Why?

He lets us have these questions and wrestle with them. And not put them totally rest. I wonder why.

The frustration of being unable to figure things out finally has me in a place of listening and surrender. Where I approach God in my spirit, in my heart. Not just in my mind with my words.

I need to be with Him. I need to feel His Presence and then I know everything will be ok even if I can’t figure anything out today. Even if nothing goes according to plan. Even if everything gets worse.

I picture an infant when they want to be held. You don’t really do anything other than hold them, but it settles everything. They don’t have the mental capacity to understand anything other than they feel bad and they want the feeling to stop. Spiritually maybe we are not so different. And maybe that is a good place to be. Heart open as children, like Jesus said.

We seem so desperately to want to grasp onto some purpose in the sufferings of this world. Like if we can figure out the purpose then somehow that will bring the settling we seek. Maybe I am being encouraged to go beyond that and find true satisfaction and foundation only in my place in God and who He is.

Not that physical comfort and enjoyment are bad. He created us with the capacity for those things. His Creation is designed with us and those things in mind. But we need more that can only be found in God alone.

Intellectually I like the concept when Paul Young talks about living in the grace of each moment. But when it comes down to day to day life, I absolutely hate not knowing.

God never did tell us the point of all that happened with Job. I think that’s difficult for a lot of people to accept. But maybe He doesn’t answer the questions so quickly because He knows the questions lead us to conversation and real relationship with Him – true healing. The answers, without relationship with Him, are a fleeting sense of salve.

As much as I hate the struggles, I am so thankful for what has been healed in me.

As we are able to trust, the less we demand to know what God is doing or how. We can just let go and move forward. Releasing a little bit at a time.

If you had explained to me as an infant everything that would happen to me in my life, I never could have understood. God is our Counselor. He knows we don’t even know what we don’t know. He keeps loving the hell out of us. Bit by bit. Whatever we give Him and even what we fight to carry ourselves. To the very last sinew of our broken hearts and minds.

He is for the full restoration and redemption of every last broken piece in us. As long and as far as that takes. Jesus proved that by taking all our rage that we threw at Him.

This Father does not do abandonment. His passionate wrath is for our complete healing. He is not satisfied with leaving some out.

We are His kids and He loves us. Ask Him how He sees you. Bring Him every angry frustrated tear.

Relief

Sometimes it feels like the rain won’t ever end. Like the new day won’t ever begin. The journey seems so long. So far. But the sun rises every day whether we see it or not. Same with God. Even when we can’t see Him, it doesn’t mean He can’t see us. That we are not still safe in His heart. God, You are my safe harbor.

Delighted

Beautiful!

I stepped foot onto this park for the first time and a man walked up to me and asked me to take a picture of him and his girlfriend. Of course I obliged. Happy to do so. And then he started proposing to his girlfriend as I took the pictures! How cool is that?!

Super congrats to the couple! If you are reading this, then you know who you are. 💖💑 Best of happiness and tons of love between you!

I was so honored to be part of your proposal!

Triage

“I give you permission to be mad at me… I’m going to fight for your life even if it means I have to fight you to get it.”

Spoken by Iyanla Vanzant, but I hear the heart of Papa. Our Father. Maybe one of the more succinct pictures of the redeeming wrath of God personified.

And why not? Iyanla is included and participates in the conversation, in the great dance that is relationship, not religion. That we all are involved in. Even as we stumble. Even when we turn our backs and see only the hell of the darkness of our own shadow.

Christ in you, the only hope. And you in Him.

I don’t know the answer to every little question about how it all works. But I finally don’t need to. It’s the difference between reading a bunch of books about a person versus actually knowing them. Think of the person you know the most about. You might not be able to explain everything about them to someone but you know what you know and that’s enough. If someone else wants to get to know them then they will truly understand also. Beyond the cerebral.

