I read somewhere recently:
“Christ didn’t die for your dreams, he died for your sins.”
And it’s so true. Let’s precede this with saying that of course God has a calling for your life, and of course he has amazing things he wants to lead you into, and dreams he has put into your heart. But he did not die for you to finally be able to get on that airplane and live that lifestyle you’ve always wanted to. He did not die for you to finally have that new job opportunity, savings account or success. Christ died for your sins. He died for you to be a new creation, pure and blameless, whether you’re in a minimum wage job or have an office with a skyline view. The main thing he died to bring you into is himself. Away from damnation and into eternity. That’s what we have waiting for us, that’s the life we have, changed and free, at a fancy restaurant patio or out on the streets.
And here’s the thing, I stood close to it, leaning on the window pane. But I wanted to sit down. If I turned around there was the square of light, reflected on the sloped ceiling next to our kitchen table. And so I straightened up, and the sun was not on me anymore, and it was dark. But then I went and sat down on a kitchen chair and there it was again, bright and golden, filling up my whole field of vision even when I closed my eyes. And it was so stupid, I thought, to think that the sun would be less bright here. Maybe the sun is so bright in itself that it will still be quite bright, even if you move ten meters further away. And I think I do that all the time with God, feel like I’m moving further away, but truth is that I just need to sit down in the light and it won’t matter that much whether I’m ten meters further away or closer. Maybe I just need to stop worrying about the darkness and come to the light in the first place.
Maybe I don’t have to believe that God will give me material things just because I wish for material things, but maybe I do have to believe that he will give me spiritual things, joy, peace and understanding, when I seek his face.
Sometimes we make God into what we are. But sometimes, possibly more unaware, we make God into what we’re not. He’s my flaws, areas I lack in, often: logic and reason. I see myself as the romantic one in this relationship. The emotional one. I turn to him with thoughts and ideas, problems and decision. Rarely heart. Rarely in my moods and to hang out a second. Idea: if you have something you need to pray about, pray about it. But if the time you’ll take for that is in a few days, there’s nothing stopping you from hanging out with God now. Just to chill. Just to be with him.
Prayer is not an argument against God, but a battle by His side.
Our minds need to shift. To conquer anxiety and defeat depression: we need to add faith to our hope. (Some of us are good at hope, because we have had no other choice.) It means in every defeat you’ll stand back up again.
But faith means living in the victory – when you’ve decided what you believe; about God, about yourself, about situations – it’s the active choice to stick with that in any given moment. So much will depend on what you dare to believe.
(From a weekend away with my church. We do this every autumn, go somewhere and fill the days with get-to-know-each-other-games and bible studies. When I was a kid it was the biggest event of the year, sharing a room with friends and staying up til midnight. It’s different now, not bad though. This year I had deep conversations with the adults. I’m in between categories.)
Anyway, thought of the week:
Maybe your weakness is revealed not so you can finally get out of it, but so that you can be in it. Stay in the place of desperation. Find yourself in humility.
A few weeks ago I had the vision that waves were rising all around this garden, tall and mighty. Like the ocean, like the red sea. And I felt it tonight, standing out there. (And I wondered why it is not falling, why it is not crashing down on doubts and enemies, what are the waters waiting for?) I felt God saying that He’s separating me from it. I am learning to not be all the things I’m not. And first then the water can fall on my enemies without falling on me. How can God kill the army if we’re on the ocean floor at the same time? There’s a height and width and depth to the importance of faith in forgiveness and the death of sin and it being killed off in your own body.
How often do we not wish that the miracles of the bible were stories about God giving step by step instructions on How to Walk on Water instead of a command Come here, coupled with eye contact and loud waves.