you never let go

Standard

Since getting this diagnosis, I have been aware of my life and surroundings in a different way. One thing that is immediately different is music. Songs that I have always loved, now have so much more meaning. They seem personal, like they were written for me, right now. Songs that I have sung many times now sound so new and full of truth.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

YOU NEVER LET GO – MATT REDMAN

I find now that I am so much more aware of God’s presence in my life, and turn to him more quickly. I have been told by others that a major crisis will deepen your spiritual life, and this seems to be true.  As I become afraid of the future, or an upcoming procedure, it seems to be automatic to turn to God and ask for strength, for a reminder that he is holding my hand and here to help.

I wonder why it isn’t that way in normal life?  Why is it so easy to say “Dear Father, I’m scared of this biopsy, please give me your comfort and remind me of your presence” and so hard to say “Dear Father, I’m annoyed at this slow driver in front of me, please give me your patience and kindness and help me not blow my horn nonstop like I want to”?  Why do I quickly pour my heart out to the Lord about my need for him to help me through cancer, but ignore my need for him to help me through bad hair days?  Why don’t I turn over my bad moods, critical attitudes and cranky days to God as easily and automatically?

Anybody have any ideas – why is the big stuff easy to take to God, but the little stuff trips us up?  (That’s a real question – go ahead, use the “leave a reply box”.  This is an interactive blog 🙂

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “you never let go

  1. I think it’s because I have the illusion that I can handle the small things myself–after all SHOULDN’T I be able to be patient with a slow driver on my own, because I want to be a good person? Another illusion–nothing is good but God. I am only good because He is in me–and He says I am good! But it’s His movement in my life that makes me good. In my pride, though, I don’t want to acknowledge that anything good in me comes from God. Don’t know if this makes sense, but think it all boils down to wanting to do it on our own.

  2. Dave Haas

    Interesting that we have such apparently different auto-pilot systems. You say you volitionally prefer and choose the “self indulgence of giving in to those immediate releases.” I understand that, and know that we all do that. We just want what we want, either to selfishly have, or to take out our current dissatisfaction on the nearest passersby.

    But…fundamental to my reply is the belief that I could not make that choice in the very (read “tangible”) presence of God. I don’t think I would have the guts to ignore Him or tell him to wait while I did my thing. Yet, in His intangible constant presence, I comfortably ignore or disobey Him. So, my challenge is to become more and more cognizant of the truth…He truly is right there. Then, I find it easier to act in a way consistent with His wishes, and less so on the wishes and expectations of other people. Speaking of wishes…I wish I were more consistently successful in this practice of His presence.

    • Ok, i get that. Sure if God were “there”, (burning bush-type experience), i probably wouldn’t be throwing hissy fits over minor irritations. (Minor sub-point- in your opinion, why DID God make it so hard for us to be aware of Him? I realize the whole walking with Adam and Eve in the garden got blown out by them eating the fruit thing, but IMO it would make it so much easier to follow God, which is what he wants, if we could just be 1% aware of him all the time. I’m just sayin.)

      The problem is holding on to a very true Truth – God is truly there – when it is a spiritual Truth and we are temporal creatures. I could spend the next week writing nothing but reasons that i KNOW God is real, and not only real but very personally involved in my life, and in an incredibly loving and caring way. However, as much as I know that, there are times when that is in my head, and the frozen chicken I just dropped on my bare toe is much more “real” (and solid!) at the moment, and my reaction may not relate to the Truth i know.

      • Dave Haas

        Okay. Two victories to start with. First, I found the “reply” link, so this should actually continue in the same thread, rather than spawning an apparently unrelated thought (sorry for messing up earlier). Second, it sounds as if you’re helping me make my argument–thanks!

        Now, to answer your question, “why DID God make it so hard for us to be aware of Him?” This could be fun. It opens the door to the discussion of why an eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, absolutely perfect being– totally fulfilled in and by Himself, lacking nothing–would choose to create ANYTHING at all. Why even bother?

        [Disclaimer: As a person, I fall into the category of “the created” which is far below “The Creator” and therefore…these thoughts and opinions may be well off the mark.]

        Moving on, I think we add the questions…why is faith a commodity that God values most highly? Why is prayer the chosen method of communing and communicating? God could have chosen anything at all to value most highly. He could have devised any method of communicating with His created ones–notes rolled up and tucked into a bottle, perhaps?

        Yet, He chose methods and means that demonstrate we believe He IS. That He can be trusted. That He is approachable. That He is love. All the while, not laying aside or compromising His unsearchable holiness, righteousness, and justice.

        I can’t prove a timeline of God’s creation of angelic beings and where it falls along with speaking the universe into existence (nor explain the next logical set of “why” questions that someone will ask)…but I wonder if God has chosen a surprising answer to win an inter-galactic argument waged in the heavenly realms. In Satan’s rebellion, did he accuse God, besmirching His reputation–saying God cannot be trusted or believed? That God was an unapproachable, unloving, all-controlling tyrant?

