Waiting on God (part 3)

We have reached part 3 in our series, “Waiting on God.”  In Jennifer Rothschild’s book, “God is Just not Fair,” she shares what we can do while we wait for God.

  1.  Cry when you hurt.
  2. Trust God more than your feelings.
  3. Choose loyalty over logic

I’d like to share a quote from point #2, trust God more than your feelings.

“Our feelings are real, but they don’t always reflect absolute reality.  In other words, our feelings about a situation may not always match the facts of the situation.  We can misunderstand, misinterpret, and become miserable because of it!

Feelings may be unreliable at times, but they are still important to acknowledge.  They hint at what is in your heart and in your head.  They point to what you fear and what you desire.  They often reveal beliefs you didn’t even know you held….

…Feelings can be incredibly revealing, so don’t repress them.  But let them serve you rather than govern you.  If you let them serve you, you employ them as an intuitive detective that can lead you to ultimate truth.  Feel your emotions, but don’t confuse them with facts or base your faith on them.  Your feelings will change; this season of pain will change.  But God never does.  That’s why we ultimately trust him more than our feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7).”  -pgs. 41-42

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Waiting on God (part 2)

In Jennifer Rothschild’s book, “God is Just not Fair,” she shares what we can do while we wait for God.

  1.  Cry when you hurt.
  2. Trust God more than your feelings.
  3. Choose loyalty over logic

I’d like to share a quote from point #1, cry when you hurt.

“Don’t deny your hurt or try to diminish it.  Honesty and vulnerability lead to intimacy, but repression leads to isolation and depression.  Humbly admit your disillusionment to God and to another human being who cares about you.  Tears are a natural and healthy response to pain; even Jesus wept (John 11:35).  When life hurts, it’s OK to acknowledge your pain and cry.  Your tears are safe with God.” -pg. 41

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Waiting on God

Wrestling with God

I have to chuckle as I wrote the title, “Waiting on God.”  Perhaps a more suitable title at times would be, “When God is still Patiently Waiting on Me!”  Well, I guess this is what limited human perspective gets ya!  Who is waiting on who!?!

Today I am writing about waiting on God as it specifically relates to matter of justice, retribution, vengeance, and the inbreaking of new creation.

The Bible is full of places that insist God is good, God is righteous, God is patient, God is just, and God is Judge.  What is painfully less clear is when and how this patient God springs into action to judge both the righteous and the wicked, either in daily events, or at the eschatological (end) judgment.

What if we get angry because it takes God so long to show up?  And when God finally arrives on the scene, what if we get even angrier, because His course of action is not what we had in mind?

Habakkuk says this about the Holy One,

“Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?”  -Habakkuk 1:13

What is a proper judgment?  How would my verdict differ from God’s?  How does a human begin to comingle Divine attributes such as justice, compassion, grace, wrath, and mercy to arrive at the mind of God as Yahweh passes judgment?  This is a cruel jigsaw puzzle for my mind.  Real crossroad questions are if you will fully worship a God whose arm of judgment delays longer than you appropriate, or worship God whose judgment it manifests itself in either a softer or harsher way than you think right.  These are real battlegrounds in people’s heads and hearts as we deal with theodicy.  Theodicy is the problem of evil if we posit that God is good.

In Ecclesiastes it says,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.” -Ecclesiastes 3:17

Well God, when exactly do you plan to start righting wrongs?  When is the time for You to judge every deed?  You can imagine a prophet or psalmist of old lament, or a victim and their family from a more current event.  Maybe in your own life, your sin against others, and/or others sin against you has currently left you shell-shocked regarding core questions surrounding God’s goodness.

As I conclude, I hope the above provides some food for thought.  Is God is challenging you to a wrestling match where your next step of faith will be anything but easy as it relates to God’s divine prerogative in setting up His timetable?

Child hand

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

Selfie – not pictured, the twinkle.

selfie 1

This was a photo I took of myself two months before I resigned from my job as a pastor.  This photo was indicative of my typical resting face.  I was wiped.  Exhausted.  E-v-e-r-y-d-a-y.

I was weekly digging into whatever energy I had left to preach the next Sunday’s sermon.  Outside of the adrenaline jolt of being around people, and doing my best to be as encouraging and supportive as I knew how, the only word to describe my energy levels when alone was exhaustion.

“Do you ever not smile?,” someone asked after last year’s Thanksgiving Service.  “Sure, all the time,” was my reply.  But this too, I said with a smile.  I think they chose to believe my face, not my words.

A PERSON FROM THE COMMUNITY: “You sure are happy!  You have good energy.  I can see why you would make a good pastor.”

ME: “Do you think people want this persona in their pastor?”

A PERSON FROM THE COMMUNITY: “Oh yes, definitely.  People are so down and depressed these days.  I can see how your energy really uplifts people.”

Energy drinksSo, I guess the high energy Positive Pete bit is all part of the gig people want in a pastor.  Christians are to love.  Christians are to serve.  Christians are to be others-centered.  Love is to encourage and support.  I get that.  I wanted to give that.  And I did just that.  I played the role people wanted me to play.  Nobody wants the Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy, me included.  So I tried with all my might to keep my natural resting face for those few closer relationships.

I hope that you have a few safe places in your life where you don’t have the force out that smile.

Christianity is not about smiles.  It is about humble broken vessels searching for wholeness and redemption.

smiling office

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

In Search of True Strength

Me. I desire approval, affirmation, and attention. My ego wants to shout to the world my rightness when I perceive that I’ve been wronged. But Jesus issues a huge challenge. Jesus could have saved face and defended himself in front of his accusers. Instead, he showed wisdom when he surveyed and saw the situation for what it was. With many options at his disposal, Jesus chose to remain silent. Instead of raising his hand in wrath to retaliate, he extended his hand to offer forgiveness to his adversaries, who, “did not know what they were doing.” To turn the other cheek requires mega strength. This is a huge opportunity for growth for me. The future may provide clarity to confusing present circumstances to those wronged but who persist in faith.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity

Boundaries: work, family, marriage, kids, adults who act like kids, and all those other people who drain you ;)

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity

5:00am Monday Morning – Motivation is Nowhere to be Found!

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity