not interested in flesh; all he sees is that the tin is being spoiled. He thinks you are killing him. He will do everything he can do to prevent you. He will not be made into a man if he can help it. The real Son of God is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself; He is beginning, so to speak, to 'inject' His kind of life and thought, his Zoe, (spiritual life) into you; beginning to turn the tin soldier into a live man. The part of you that does not like it is the part that is still tin.

It's my job to admit failure early--as early as possible--and run quickly to my real source for His strength.  We work together, but I have nothing of lasting value to contribute.  I can only offer my availability and a desire to become like Him.  Even in scripture, the only thing we are permitted to boast in is that we know the Lord. 
It's hard to give up self-sufficiency, but absolutely necessary if our lives are to count for anything.  Even I Corinthians 3 talks about building with gold, silver or costly stones--no one builds anything out of that kind of material, at least not if he's building for himself.  And that's probably the point: we're not trying to build our own kingdoms from materials we can supply.  We're building His kingdom and the materials will have to be of His supply for it to be worthy of Him and able to withstand the fire.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The God Who Can't Bear to Part With You

There are so many things that are awesome about God.  People often talk about His creative power as an amazing thing, and I suppose it is.  Last week I saw a video where the author was again telling about the vastness of the universe, the uncontrollability of the weather and the intricacies of the human body.  For some reason, this time, it felt like Isaiah in the cave with the wind and the earthquake and the fire (I Kings 19)...All were amazing, but the Lord was not in them and I was not impressed. 

Later that night, as I laid myself down to sleep, there came a still small thought--not a voice, per se, as the thought came fully formed without the need of words.  When God created us in His image, he chose to make us eternal like He is.  The amazing thought was that He loves us so much that He could not bear to ever be parted from us.  I remembered what a heartache it was to lose my first dog, Sara, even though she was old and it was time for her to go.   I remembered as a child losing my Grandfather that I loved and the ache of His passing is just as real today, 37 years later.  I still ache for the 6 children I lost before they were even born and I long for the day I will see them again because I miss them so much. 

It may be that when He breathed life into Adam, that life could be nothing but eternal, but it is also true that as much as loss hurts us, it infinately hurts the infinite heart of God.  Indeed, it was worth the sacrifice of His own Son to reconcile us eternally to Himself. 

A few days later, my friend Miki, pointed out that if that is the case, then the rejection He faces from those who choose themselves over Him must also be immense.  He obviously prefers us to come to Him willingly over forcing us to do so, though that may also be a consequence of being made in His image.  It must mean that to love infinately means the risk of love lost infinately as well, and yet He believes it is worth it.