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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.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Unfiltered

Wow! Thanks to all of you, my last blog post had almost 3,000 hits, which is more than ten times as many as any post I've written! A behind-the-scenes-fact: I was advised that maybe I should wait a few days to share because the mood of the piece seemed "bleak".  Yes. It was. Because that's how I felt at the time, and that was the whole point.

So much of our lives, it seems, is on display on social media. I'm not the first to notice this, by far, but many of us search for the perfect picture or turn of phrase or clever meme to share on Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or whatever other more hip and cool sites there are that I don't even know about yet. Like everyone else, I look at the patriotic fireworks pictures of people's cute kids dressed in red, white, and blue and am tempted to believe that everyone else's life is perfect (and color-coded), and mine is the only one that's not.

Somehow it seems that Christians are even more prone to "put a happy face on it" about their struggles. I'm not entirely sure why, though I have a few guesses. I think that sometimes it's a matter of over-balancing on the side of obeying the verses about not complaining (Philippians 2:14). However, complaining and being honest about struggles are not the same.

At a deeper level, I think it could be linked to wanting to give a good impression of Christianity, with the idea that if we want others to even consider learning more about Jesus, we need to be happy and cheerful and full of positivity at all moments. Sometimes we may be afraid that if we are transparent about our feelings and fears that it will cast a cloud over God Himself. I would challenge that idea with the Bible itself:

  • Moses: "I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me.  If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.” (Numbers 11:14-15)
  • Job: "“Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?" (Job 3:11)
  • Elijah: ". . .But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, 'It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.' " (1 Kings 19: 4b)
  • David: "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?" (Psalm 13: 1-2)
All four of these people were men who were commended for their faith, yet each of them battled discouragement and feeling distant from the Lord. God is so much bigger than my struggles and my doubt.  My faith doesn't make me immune from feeling scared or hopeless or bleak, at least as long as I am here on Planet Earth. There are days when my faith is big and I see clearly how God has already worked in my life. Then there are days when I feel discouraged and frustrated and impatient and I don't trust that, no matter what, I will be okay. The beauty of my relationship with God is that He can handle those feelings. In my weakness, He is strong. Christianity doesn't rise or fall with my faith, but with the truth and redemption of Christ. 

In light of this, I try to be honest and open (which is much easier for me in writing than in person) and to live a life that shows not just the triumphs, but the struggles. Regardless of our filtered Facebook posts, we are all struggling, or waiting, or hurting. We need each other to remind ourselves that we are not alone, and that (I believe) there is a God who cares about those struggles. Thank you to all of you who do that for me! 

1 comment:

  1. An important distinction between being honest about our feelings before God versus trying to always put on a happy face no matter what. Good post!

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