So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reminding Myself of the Truth

As I am reading through Deuteronomy in this year's read-through-the-Bible journey, I've noticed how often the Israelites are reminded of their deliverance from Egypt. Over and and over the story is told. The first three chapters of Deuteronomy are devoted to retelling the Israelites' journey.  I started wondering why the people needed to hear the story so often. Granted, it had been 40 years since the actual event, but it would seem that plagues and the parting of the Red Sea and escape from captivity would be memorable enough that constant reminders would not be needed. And yet. . .

It seems that usually the people of Israel = me. I want to think that I would have remembered seeing God's power rescue me from slavery, that I wouldn't have made a golden calf within 40 days of Moses leaving, that I wouldn't have complained about having to eat manna and about how it was so much better in Egypt. And yet. . .

When I read in the Old Testament, which can be tricky and I by no means am any sort of expert, I try to think and pray about what the Lord wants for me to do with these thoughts now, in light of Jesus. God was reminding the Israelites over and over again of their rescue from slavery. What did He want them to know? I think He wanted them to remember that the He rescued them, by His hand, and without any help from them, and that He did it because He loved them:
And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power,  driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day,  know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:37-39)
He also reminded them of their sin and the consequences of it. Even with the visual presence of God in the cloud or the pillar of fire, the people wouldn't trust His timing or His ways.

So, what do I need to be reminded of over and over and over? What truths do I forget as soon as I go to the next task? Unsurprisingly, the same thing as the Israelites. God came and rescued me from sin and death, and it was all Him, not me:
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
 Sometimes I think it was me. And if it was me, I could have done it wrong, or messed it up, or failed. Or, I could get pleased with myself because of how great I was to choose God and do what He wants. That's when I need to be reminded of the second truth I tend to forget: I'm a sinner. I don't make golden calves, but I set up other idols in my heart. I worry and don't believe the promises of God in the Bible and I speak unkindly and I'm impatient and. . . the list goes on. Every day I need Jesus. Every day I need to be reminded of the truth of the gospel--that because of God's great love for me, I have Jesus and I am forgiven and made righteous only because of Him.

This morning I was praying about it again, and asking the Lord, "What do you want me to remember and never forget?" Unsurprisingly, really, was the answer, "I love you." Always, always, always, it's what I most easily forget and most vitally need to remember: That God loved me when I was yet a sinner and died to reconcile me to Himself (Romans 5:8), that God loves me as I remain a sinner in need of His grace, and that God will love me when I die (or He comes back) and I finally am no longer a sinner.

Me, you, all of us. . . God loves us wildly, and He wants us to know that. A few days ago, I was reminded of this song by Rich Mullins (one of my favorite, favorite artists): The Love of God

I hope that I, and you, will choose to remember (or, more accurately, let ourselves be reminded) daily the reckless, raging love of God that redeems and saves us.