Jesus’ actions strike me as odd sometimes. Continue reading “Finding God In The Eremos”
It’s hard for me to grasp that Jesus loves me.
I can line all the facts up in my brain but my heart still has a hard time seeing the full picture. Part of it is simple awe that the One who breathed out galaxies cares for me. And, that sort of stunned disbelief is obviously rational in this context. Like King David asks in Psalm 8, “What is man that you are mindful of him…?”
But I think my difficulties don’t stem from a proper feeling of awe as much as they do the cultural stereotype of the emotionality of Jesus. Think about it. We often paint Jesus as always even-tempered and calm, even serene. And it doesn’t feel like someone like that could truly and deeply and furiously love me; it feels more like they would just smile at me and pat my head.
I can’t be the only one that feels uncomfortable when the perfectly tranquil Jesus that lurks in the back of our brains is contrasted with the actual Jesus of Nazareth written about in Scripture. The Jesus that was so passionate about honoring his Father that he flipped tables, the Jesus that wept over his dead friend.
Portraying Jesus as emotionlessly tranquil is misleading and needs to be rejected. Not only was Jesus fully man, but he was fully God, and the strongest emotions of Scripture are used when talking about the Father. He is jealous. He is furious. He laughs. He is compassionate.
And He loves.
Thank goodness Jesus is emotional. Thank goodness his emotions are perfect. Thank GOD that he LOVES me.
I was copying Scripture earlier today, a practice that forces me to slow down and think about the words, and this passage from Romans 8 seems particularly fitting to close:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 37-39)”
Merriam-Webster defines ‘meek’ in a few ways including ‘deficient in spirit or courage’ and ‘not violent or strong.’ Even in the face of such definitions, the pop evangelists rush to tell us that meekness does not equate to weakness when looking at Scripture. But what if it does?
And, what if that’s actually a comfort, not a condemnation? Continue reading “Blessed Are The Meek”
Our cultural ambition is to be known. Continue reading “The Goodness Of Obscurity”
I don’t write about him often, but last summer I adopted a stray, senior mini dachshund. The little guy lights up my life.
Unfortunately, dachshunds are extremely susceptible to back injuries, and Watson is not an exception. A couple of weeks ago the inevitable took place and the days since have been filled with crate rest, pain killers, and a little dog frustrated at not being able to run around like he wants.
And, because I think God delights in teaching me lessons through animals (over and over and over again), He’s taught me through this.
I’ve caught myself telling Watson, “It’s for your own good,” over and over and over again. It’s for your own good. It’s for YOUR own GOOD.
He hates the crate rest, but it’ll help him heal.
He hates being carried around and kept from running, but it’ll also help him heal.
He hates being on a diet, but it’ll help him lose more weight so his back isn’t under as much stress.
And, I feel like the way Watson reacts to my care for him is exactly how I react to God’s care for me.
I kick and scream about the discipline and the stretching and the growth, and God just reminds me He’s working for my good. I can look back over my shoulder and see the good, but the good certainly doesn’t FEEL that way in the moment.
Hebrews 12 speaks to this:
“‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? …For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (vs. 5-7, 11)”
Everything I do is for Watson’s good. I never do anything to purposefully make him sad or to harm him. If I, a mere human being caring for a little animal, can so carefully work for his good, how much more our heavenly Father, the Creator of all things? He works on our behalf, even when it doesn’t feel like good.
The funny thing about determination is how quickly it runs out. Continue reading “God’s Hands Are Stronger Than My Legs”
“I work in politics,” I answered.
You could have heard a pin drop.
And then, they changed the topic. Continue reading “How To Be An Encouragement To Politically Involved Christians”