Jesus, when I skip out on reading your word, postpone prayer, or otherwise neglect our relation, I am totally dissing you. It’s like you go out of your way to hang out with me and I walk right past you with some inaffectionate but polite excuse. You simply stand there in the rain waiting while I go on with the many things I believe are important to do. However, you let me continue to break your heart as your beloved (me) walks away in my own ignorance toward destruction. Oh, how you wish you could control my decisions or that I would listen and believe you enough to do what is best (for all) – what you keep trying to tell me. Oh the frustration you must endure because as your beloved and heart’s desire politely neglects you. Your heart agonizes as you must watch me hurt myself (just as any good parent or lover must endure as their loved ones experience pain).
For me, I neglect to realize the profound joy that exists in my life when life is going along easily. For some reason, I am busy doing life rather than fully existing in life. However, God steps in occasionally and rocks my world just a bit. My parents have been stressed due to both mounting farm chores and health issues. As I came to realize this, I mentioned it to some friends in conversation. This is the opportunity to experience great joy – it’s where the “rubber meets the road.” These friends saw this opportunity and reacted out of love and compassion by immediately volunteering their time and talents to come alongside and carry the burdens of my parents.
I’ve talked about this idea of “Love in Action” before (see http://www.jason1365.com/2007/03/11/love-in-action/), but recently I have been on the receiving end of the love. It is completely mind-blowing to receive love through these friends; I am humbled because I do not deserve it, nor can I repay them for their expressed love through service and companionship.
Two passages from Scripture come to mind as I reflect on the blessings of relationship. These passages have continued to resurface over the past couple of years. I am compelled to let these permeate my lifestyle and being; however inept I am now.
John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 John 3:16-18 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
So, to you, friends, you do not know how your service releases the worry from the mind of my parents (in particular my dad). Thank you, the following is for you.
Control – why do I want to be in control? It makes no sense really, because there is nothing in which I have control except for my own actions in and reactions to the situations of life.
What does it look like to let go of the stresses of my life? For me, I am left to wonder about life when circumstances, pain, and uncertainty hit close to home. When this happens, how do I react? First, I am frustrated at first that things are out of my control. I then question God about what is going on – I want to understand; I want to feel like life (a.k.a. God) is fair. Finally, my God reminds me who He is, His nature, and where I need to be. It’s then up to me to make the decision as to how I will react.
This is my second audio-blog which was recorded on my drive home from the hospital after my mom’s surgery. Enjoy the background music and the noise of the car ride for the 9:32 of this audio-blog.
My life is driven by my own world view which is driven by the truths of Scripture (as I make the time to reflect). Over time, I wrestle with some ideas around the nature of our world, our God, and how our existence meshes beautifully with the goodness of God. However, there are tough life experiences that call our understanding of God into question. These questions can then lead to a deteriorated (or invigorated) relationship with our God.
This is my first audio-blog which was recorded on a long drive when I was visiting my mom as she was undergoing surgery. If you are going to take the 14:19 to listen to this audio-blog, take the time to read through some of the passages of scripture and ideas that I’m going to wrestle with in this recording. Please enjoy the background music and the noise of the car ride.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 – No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- Matthew 6:33 – But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- Sin of commission: is to know something is wrong, and do it anyway; deliberate disobedience to the known will of God
- Sin of omission: sins of failing to do what we should have done
- Temped: being compelled to sin (to act in a way that not in complete alignment with the will and nature of God and His goodness)