It's early Sunday morning and the house is really quiet. My roommate is sleeping and I well... couldn't, so I got up.
There is a lot running through my brain as of late, I guess there always is, but I've noticed it more lately :).
Whenever health issues crop up, I think I take a look at my life and try to figure out what I did wrong, or how I failed to take care of myself or if it simply is what it is. It's always a time of evaluating my own standing with myself but also with God. The big question for years for me anyway was "how could God let me be a diabetic, or sick, or (fill in the blank)?" That question has changed a little to "why is God allowing the sickness, etc?" But I don't think that is even the right question. So if it's not me, and it's not God than what is happening?
These are deep questions for so early in the morning, I know, but I think the answer is quite simple. Nothing is an accident. God really is in control. I don't always get it, I don't always like it (in fact rarely get it or like it) but if I believe that God created the universe, that Jesus saved the world and as I was reminded yesterday FREED me from my sin, and the Holy Spirit is in me... IF I believe these things, the other things, sickness, emotional struggles, life issues are simply opportunities to run to Him.
Here in lies the problem. I don't always make that choice. Let's be honest... sometimes it is easier to kick and scream and throw a tantrum, because then it's not my fault. Sometimes it's easier to shut it all down because then its no big deal. Sometimes it's easier to run, because then I don't have to look at anything face on (especially when I have no clue which way to go).
But here in lies the bigger problem. When I chose and yes, it is a choice, to respond in any of the fore-mentioned ways, I am loosing out on an opportunity for growth in my trust of Him and others and am loosing out on the miracles that God wants to show me or do through or in me. But like the old prophet Ezekiel, I feel like I get tricked sometimes. I feel like He calls me to something way bigger than me and I say no until it becomes like fire in my bones and I have to cry out and speak truth... to myself and eventually to others.
I'm still in that stage I think of saying "you tricked me God" and I'm not impressed. But at the same time it's this fire He is calling me to walk through that will refine me and make me a better representative of Him. But fire hurts. There is the promise that you will walk through the fire and not be burned. I take great comfort in the story of Shadrach, Mechach, and Abednego for they walked out of the fire not even smelling like smoke. But these three men, stood before the most powerful man in history and declared that they would not bow down, would not worship idols EVEN IF GOD DIDN'T SAVE THEM.
My heart wants to have that strength. My heart wants to stand and proclaim faith in every circumstance. These men, like Daniel lived in a hostile, evil, demented, land. Babylon was a wicked city that held them captive and in exile. But these men chose God above all else. I have a lot to learn about my responses to everyday life. I have some choices to make of my own. I don't always make the right ones, and my guess is that no one always does, but my heart desires to be a Daniel, an Ezekiel, a true believer of God's words and a fighter to make those words true in my life.
Up to this point, this blog has been about what I'm reading... and it on some levels will continue to be, especially as I start grappling with concepts that I'm learning at the seminary, but this will also be for me a place of trying to find that faith of Daniel, trying to live out my convictions that I know are true in every circumstance, and grappling with my failure to do so at times.
It may get a little raw sometimes... because I am at that place... it may be over zealous at times... because I get there too. But it will be honest... it will be where I'm at and it will be what Jesus is showing me about myself (to a healthy degree of sharing... sorry no deep intimate truths on this public forum) and what He is showing me about Himself.
I will be honest and say I'm nervous. There are some deep valleys to travel ahead of me... I can see them, but on the other side of every valley is a mountain top that will give me a view of where I'm going and as long as (to borrow a phrase) my boots are pointed in His direction and I'm moving toward Him, I'm on my way.
I think God has much to say to me right now. I think He has much for me to say... but I first need to listen, to obey and to follow with everything that is in me. So this morning I'm kicking and screaming a bit... okay a lot, but I know He is in control of all of it. I just need to figure out how to let go of the fear, and to follow willingly, because there is a fire in my bones, there is something He has planned for me... it may be huge, it may be little, but its His will for my life and I know I have to get in line with it...
or miss it.