Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sometimes I don't feel the victory.... ;(

We were joking around in Sunday School this morning about there being school in Heaven, so that God would have a format to explain all the things we can't understand in this life such as a) Jesus was 100% God and 100% man (200%), b) The Trinity (nuff said), and a bunch of other stuff...

Then we go to church and have a special prayer for the Wilsons, because the smallest of their 3-week-old triplets died this morning... Noah.

....THEN, while I am still crying... we start singing "Victory in Jesus"... I just couldn't do it... I wasn't feeling the victory today - in fact, I am still on the verge of tears... don't preach to me, I KNOW about the victory in Jesus, but... why?... a baby... three weeks old... I don't get it... it really tears me apart...

...but THEN the offering music started. The new-piano-lady started playing " great is our God, sing with me how great is our God..." and I just remember relaxing right there at that moment, because in my grief I lost sight of how great my God is. I couldn't feel the "victory" today, but I never doubt how in total control my God is... and because I so completely believe in God's power and sovereignty in this world, a peace overcame me concerning Noah Wilson. My grief remains... but I will learn God's bigger plan for Noah one of these days when I enter 1st grade in Heaven... For now... my job is to trust Him....

Rest in the arms of your Creator, Noah....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The God of "Plan B"

God of Plan B

I was just thinking today of all the instances in the Bible where the person who should have been chosen for an inheritance, or a certain position, or whatever (that sounded very scholarly, didn’t it? Lol) – was bypassed and the less likely person was chosen.

Think of the 3 Patriarchs; Abraham’s first son, Ishmael, was not the line that the Covenant passed through, but his second son, Isaac. Then Isaac’s firstborn, Esau, was not the one the Covenant passed to, but Jacob. The Patriarchal line ended with Jacob, but you would have to admit if not the covenant, then certainly God’s favor was with Jacob’s twelfth son, Joseph. Moses was an orphan and a murderer, but God chose him. I think this is an interesting pattern in the scriptures. Look who God chose to be the king of Israel. David was so far down the line of brothers that he didn’t even show up for Samuel to consider – yet that was whom God had in mind for the position. Don’t forget that we weren’t even the first people who were chosen to hear the Gospel. According to Paul, the Gospel was to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles. Hello, we are Gentiles, so we were even the unlikely recipients of God’s redemptive plan.

You might ask what all this means. Am I just trying to bring you down and remind us of how lowly and undeserving we are? Well, yes – in a way. I think nothing in God’s holy word happened by coincidence. There must be a reason that the “ugly duckling” is always receiving God’s blessing.

I think the most obvious lesson from these stories in the Bible is that even though Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” and the rightful heir to EVERYTHING – the Father has also called us His children, and He wants us to know that the inheritance and the benefits of the Covenant are also ours to claim as step-sons and daughters of His. The other nugget of Truth that I get from all of these unlikely people being favored in the Kingdom, is that God is the God of second chances. He is the God of new birth, of regeneration. He is the God of the disenfranchised, the disinherited. He is the God of the clean slate. He is the God of plan B, and plan C, and plan D, and plan E, and so on and so on and so on…. He is the God of never giving up. As I think back over my lifetime, I am obviously the Poster Child of Plan Bs and Plan Cs, etc. That’s why God is my God. He has taken all of the wrong turns in my life and instead of leaving me totally lost; He has directed me back onto His road. He is the God of finding your way back home. He is the God of fresh starts. He is the God of new life. The God who bought me back out of slavery when I had nothing to offer… He is my God. He is the God of Plan B.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm a mutant...

I guess you could call me not so much a geek, as just an old-timer that enjoys a good Sci-Fi story every now and then. OK, right, I’m a geek. But admit it, when Wolverine had to kill Dr. Jean Grey in “The Last Stand” to save her from herself, it brought a tear to your eye, too, lol.

Y’know, Wolverine is an interesting mutant. His ability is not something he can set aside. His titanium endoskeleton is part of who he is – it would probably kill him to try and separate that aspect of who he is from the rest of him. That’s why Magneto has such terrible control over him. But for better or worse, he IS the Wolverine – no changing that fact.

For some reason, I have thought about my Faith in God recently. Is it something I do; is it something I can set aside if its not going the way I want it to; is it even something I could recant or apostate myself from if I wanted to? Is it even something I believe that I can just change my mind about? I have gone over some rocky terrain in my life lately – real 4WD kind of stuff – and have basically reinforced my knowledge (because I really already knew the answer to all those questions in my heart) that I am a changed creature. I have been mutated from the rest of humanity that are apart from Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are a new creation, but I am one of those people that tend to have to find things out on my own. And, like I recently told my little girl who thought VISITING kindergarten was great, but she was ready to go back to her daycare and Pre-k; I said, “Sorry, Honey, there’s no going back at this point.” It is the same for us spiritually, there is no more “going back” to your previous state of being spiritually than there is for a newborn babe to go back to THEIR previous state of being! That sounds a little crazy, but that is the way we tend to think about our Christianity sometimes. We think we will leave it in the briefcase while we are at work, or we can’t find 15 more minutes in the day to spend with GOD, or we are going to set it aside while we watch our sit-coms about homosexuality, or some people even think that they have done something so horrible, that GOD either won’t accept them in the first place or if they already were a Christian, then they must have been thrown off the boat for that one…

I really liked the illustration in our SS class last week. You’re either a parent or not. There is no ambiguity whether or not you have kids. You either do or you don’t. You can NEGLECT your duties as a parent, but you are STILL a parent. The same goes with our Christianity. Sometimes we neglect our responsibilities as Christians, but that does not change the core of who we are or what we are; it just makes us ineffective and miserable Christians.

This may sound like an extremely elementary spiritual point, but it is just one more assurance for me that I am HIS no matter how hard I get hit by the Enemy or the world. Nothing can change what GOD has mutated me into. I am a new creation. I believe this is the assurance that Paul felt when he said, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain.”