Monday, January 18, 2010

Brutal Honesty, Beautiful Reality ~ Part I

BRUTAL HONESTY - I don't actually read my Bible. Therefore, especially in those moments when I need it most, I don't remember it and don't really believe.

Yes, you read correctly... I don't read my Bible on any consistent basis. I have not committed my heart, my thoughts, my attention to reading. I could easily take pride in the vast amount of attention I have given to reading the greatest books on theology, the church fathers, biblical counseling, and even ones on the very topic of devotion! But not the Bible. When someone asks me questions like, "Why did Christ die?" or "If God is so good, why is there evil in the world?" I am quick to spout off something else I've read about what Scripture says. My initial and heartfelt response is not:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (Rom 5:6-11).

Rather than reading and unpacking such incredible, glorious truth from Scripture (take a moment to read that passage - it is packed with the truth of our hope and assurance!), I revert to other sources that will hopefully impress people and make me sound like I know what I'm talking about. I skim through my mental bookshelf and pick out what sounds best for the situation or topic at hand.
Then, on an even more personal note, when I have gone through a difficult time in recent months, my own "dark night of the soul," I have found myself empty...empty of joy, attempting to draw from a dry well that has not been filled with the water that quenches my thirst and satisfies my weary soul.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to Me; hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant." (Isaiah 55:1-3)
"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory.
Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise You with joyful lips,
when I remember You upon my bed,
and meditate on You in the watches of the night;
for You have been my help,
and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me." (Psalm 63:1-8)

What does He promise if I simply come to Him? He promises to satisfy my longing, to bring real and lasting comfort to an otherwise anxious heart. He is the hope and joy and source of salvation I am so quick to proclaim, yet I have failed to believe in the middle of a mediocre workday or when all good seems lost from a difficult situation. I have had to ask myself a very hard and honest question: do I really believe what I say I believe? Whether I am counseling other women, or lying awake at night with my mind racing, do I really believe?

I have not believed because I have not drawn near to Him. I have not devoted my heart and mind to that which was written for me, for you, for the Church. Should I be terribly surprised at how I feel and what the honest status of relationship is with Him if I have not been drawing from the well of living water? Is it any wonder that I am so prone to doubt and worry if I am not pouring over Scripture as one satisfying herself with rich food and healing balm? This has been a significant realization for me: my Father delights to do me good! And the more I know Him, the more I will see and really believe and accept the good He is doing even when I am oblivious to it.

1 comment:

Mark & Anna said...

love you friend...thanks for sharing your heart! the Lord is doing a good work in you and its encouraging to read your posts! "blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth..." the Lord is good in making us know our weakness and so we can glory in His perfect strength!