Wednesday, March 13, 2013

He is so Grace. We are so Blah.

Awaken my soul to sing.
Awaken my heart to beat.
Awaken the hands to give and feet to move...

It is so very difficult...this whole life thing we have to face...

The more I live--the more I realize--there is no recipe or formula for an uncomplicated life. I start the "ifs"...If the Lord only spoke more clearly, if He only gave more specific directions, if He would only just whisper the right choice I'm supposed to make...then I could follow Him more efficiently. 

But it is all about the saving-faith. We wouldn't have to trust. His purposes always include shaping, molding us to be more like Jesus. Why is it so hard to remember this? Why is it so easy to focus on the painful-problems instead of the Solution.

"Simplicity doesn't mean we will live uncomplicated lives. Simplicity is a matter of focus--the grace to focus our lives simply on Christ. Be our sole focus, our only Hope, our deepest joy...That we may abandon all the worries...and abide in all Your word..." -Ann Voskamp

No secret...I love words. I love looking up their meanings, reading through the different definitions, and seeing how the apathy of the world has seeped in and killed most of the original meanings. What if we lived the definition? What if we lived to the fullness of the words? 

Isn't it so like do it all half hearted?

We read verses quickly, we have them memorized--love the Lord your God with [all] your heart, mind, the Lord your God with [all] your heart and lean not on your own understanding..."all" we ever give "all"? What does this even mean?

Do we give God our [whole] heart?

The opposite of whole--damaged, broken, incomplete, in pieces, separate--all of these things are descriptions of who we are when we refuse to go to the One who can complete us...make us whole.

Giving it all is scary. On earth, hearts can be easily bruised. Likes and loves...can leave a heart hurting. Because life is complicated...because my heart aches...we lose focus...take eyes off of the Planner. We start to push our shortcomings and insecurities on Christ. 

If only we could see finished products, that things surely lead and work together for "good"...then maybe I could more easily give Him the "whole" of my heart. If only I knew the aches would pass...then maybe I could surrender my all and trust.

"Faith is the unwavering trust in the heart of God--in the hurt of here..." 

We cry to faithless when He remains so faithful. 

Even when He is silent. Even when He gives an answer we didn't want to hear. Even if His will is different from mine. He is good. He is enough. He is love and I am child.

The only thing that keeps a heart beating, a soul singing, hands and feet moving is the truth that He is God. He is sovereign. He knows it all. He is bigger than the troubles. He is deeper than the pain we feel. Do not let truths grow foggy amidst the complicated life-thing.

We lose friends, people, dreams, plans...disappointments...The hard and ugly can chase one down an even uglier path...or it can lead to rest. When all else fails...His love remains. He is so grace when we are so blah. 

Thankful that He fulfills His part when we fail...weak...too often.

We are so broken, fragile, in pieces, when we try to do this our own weakness. He is the only one who can make us whole if we give Him the whole. He can make steps lead to good. He can awaken a song to be sung--in the complicated. 

The most heart-wrenching words said are the ones we say to let it all go...surrender. Do we trust Him?

Ephesians 1 The Message
"Long before He laid down earth's foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, [to be made whole and holy by His love]'s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for..."

1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message
"Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." 

Romans 8:26-37 The Message
"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. 

[That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.] 

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. 

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."

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