Wednesday, July 27, 2011

For the Angels?

There's this thought I have had swirling around my head. Maybe it's accurate. Maybe not. But I like the concept......

Sometimes I know we just don't get answers to the petitions that we bring before the foot of the throne. We don't get to know now why we get a "no" to the things we're longing and asking for with every ounce of our energy. And the more we get to know & fall in love with the Lord, the more okay that becomes. But He gave me another picture recently. Another possible angle on the situation. 

I've been studying a few things. One of them being the life of John the Baptist. Many things greatly intrigue me about this incredible man. I've been thinking about the fact that in the entire time of his imprisonment and be-heading, his cousin (and close friend) had the ability and authority to save him from his situation at any moment. I mean, really. We're talking about God in the flesh, here. Jesus could've done anything He darned well wanted. So. Was it that He didn't WANT John to be freed from prison? From such a death? He certainly didn't deserve such treatment! They were cousins, quite good buds. One would think Jesus might want John to come travel with Him and His disciples, perhaps even have him in the close intimate group in which He invested and closely shared life with. Why in the world, then, do we not see Jesus acting on His cousin's behalf? The be-heading being the result of an evil, scandalous, sexual, controlling, seductive plot on the part of a political leader's wife (And you thought all the crap our Nation's pulled in the last 200 years was like, new, or something!) makes me wonder even more why Jesus would allow this to simply go on without stopping it. I questioned and questioned.  I searched for similar puzzling situations in scripture. I pulled out notes from the classes I had at Ecola.  I searched for talks on it by good, reputable speakers/teachers online. Do you know what I found? Not much. 

This isn't something that has been addressed or talked about much. And often, when it IS, we're told there are just times God doesn't seemingly act on our behalf or come through or bless us or reward us for something well done in ways we'd hope or even typically expect based on scripture. People tend to shy away from facing the question of "Why does He allow things He could stop? Why let someone who is walking intimately with Him go through dry, barren seasons that seem to drag for un-necessary lengths of time? Doesn't it matter?" Of course, there are no absolute answers to questions like this. There are in fact probably MANY answers to questions like this. But I sense one newer one lately that just really does something to my heart.......

The race. The challenge. The fight. That's the answer! Here's what I mean......there is significant enough Biblical proof to believe that God created the angels before He created the Earth. A good guess for this is probably because He wanted to be able to share the creation of Earth with someone. Have an audience, so to speak. And can't you just imagine the angels loudly applauding and thundering in the stands every time He created or added something new? The excitement? The roar of their entertainment?  When He created something brand new for the very first time, maybe they got all tickled and turned to Him and proclaimed, "Oh, that was GOOD!" 
Well, do you think maybe The King allows crap and barren seasons in our lives today for similar reason? You see, the angels don't live by faith. Don't need to. They look The King of Kings in the face every single day. They literally SEE how powerful and awesome He is. Living by faith rather than sight is something unique to the human experience. And I believe it is incredibly inspiring for the angels to watch us do this. When we live in a season of hurt, pain, grief, lack of, or just plain exhaustion of life, and stand with our head high, feet firmly planted, steadily keeping pace with our eyes focused un-wavering on that finish line, praising the King with every single step of our feet, I would argue that it amazes the Angels. And possibly even God Himself. Can you picture being truly faithful to serving, loving, and worshipping Him through a storm and knowing that the Angels are watching? Perhaps they slap their knee and say "oh, man. That was GOOD!" That's an incredible thought. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Deathly Hallows

Yes. This is going to be that ridiculous Harry Potter allegory that you knew was coming & that I'll probably look back on and shake my head at. Come on, SOMEONE was bound to write this....

I'll go ahead and admit now that I'm an extreme fan. Let's just get that out in the open. I do indeed own a replica of Harry's wand, I have team shirts for Quidditch, I have my coin because I'm in Dumbledoore's Army, and I have read the series at least 4 times. Hey. Stop laughing. I may be a muggle but I know my magic. You don't wanna mess with me. Just kidding. (But really)..... 

Here's the thing I was really thinking about as I watched the epic conclusion to this incredible story. (And in case you dont know the ending to the story i should warn you that this is a spoiler alert!) As Harry, Ron, & Hermione are searching out & destroying all the pieces of Voldemort's soul which he's hidden in various objects, I realized something significant. The reason Voldemort was weakened and destroyed was because he had put himself into so many things. When choosing to do this, it becomes impossible to protect every part of yourself every moment. This gives your enemy a chance to find an unprotected piece of you and shoot his arrow (uh, wand,) straight at it. (Satan rarely aims his arrows at a protected part of us. He goes for the un-armored part.) How often do we throw a piece of ourselves at things-people-who will weaken and destroy us? It may sound extreme, but are we being careful to protect ourselves from all the things even that are considered "normal" in our society & culture today? Or do we go ahead with the un-necessary because we know how people will react if we don't?

