Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why? Part 1: surrender

Yesterday I blogged about the why of my idolatry. Why is it that when God invites me to come feast my soul on the richest of fare I instead run around with my paper plate looking for something quick to fill me up that doesn't nourish me.

I definitely don't have a definitive answer, but I have been getting glimpses into why I struggle with this so much. So I'm going to scribble them down here. Maybe together we'll stumble into something that makes sense.

Here is my why for today:


I struggle with two issues that work together to make me pretty miserable if I don't recognize that they are there.

Issue #1 - insanely high expectations.
Issue #2 - irrational fear of disappointment.

You see my problem? 
I go crazy out of my way to try to avoid being disappointed. I don't do things because I think they won't really be that great so why go through all the effort just to be disappointed? I typically resist going to new places or trying new things because what if they're not everything I was hoping they would be?

My life in Christ has been, in some ways, disappointing. Because I have these crazy-high expectations of who I "should" be or what my Christian life "should" look like. I have these seasons of intimacy with God, I'm feeling him everywhere I go, hearing him in everything I do. But then I find myself in the seasons of silence, screaming at God "what am I doing wrong here?!!!!" 

At the same time my life has been a beautiful picture of God's redeeming love. When I was willfully walking away from His plan for my life, when I called myself a road-kill Christian, when my faith was as small as  (or maybe even smaller than) a grain of sand - He held onto me. He kept holding onto me, he hemmed me in, he guided my path, he brought me to a wide place with green grass and a still river and He restored my soul.

So here I have a choice: surrender

Surrender to the fact that this is NOT going to match my expectations. At points my relationship with God is going to look really ordinary and unremarkable. At other points God has promised to bless me beyond what I could ask, think or even imagine. Am I willing to take the ordinary with the extraordinary. What I think I understand with what I don't?

I blogged this song yesterday, here is another line:

"It breaks my heart 
to know you in part
and not to be with you
where you are"

I love this. 
Here is the rest of the song:

I'm only going to know in part, I'm going to understand in part, only see my little piece of the picture. So I'm going to be longing and yearning and aching for home even while I savor it in bits and pieces here and now - though seriously, the best thing I experience here is like yesterday's doggy bag compared to future glory. But still. I want more.

The world I live in here is upside down to God's kingdom. His ways are not my ways, his thoughts are not my thoughts. He sends the seasons and it's not always my fault when things are quiet and still and I can't quite put a finger on what is slowly shifting inside of me. He is always near. Even if I can't feel it or see it. 

So here is the moment of truth: am I going to hang onto my irrational fears and unrealistic expectations or surrender and come? 

Psalm 42

 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
4These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation 6and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
8By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
9I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Why? Part 2 Stillness

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