Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I realized the other day that I don’t trust God.
I mean, I’m a Christian. I asked Jesus to save me from myself when I was five. I’ve been seeking Him for all these years, and yet I’ve come to realize that I don’t trust Him. I can give you pat answers. I can quote scriptures that tell of God’s faithfulness, loving kindness, ability to uphold, restore, etc. But it all comes to nothing when I look at how I live my life.
I know there have been times when I’ve trusted Him, primarily when I was young and I didn’t have very much. I trusted Him to supply my needs because there was no other option. Now time has passed and He has blessed me, and in return I have decided that I do not trust Him to do what He has promised.
Logically I know He is trustworthy. Logically I know that it is silly of me not to trust Him. I say to myself that I trust him, but they are just words.
When I put food in my mouth I think of a myriad of different things. Will this make me fat? Will this make me healthy? Do I deserve this? Can I afford to buy more of this?
When I consider my daily tasks I think, “Is this important? Is this what I should be doing? Is this my highest priority? Do I feel like doing this?” Most often the choice boils down to my personal comfort. I won’t do it if I don’t feel like doing it.
Somewhere I have regressed to a state of babyish self-service. I am so afraid that my Papa God is going to make me do something I hate that I decide not to listen to Him. In essence, I don’t trust Him.
He speaks to me constantly. I have told Him for years that I love Him, that I want to serve Him, that I want to be more like Him. And yet, every time He tells me to trust Him I say, “Not right now. I’m really enjoying doing this my way, perhaps tomorrow I’ll listen to You.”
Am I really enjoying doing things my way? Well, no. Actually I get stressed out and frustrated. I wonder why things aren’t working out and why I don’t feel fulfilled. I get angry at God for not forcing His will on me because if He had, I wouldn’t be in whatever mess I’ve gotten myself into.
So now that I realize this is in me, now that I’m aware that I have this problem, what am I going to do to resolve it?
Am I finally going to listen? Am I finally going to trust Him? Am I going to do what I’ve had people tell me to do all my life and believe that He is not going to let me down.
Honestly, I don’t know. It’s scary. It’s terrifying to think that He may tell me to do something really uncomfortable. What if He tells me to go up to some stranger and give them money? What if He tells me not to eat another helping of ice cream? What if He tells me to get up in the morning and actually make breakfast for my children?
Then again, what if He tells me that He wants me to enjoy His blessings and that I should eat some chocolate? What if He tells me to go sit down and rest and stop worrying about keeping the house clean? What if He tells me to go to the beach and I find a hundred dollar bill buried in the sand?
I can quote scripture passages to back up every one of those things too. He turned water into wine at a wedding feast. Water is perfectly healthy. It’s supposed to be one of the best things you can drink. Did they really need to drink wine? Someone even commented that everyone was already getting to the point where they wouldn’t be able to distinguish between good wine and bad wine.
He told Martha to quit complaining about Mary. He never told Martha that housework was bad. He never told her that it was wrong to cook a nice meal for your guests. He simply told her that for that moment, she needed to relax and enjoy His presence.
Jesus trusted His Papa so much that when someone complained that He wasn’t paying his taxes, he got the money from a fish. Not only did He get it from a fish, but he didn’t even catch it Himself. He told one of his friends to do it.
So, yeah, I can quote scriptures that show the tender mercies of God. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. But it remains to be seen if I will follow through and really trust Him. I really, really want to trust Him. I just have to keep dying to myself, and reminding myself that when I’m in charge I don’t like the results.
I want to do amazing things. I want to be “translated” like Phillip was. I want to be able to walk on water like Peter did. But I’ll never be able to do these things until I finally, truly realize that God can and will make it happen. Even if it means starting at the beginning, like a baby, learning to crawl and then walk and finally run, not with my own muscles, but with His.
Even if I have the ability to do these things, like research nutrition and make informed decision, I have to intentionally allow God to decide. Even if it means getting up in the morning and asking God what clothes I should wear.
Let’s see what happens. I might hate it… but then again, I might not.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
God has been speaking to me a lot lately. Funny how that works: we decide to sit down and listen and He actually has something to say. Just kidding, of course. I’m a pretty typical part of my culture. I live in the USA and my main problems are contentment and health.
Contentment. I have battled with this one for a very long time. I don’t really remember a time in my life when I didn’t want more than I had. Because I live in the USA I have access to more “stuff” than most people in other countries. Although I would consider myself a middle class citizen, from what I’ve learned of other cultures, I would probably be considered a blue-blood in many other countries. And yet, despite this abundance of wealth and access to culture, I still find it so easy to complain and focus on all the things I don’t have.
Of course, I’m not talking about the things of God…. It seems as if I find my spiritual walk boring, and I don’t really seek to know more about the “things above.” Although I know deep down that I should seek to be discontent with my relationship with God, I find it all too easy to say “I know enough,” or, “I have enough” of the things of God. I can say in my rational mind that I want to know God more, but my daily walk shows that I don’t really want it. I know from past experience that when I seek the things of God I find greater peace and rest, but yet I still fall into complacency.
Health. Americans in general are some of the most obese in the world. I fall into that category, and like my fellow Americans I have turned to everything but God to correct this. This is what God has been speaking to me about, because in my frustration this is what I’ve been asking Him about. He has been speaking to me about trust. Do I trust Him to keep me healthy or am I leaning on my own understanding.
There are a myriad of articles available to anyone who looks about health and fitness, and, believe me I have looked. And yet, it seems the more I look the more I am confused. This person says this and another person of equal education and experience says the opposite. Remember the old butter vs. margarine battle? This is what I have come up against, and in the end it has all led back to a stark realization that I am weak and frail, and I must trust my creator to know what is best for me.
In order to do this, however, I must learn to hear His voice. I must tune in and really work my spiritual muscles to know the difference between my flesh (cravings), the enemy (flawed information), and the Spirit (truth). I am learning that often the Spirit will lead in a direction that is against the norm. Sometimes it means exercising, and sometimes it means just being at rest. Sometimes it means watching my calorie intake and keeping everything written down, and sometimes it means not stressing out about eating at a restaurant. Every time I try to take my health back into my own hands, disaster awaits. Every time I entrust it to my all-wise Creator, the result is peace and health.
So this is what I’m learning: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:26-31 NIV)