        Is God’s plan to reconcile all creation to Himself a magnum opus which demonstrates the falseness of Satan’s rebellious lies? If so, then a response to God in faith, prayer, and love demonstrates the truth of His character in our relationship with Him. That He Himself is our greatest treasure and we believe and trust Him.

        To prevent total conjecture and heresy…I do have a scriptural reference point for this discussion. See below, Ephes. 3:10-12 (NIV)
        His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, [11] according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. [12] In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

      • i told somebody today you were a lot smarter than i am. thanks for proving me right so quickly! So – because my basic concept with my blog is to be conversational (not controversial) and keep things at a sittin-in-the-living-room-talking level- here’s what I think you’re saying. The same way God used a period of time in Job’s life to prove Job’s faithfulness (and also God’s ultimate goodness by giving Job much more than was taken from him), humanity in general may be another, larger, period in time being used to prove God’s goodness through our faith? Is that kind of the idea?

        Well, on the one hand, of course that’s true, that’s what we are all about and what we are here for – to glorify God and show his mercy and goodness forever. On the other hand I know a few people that I would hate to be in an argument should they get hold of that concept, and start in on the idea that we are some kind of mice in a maze that God and satan are using to settle a bet. I might get it and you might get it, but I don’t know that I would ever be able to get them to get it. I love your Scripture reference BTW.

  3. Dave Haas

    I think it has to do with a couple things…starting with the gap between tangibility and intangibility. Why do people conform to pressure to perform, behave, speak, etc. in ways that are more socially or corporately acceptable? The tangibility of personal accountability. The eyes and ears of other people–real people with real expectations–are paying attention and will notice my weakness or failure. And, those same tangible eyes and ears will recognize (and perhaps even acknowlege) my progress and success. Maybe even resulting in some form of thankful recognition or “applause.”

    The same person who positively modifies his behavior in response to the expectations of other people will quite readily choose to act otherwise in private. This person may have a firm belief that God is all-knowing and everywhere present, and still choose to behave badly (i.e., “sin”) in private. Why? There is somehow a different sense of tangibility. The need to please my fellow man supercedes my desire to please my God. Perhaps there is also some spiritual laziness, presuming upon the faithfulness of God’s grace, whereas another person cannot be expected to be quite so consistently forgiving and patient.

    Another Biblical phrase for this is “fear of man.”

    Which leads to the second, related point. I read a book by Jerry Bridges called “Respectable Sins.” In that book, he uses a definition for the term “ungodliness” that I found helpful. Essentially, Bridges says ungodliness is going about life as if God wasn’t there and didn’t matter. Sadly, that type of real-life, everyday callous grows very quickly and easily on each one of us. The concerns and interests and pressures of each day are loud enough to drown out thoughts and awareness of God’s quiet and constant presence.

    So…I think the “big stuff” is easier to take to God because it awakens us from ungodliness to recognize the reality of our dependence on God. The “big stuff” is tangible. More tangible, in a sense, than the little stuff. We have learned how to muddle through the little stuff in our own ways. That ability becomes part of the callous of ungodliness. The big stuff is so tangible that it garners our attention to the degree that it tears open the callous–at least momentarily–and we retreat from ungodliness to a recognition of the truth.

    The truth is He had always been there. Just not so impolite as to rudely interrupt my very important, busy life.

    At least, that’s the way it seems to work around here…

    • Wow. What a thought – “The truth is He had always been there. Just not so impolite as to rudely interrupt my very important, busy life.” And I do agree, the “big stuff” shakes us out of our normal rut and makes us aware of God and aware of our own inability to help ourselves, and drives us to our knees in need and in thankfulness that there is an answer for that need.

      But I still pretty much think for me, as I continue to ponder it, that the main reason I tend to not take the smaller things to God, at least not as quickly as I should, is that I know that if/when I do, that means I have to let God deal with them. I have to surrender control of them. I have to agree to stop behaving in my own selfish preference and allow God to work in me for my good, and that usually means doing the exact opposite of what feels good to me right now. I don’t want to be gentle and kind when I’m in a bad mood, I want to snap and grouch. I don’t want to be patient when I’m running behind (and don’t remind me that I wouldn’t be running behind if I had been more disciplined with my time!!) I want the self indulgence of giving in to those immediate releases. The problem is, I can’t have that as my consistent choice of behavior and have a submitted, growing relationship with God, too.

  4. Ross and Sue

    Kim–don’t know bout you but i feel like i am somehow bothering God if i keep asking for what seems to be petty help–he has so much on his plate, i don’t want to be a nuisance to him. Not that he can’t handle it, but i don’t want to be an annoyance

    • I hear what you’re saying, and I definitely don’t like to come to God with a “magic genie” attiude – you know, like “God, please let me get out of this ticket”, or “let me get this job” – that stuff. But God says he wants us to ask for what is needed in our lives, because he loves us.
      Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Phillipians 4:6

      Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. I Peter 5:7

      And I know I’m not honoring him when I act all cranky and crabby.

      Thanks for sharing your reason for feeling reluctant to “bother” God. I don’t think that’s my reason. I think mine is more along the lazy line, or even just not wanting to give up the bad mood quite yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s