Sunday, June 22, 2008

"They" say it's irrelevant. Well it's not!

Sun and shadows danced around me moments ago while I worked though my Beth Moore Bible study, Breaking Free.

I'm in the final few chapters that focus on God's love. A reality I misunderstood for way too long. A reality, I chose to deny when circumstances vacuumed.

Followers of Christ are not the most beloved, popular people on the planet. And it's not only Christ deniers who beat up and persecute . . .

Beth instructed me to read Psalm 13 asking if David was timid, fearful or bold when he prayed the following:

Long enough, GOD --
you've ignored me long enough.
I've looked at the back of your head
long enough. Long enough
I've carried this ton of trouble,
lived witha stomach full of pain.
Long enough my enemies
have looked down their noses at me.

Take a good look at me, GOD, my God;
I want to look life in the eye,
So no enemy can get the best of me
or laugh at me when I fall on my face.

I've thrown myself headlong into your arms --
I'm celebrating your rescue.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs,
I'm so full of answered prayers.
Psalm 13 (
The Message)

That first block of sentences . . . I could have written them. I've prayed, cried, screamed, moaned, wimpered those very words more times than I care to admit. But I stopped there. I didn't go beyond those very real, very horrid emotions like King David did.

I love David because he doesn't pretend he has it all together. In fact, many scholars believe he may have suffered from bi-polar disorder (manic-depressive). Knowing depression as intimately as I do, that doesn't surprise me.

David doesn't get sucked down for too long. He laments, whines, cries, pleads, screams in the initial parts of his Psalms, but then a God-reality sets in and he welcomes God's perspective. He adopts God's perspective which is the TRUTH about his circumstance.

God's most beloved, the man after God's own heart feels God's ignored him for a long, long time allowing unwarranted suffering and distress in his life. Oooh.

He shifts from despair to telling the Creator of the Universe exactly what he wants. Exactly what I want.

People ask me all the time how they can pray for me, or what I want. Clarity escaped me for years as I undulated in and out of varying degrees of depression. Now I know! I yearn to look life in the eye so no enemy or opponent can get the best of me and laugh at me when I fall flat on my face - which I promise will happen.

Most of my life I've allowed hard circumstances, mean people, and faulty perceptions to define who I am. I bought into Satan's lies about my identity. Gee, this hurts to admit.

I'm a cradle-Christian. Born and raised in a fundamental, evangelical, Bible-believing church. I understood complex doctrine and theology before I hit middle school. Nobody could beat me in a Bible drill. During my short stint in Christian school (K - 4th grade), I was the un-defeated K-12 champion! Finished my AWANA books early to earn scads of points (and candy) for my team.

Head is one thing, heart is another. Yeah, I knew the stuff. Of course Jesus reigned my heart - to a degree - or as far as I'd let Him . . .

Knowing it, and living it are radical opposites.

Life in a fallen world is designed to test our belief system. Unexplainable trials and tragedies exist to aid in through self-discovery - or God discovery. Until a person is tested, no one, including that person, know who she is.

Take the hero's journey (the basic character progression found in great literature from the Bible to modern movies). All classic stories/movies etc remain in people's minds b/c of the element of trial and testing. Characters discover who they are and what they are made of in the face of disaster.

God, THE Storyteller, uses the same character arc in our lives. He lets us be tested so we can be proven.

Beth Moore says God can't be objective or unbiased towards us. We are his children. His love for us is incomprehensible. But, WE must choose to believe He loves us regardless of what life is doing to us.

My near-fatal error is waiting around for evidence of God's love. Make me FEEL your love, Lord, then I'll believe you love me. I've wasted thirty-one years waiting.

Embracing the lie that God must be disappointed in me b/c of all the crap and mess in my life nearly destroyed me a few months back. Christ-Followers base their existence on the unseen - faith.

King David, murderer, adulterer, liar, cheater, theif, hurls himself (I love this phrase) "headlong into God's arms".

He sings at the top of his lungs (a few verses ago his soul bled from perceived abandonment). He is FULL OF ANSWERED PRAYERS.

Okay, the dude, once engaged in prayer, turns a big corner. Check it out - he goes from "you've ignored me long enough" to "I'm so full of answered prayers." Six verses. That's it! Wow.

David is so confident God will respond and answer his plea, he dances around his living room like a madman, singing at the top of his lungs, scaring the royal pets into hiding.

This happened, what? Four thousand years ago? And people today claim the Bible is irrelevant.

Well, it's not. I'm living proof of that. I challenge any of you skeptics to pull a David, pour your guts out on the table in front of the REAL God, and see where He takes you.

Go ahead.

Try it.

I triple-dog-dare-ya.

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