You know those rare moments when you’re spacing out, thinking unsystematic thoughts and suddenly a long series of dots in your head connect, a short circuit is repaired and a happy little light (that one you thought was burnt out for all those months) switches on. I just had one! And I’m thrilled.
I was doing dishes, listening to Pandora, to a song I had never heard: “Something Holy” by Stellar Kart. [Just a side-note: I’m pretty sure God speaks to me more in the kitchen, while I’m doing dishes, than anywhere else, during any other goings-on.] My computer had become weary, and so was putting on a slideshow of my pictures, one of which I happened to glance at near the end of the Stellar Kart song. The picture was the catalyst of these thoughts.
We are hungry for God. That’s pretty hard to deny. We can look at any person and see their need for “more,” whether that need is fulfilled, lacking or being pursued. Sometimes this hunger drives us to take desperate measures, to do idiotic things because then we feel more alive in some way. Sometimes we have been so torn down that we have lost and forgotten the gleam in our eyes - what used to be the desire for wholeness – and we resign ourselves to the living dead.
And we know that God wants to fill us with every good thing that we need; that is, Him. But sometimes we don’t believe it. I think that’s what happened to that friend who was in the photograph I glimpsed while my hands were in the soapy water. I think she forgot that God could make her whole and give her everything she felt she was lacking. She decided she would pick the other things because to her, at that time, they seemed to be meeting her needs better than God.
I have done that so many times. I do it continually, in fact. I think everyone does.
But let me stay on track. My epiphany is simple.
AND WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE GOD, BECAUSE ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM MUST BELIEVE THAT HE EXISTS AND THAT HE REWARDS THOSE WHO EARNESTLY SEEK HIM. HEBREWS 11:6
But what does faith really mean? The dictionary says that it is “confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.” [italics not mine] I tell my husband that I can back his work van up into a tight spot in our parking lot, and he says “Hannah, I have confidence that you can do that!” So he lets me, and proves to me that he has faith in me to park his van. But what if he says “Hannah, I trust that you can do that, but go ahead and trade spots with me because I’d rather park the van”? I would feel like he didn’t honestly believe in my abilities! If he did, wouldn’t he have let me park his van?
I think God wants us to believe in Him to the point that we let Him have the say in our lives. I think that’s all He wants. Because if we seek Him and trust Him enough, we’ll actually follow His directions, whatever they may be, to the best of our ability. And that’s because we know that when we obey, good things happen, even if obedience hurts at the time. Of course, this is obviously not fool-proof, because our enemy prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) and sometimes we just plain fail to remember that God sort of made the Universe and, you know, already bought us back from the devil and all that… a bit frustrating, since it seems so simple.
Going back to my friend, I just want to remark that I don’t know what her soul was searching for back when she was making the decisions she made, but I have a pretty good idea, because our souls have so much in common. This entry wasn’t supposed to be about her, but I am obviously still stinging from what happened, and I really miss the old her. Of course, I’m not the old me any more either, but my heart gets little leaky places in it when I imagine everything I have gained and she has lost as we have traveled our different paths. I want for her the fulfillment I know a choice toward God would have brought her. Thank you God for not treating us the horrible way we deserve to be treated, and that you can give back the things we have forfeited and that you love us just as much when we turn away from you as when we turn toward you. The reason the thought of her scares me these days because I know how easily it could have been me making the exact same choices she chose to make.
I see it now. Our Heavenly Father wants so much for us to be with Him in life, to protect us with the rules He’s set in place for us to adhere to for our own good. Think about it. He does things for US, the peoples of the world, not for HIM. The more we trail after Him, the more He is delighted because we become less and less lost. I’m sure of the fact that He wants and needs us to share His copious love with everyone, but I think that a relationship with Him must come first. Otherwise, why do we do good things? Because we feel guilty if we don’t? That’s not really loving, that’s an act of cowardice - trying to protect ourselves by doing the right things. And why would God want us to feel horrible if we didn’t “do His bidding”? We are His SONS AND DAUGHTERS! We can’t earn our salvation. Anything we do is just icing on the cake, although I think our God is a God who doesn’t like to settle for a naked cake.
Anyway, it’s like this verse….
SINCE YOU CALL ON A FATHER WHO JUDGES EACH MAN’S WORK IMPARTIALLY, LIVE YOUR LIVES AS STRANGERS HERE IN REVERENT FEAR. FOR YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS NOT WITH PERISHABLE THINGS SUCH AS SILVER OR GOLD THAT YOU WERE REDEEMED FROM THE EMPTY WAY OF LIFE HANDED DOWN TO YOU FROM YOUR FOREFATHERS, BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, A LAMB WITHOUT BLEMISH OR DEFECT. 1 PETER 1:17-19
We should live in the light which is shed in knowing that we are SO valuable that God would go to all the trouble of rescuing us by way of His son, and it should touch and humble us in a way that makes us eager to love our fellow person!