Saturday, May 7, 2011
A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says, "I cannot stand any more." God does not heed, he goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Sometimes, I really feel like God stretches me. When people say He won't give you what you can't handle, I say, "Oh, He will...He gives you so much more because He wants you to have to rely on Him." So, this description of an archer staining and pulling back to create the tension and to generate and bind up all that energy as He prepares to unleash the arrow in the direction of His Will...well, to me it's just plain poetic and comforting.
When you consider an arrow, stretched back, aimed, teeming with all that kinetic energy of tension to be unleashed...there's no stopping that act once God has put the arrow into motion. And, with His will being perfect, then we know that nothing can stop His will from being carried out. So, it makes incredible sense that He would need to pull and twist and create such energy within us to snap us into motion.
This is exactly what I have felt over the past year'ish timeframe...something stretching within me...something pulling and twisting and tensing inside. Am I fulfilling my purpose, am I moving in the right direction, am I the best me that I can be, am I moving others toward God or away from God? Haven't I asked these questions before? Why can't life get easier? Why am I still searching? Why am I still hurting? Why am I still disobeying???
I want answers, I want happiness, I want solutions...I want results, I want to fix the things I've done wrong and help others see what they have done wrong. I don't want to hurt people, and I don't want others to hurt me! I want to stop pushing against God's will because when I do, it creates havoc in my life and the lives of those around me.
How can I reconcile these emotions? Only by remembering that the Bible also tells me that my soul will cry out while here on earth as it's yearning to be in Heaven, where it was designed to be. You know how you see a piece of art, or a piece of clothing, or even a person at an event and you think, "Hmmm...that seems out of place..." Well, in a sense, we're all out of place. We're all spiritual souls bound up in earthly, human, sinful bodies just groaning with the need to be joined once and for all with their Creator.
I am so ready to hear that sound of "whish-swoosh" as God releases my arrow and shoots me in that direction...imagine a razor sharp head of the arrow slicing through the air, and anything else that stands in it's way...the feathers on the tail of that shaft guiding and directing the arrow toward it's final purpose and destination...What excitement, what energy~what a sight it will be when I reach the end of the journey and can say..."Oh, Lord, my God, my Shepherd, my Shield...you designed me, protected me, broke me down and strengthened me, found me when I was lost, carried me when I was unable to walk...Thank you, thank you...what a perfect plan...I couldn't see the beauty in it until just now..."
Will this tension be released tomorrow? I doubt it. Will my current state of "blech" be resolved before the end of this year? I don't know! But God has promised me that I will be a victor "Because I [thou] hast kept the word of His [My] patience." Revelations 3:10 So, until that day...until that day...I will wait...
Monday, May 2, 2011
The world rejoiced last night...nations celebrated...people were dancing in the streets across the globe...
My heart leaped for joy. Jeff had come downstairs and said in an enthusiastic whisper, "Bin Laden's dead..."
Bin Laden's dead. It brought back the pain and uncertainty of 9/11/01. The scar in my soul glowed and seared just as Harry Potter's lightening bolt scar on his forehead did whenever Voldemort was around.
I relished reading the Facebook posts from my friends. My smile grew larger as I watched the smiles of those speaking on TV, discussing the recent announcements of who, what, where, when, why and how. When I woke in the morning; bleary-eyed and foggy, I soon remembered that the world was changed as I turned on the TV and rejoined the celebration.
But as I drove into work, I thought about it...What would Jesus do? He was the one nailed to the cross on the hill. He was the one who shed blood "once and for all" so that we could be justified in the eyes of our God and Creator. Would Jesus have chosen to abandon the cross had He only been asked to die for Osama Bin Laden???
Here is my answer: Matthew 6:32 [Jesus said] If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful. 37 Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.
Oh boy...here I go again. I take one step forward and two steps back in my journey of faith everyday! I had been dancing on that man's grave, I had been spiking the ball in the end zone, I had whooping and hollering with joy...as Jesus hung bloodied and beaten on the cross for the likes of both Bin Laden and me...
So, tonight I sit with a repentant heart and ask God to cover me with mercy and love (once again...). Maybe this is why I find myself asking for forgiveness so often from others...because I find it hard to forgive others, so I also find it hard to forgive myself. I judge others harshly because I judge myself harshly. I hold others to ridiculously high standards because I hold myself to ridiculously high standards.
How can I change this? Maybe I never will. Maybe I will always be this way. But, if I continue on my journey, if I continue to learn from God's love, if I continue to open the door of my heart to God and others ~ maybe, just maybe I'll find that prize at the finish line. Only if I can forgive others will God forgive me. Then, and only then will I be dancing on a Grave ~ the grave belonging to the Old Tammie ~ dancing as the New Tammie ~ the grave of a Sinner being danced on by a Victor ~ the grave of a Slave being danced on by a Princess...
Yes, Bin Laden is dead. Vengeance belongs to God, and He will handle it according to His will. I need not worry that my God will carry through with swift, just, punishments ~ and from Him I will ask for mercy on my soul, my Dancing Soul...