Sticks and Stones to Break your Bones

Hello!

Today is once again Friday. Another week has passed and schedules still run crazy.

So how can I be convinced that this God exists and He truly loves me?

That is a good question to ask.  I feel that everyone at some point asks that question.  Do I have purpose? Does He really care? It can be difficult to find that answer. BUT it is there.  That is the first step. Believing HE is THERE.  You are looking for Blessed Assurance and so am I.  In fact, for the rest of my life I’m sure I will be seeking this.

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Life commitment? Isn’t that a bit scary?  I don’t want to spend my whole life without answers!  I want direction.

So do I…as do all of us.  I suppose if you want the term for this it is called hope.  Appear crazy? Well now I wouldn’t be the first one. Can I give you one gem?

Well Yes. DUH! You didn’t quite answer my question. 

Trust.  I struggle with this fear of not having Presence. I am speaking something that I have had to grapple with myself. No it is not easy to let go of the rope. Yes, life does deal hard knocks.  Perhaps that is why it is a call to greater trust. How could a Loving Father allow such bad things to good people? Israel had to deal with this too.  The God they saw was harsh and vengeful to the appearance. Whole cities being driven to the dust.  Peoples destroyed.  Famine. Pestilence. But in this Jerusalem lost sight of Hosea, “Come back to me. With all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart. Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.”

Okay.  It does appear that God could care less.  The Old Testament is full of such things!

So it seems.  But the doom of the prophets is misread. Let’s look at these people who are being addressed.  Sinful and focused on their own ways and plans they built for themselves “Baalhs” and “Asherim” gods. Great cities of abundance and wealth without the Praise of the one who allows good things.  They made themselves the center of the universe and praised their accomplishments as the self-made and reliant men that could make many good things happen. So the “masters” (definition of Baahls) made themselves into God the Master. Drastic means take drastic measures.

So what about all the innocent people who did no harm? And what does this have to do with me?

When one member of the family suffers, so does all the family.  When life gets rushed and crazy isn’t it so easy to loose our focus? We do tend to trust our own strength.  But God does promise the lush Mountain and Green Pastures if we Listen and Obey HIS commands. My pride and selfishness keep me from him.  My blocks and idols keep him from working. So why wouldn’t he want to bring those walls crashing down?  This is not a vengeful punishing God, (though poor choices do bring consequences). NO! He brings down the walls so we can draw near to him. He desires to DWELL with his people. (Try reading Isaiah 24 and 25 and 26).

So you are saying that these are ‘attention getters?’ Well I’ve had enough of those! Why can’t life just be normal!

Yes. Life can be normal. Not necessarily the way we imagine. Perhaps this sounds strange to you. But the answer is simple. It is not the horrible things that define love but the purpose behind them. God wants to marry us.  He wants us to be happy.  BUT we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. We fear the consequences.  But isn’t the real purpose of discipline to teach us there is MORE TO LIFE than silly me?

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Life is lonely. Every time I move I seem to fail.  Every time I run in joy I fall over a log or trip on rock.  Or am surrounded by SNAKES! I am afraid to move.

Yes.  So am I. Life does have logs and stumps and rocks and any manner of scary things.  Yes, I fall over them too. But isn’t the trail easier when the burden is shared?  Isn’t it nice to have a hand to pull you up? I don’t deny at all the presence of difficulty.  There will be that on this side of Heaven.  But think of this, when a child knows his father is on the other side of a field  when losing his way doesn’t he run full speed ahead without a complete knowledge of the danger around him??  Doesn’t he seek the consolation of the Father’s arms?  Here is my gem. There are hard knocks in life and mistakes.  BUT isn’t it easier to get up and to be less hurt when we don’t run break-neck speed?  What about allowing a hand to help? God desires to put his arm around you and show you the pasture. “There are snakes. But not with me as the goal.  There are sticks and stones to break your bones but can I not cushion your fall? I thirst for you. Will you not allow me to purge from you all that keeps you from me? Will you not let me take a hold of your heart and bring you to a new Spring Time?”

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