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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taking Measure

God's really been driving a message home to me. Like a slow drip His persistent words beat on in my mind burrowing deeper only to spring up in my speech days (if not months or years) later. That's usually right about the time I actually figure out what it is He's been trying to tell me all along

It's disturbing that I've been journaling and praying over this topic for so long yet missing (or possibly avoiding) one very important piece of the puzzle. What's even more disconcerting is the idea that I knew these things without really KNOWING them. Suddenly, God has seen fit to tie it all together for me with a neat bow and in such a way as is unavoidable. Since the moment I came to understand what it was I'd been doing I've felt a freedom to move forward. But, I'm blabbering and I haven't even told you the details yet. So, I'll get to the point.

I've been forced to take certain things into account since my health issues arose in December. God has allowed those events to quite literally challenge my adulterous relationship with personal comfort and safety. I realize I have been foolishly measuring God's love for me by temporal standards in many ways that previously had not occurred to me. While I'd gotten it right in some ways I'd been getting it very wrong in others.

God's love for me is NOT measured by the food in my stomach, the bed that I sleep in, the health of my physical body, the freedom I enjoy, and on & on. Unfortunately I find, in truth, that I foolishly end up resenting God when my personal definition of "love" (translation: the comfort I find in those things previously listed) isn't met. As a follower Jesus I must always remember God's love for me is measured by the lengths He went to ensure my salvation though Jesus Christ and secure my place as a citizen in His Kingdom. That fact needs to be enough for me even when life is painful which really requires some maturity out of me. I must change how I process God's love for me in the midst of extremely burdensome life experiences. That kind of work can really only be done through the Holy Spirit because it requires everything to pass through a thick filter of faith in, reliance upon, and adherence to Christ Jesus.

The fact that the physical world is not always a good indicator of God's love drives me to His Word with renewed passion. Truly, Divine revelation has to happen for us to comprehend the hope we have in Christ and I intend to pursue such revelation. In my study of Ephesians 1 it strikes me how much we should seek this understanding so that we may know Him better. When I was infantile in my faith God used the physical things of this world as object lessons in my life to point me toward the deeper spiritual truths of His Fatherly love and provision. He, being the loving God He is, gently built up my faith. Now it's time for His Word to assure me of His love once more, to round out my understanding of Him not through temporal things but through spiritual truths. I feel the Lord prodding me on toward greater faith. A faith that allows my comfort to wait to be gratified until the fullness of the Lord's timing and rest secure in His love during the meantime. A faith that requires I pull up my big girl panties and stop being so juvenile in esteeming my personal comfort over His spiritual agenda.

All this is not because God is mean or perverse. I'm ill equipped to be able to expound in depth on all the infinite ways God's plans for us are loving and good. The point of this post is not to preach a sermon. I'm simply saying I finally read Jesus loud and clear about why it's so important for me to give up the things below for the greater things He has to offer.

3 comments:

James Oh said...

Jen,
Well said and done.

I am glad that you able to His unconditional love towards us. Let us be reminded that we love Him because He loves us first. He had done everything for us and we able to be saved through Him.

I am glad to let you that I have signed up as your follower.

Grace and peace to you and your family.

N Dyess said...

Great post and great thoughts! Thank you for sharing them.
God Bless!

Audrey said...

Amen, Jen. Very well said!