Another thought. Let's take this a little bit deeper. One of the reasons Harry is successful & survives is because at a certain point he gives up on living. He stops trying to survive and maintain any kind of life or future and makes the decision to throw every ounce of himself into killing Voldemort. He seeks him out, stands before him, grabs him, and jumps off a cliff. He is willing to die to himself for what he knows is absolutely better. He doesn't know how it will end. He honestly thinks he'll die himself. But he becomes okay with that. Do u see the comparison here? Until we are willing to COMPLETELY die to ourself and just step off a cliff absolutely willing to just fall and have no control over the outcome, we are living in defeat. You wanna win? You wanna be that incredible, powerful, confident, secure, influential person? You wanna know Jesus with utter intimacy? Or do u want to be just like everybody else? It takes work to be different. A lot of it. U need to be okay with that. U need to be willing to die to yourself completely. Oh, but He is so worth it! I'm barely beginning to move over into the passenger seat and completely let go of the wheel. Let me tell you- NOTHING compares!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The numb

I should've known better than to think it wouldn't eventually catch up with me. The months of juggling several jobs and endless weeks of 4-5 hrs of sleep a night. When my parents came and cleaned out/rearranged my house, it was like the last straw. It's taking so long to sink in. I'm not myself. My mind is floating off in space and my body is numb. I go to work and am completely distracted. I can't think straight, feel normal, or have a logical conversation. I feel like I'm wandering around lost in the backwoods, somewhere unfamiliar. Last night I made dinner and walked into the atrium to sit and eat it, only to be re-shocked into the reality that my dining table wasn't there. My body didn't like the idea of processing that one, so I plopped myself down on the floor and sat. And ate. And sat. This morning I looked at the mound of clean laundry on my bedroom floor. I looked at the dishes in my sink. And the floors that need cleaning. And I walked into my living room and just sat on the floor. And stared. I can't even handle cleaning. Good thing I live alone.

I need to be more social, or so I'm told. But I am in such a need of a vacation that I can't even handle hanging out with people because my brain won't stay focused and let me have a conversation. I would probably just babble and cry and not really even know why. It amazes me that the human body & psychy can roller coaster so drastically between the highs of busy lives and performing well to the lows of exhasution and desperation of vacations. It's hard to be in the low, to admit I can't always handle life. I don't like the way I feel that looks to others. But I'm being encouraged lately to be completely honest. So I'm trying that. Besides, I don't have the energy to do much else right now. I could really go for a massage or a tropical island right about now. My body hurts from all the Zumba on the carpet.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm freaking out. Several days ago my parents told me they'll finally be putting the house on the market. I heard the words, but haven't believed the reality of it. It just didn't sink in. Maybe I haven't had time to think about it all the way. Today I came home from wk and everything was different. All my grandparents furniture was gone. And the empty rooms that I have set up to practice & learn Zumba in were fully furnished. Beds were in them with decor. Chairs, nightstands, and lamps were placed in these rooms for showmanship. Walking in the door from wk to see this makes my stomach churn and my mind and emotions overload into anxiety mode. My space, my comfort, my shelter, my place of doing what I'm passionate about are all taken over and I will be forced to leave it all soon for a tiny bedroom next to another tiny bedroom that is occupied by a very not-so-tiny personality. And let's not get into the difference between my parental units and I. To be respectful, I'll just say it isn't a healthy environment for me to live in. I'm sad. I don't like what's happening. I'm already being told that I need to find an apartment, roomates, something to be out on my own. That I really can't stay because it wouldn't force me to be independent and have to take care of myself. I was told I don't know how to do that. Why, then, do I feel that's exactly what I've had to do?! And how in the WORLD am I gonna live on my $8.65/hr income in a flipping apartment? I knew I was only surviving because my mom has kept my rent low these last 3 years. And I knew she'd eventually sell my house. So why do I feel so violated, intruded upon, hurt, alone, confused? And where do I go? What do I do? They want me out independently on my own. I've lived alone for 3 years. And I was running a coffeehouse and living in a house with roomates before THAT. I don't WANT independence. I want to belong. I want to NOT be alone anymore.