I’m all about sharing insight. That’s why I write. I am 100% interested in knowing all the answers. But the difference now is that my security doesn’t depend anymore on knowing the right answers. My security is now in God alone. Who God is and how much God loves us. Loves me. Loves you. I need a God that big.

I think about people who vehemently disagree with me and, with a few exceptions, most of them are much better people than I am. Some of the best people I know. And I hesitate to say it, but I know eventually you get to a point where you need a God that is bigger than you. When the wind gets knocked out of you spiritually, emotionally, mentally, etc and you find yourself face down on the ground.

Not that God is punishing you. Not that He has some sick power trip where He wants to see you suffer. But if you insist, He lets you carry a big enough chunk of the whole world so that you will figure out you can’t and don’t need to.

I heard someone say the other day that faith is knowing you have nothing to offer. Not that you are nothing. Jesus didn’t die for nothing. God so LOVED you that He hung bleeding and naked on the torture device we nailed Him to just to prove that you can give Him everything you got and you still won’t exhaust His love. Your healing is His mission.

You are free to surrender. You are free to rest. You are free to fall back into arms that already hold your heart.

I am learning to give up.

Heads Up

They call it crazy until you’re “successful”. If you “make it” then they come asking you to show them how to do it. Until then, courage in this capitalist consuming society is not only extremely expensive but also very dangerous. Don’t be fooled by all the “go after your dreams” rhetoric; success is idolized and they permit process only to that point. God’s love and acceptance gives you wings but the crabs will still try to keep you in the bucket. Especially if they consider your performance a reflection of theirs. Can we give people a little more room to be human and not have everything figured out? There isn’t a manual for this kind of flight. It’s not blasphemy to try something and learn a few lessons. Trust yourself and others with God and His never-ending love.

To You

Dare I say that a theology that divides and separates is no gospel at all. If my theology doesn’t help me see all in Christ then I think it is headed in the wrong direction. Back to the spiritual stone ages.

If my theology doesn’t lead me to love people more then I don’t think it is correct. Now let me clarify that love is not the same thing as enabling or condoning all behaviors. There is no love in lies. Deeper connection is sometimes associated with increased costs required to take a stand for what is the ultimate best for all involved.

But if my theology puts us back into an us/them or in/out mentality, then I think we’re circling back around the same old worn out mountain. The same tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Same song, different verse. No real substantial difference than the rest of the religions out there.

Real life is so much more complicated. Existing on continuums. Spectrums of awareness. We need each other. The difference between asking why versus the pride of certainty. Investigating. These are real people with real lives. And Jesus loves them all. God loves them all. Holy Spirit loves and is constantly at work with and in all.

If The Good Shepherd goes to gather every last little sheep, what gives us the right to give up on someone? Giving them over to God is not giving up on them. We do what we do but their healing is not our responsibility. We participate. Salvation does not originate in us. Relief from the condemnation rained down by probably well-meaning clergy and also a multitude of common every-day religious folk.

Loving you means I can tell you no as well as telling you yes. Loving you asks, “What can I do to help?” Versus circling around the sinner with stones ready to throw. This is a heart issue. Not another behavioral checkbox. We comfort with the comfort we have been given.

Start by looking inside first. This is not about posturing. This is not about simplistic “happy thoughts”. Real relationship rises to face reality. With a heavy dose of hope. From our Creator, our Father. Whose heart is full of eternal unfailing love.

This love happens organically. This theology arrests your heart and new life flows upward to your mind. Unforced joy and peace that passes understanding lifts you up out of the performance pit and into the everlasting arms of a Father that enjoys you and doesn’t do abandonment.

Will you rest in Him?

We all want to be loved. At what point did you give up? At what point was it too much? What is the next root of deception that we can expose and remove in the pursuit of embracing the truth of your identity in Christ and the wonder of all that entails? How can I help you embrace the new life that is already yours for the taking? That will free you as no other formula ever could.

Thoughts to consider as you continue in conversation with those you encounter in this moment. Relying solely on Holy Spirit for protection and specific direction.

Selah.