Five Minute Friday (I’m Late…Again): Hope

Jesus at the center of it allJesus at (2)

Gentle Reader,

I don’t know what it is about Thursday evenings all of sudden, but I can’t seem to get in on the Twitter action.

It might be because I can tell that I’m heading into another season of hating the internet and all things technological.

The Luddite in me struggles.

Linking up (very late) with Kate and the crew. We: hope.

Go.

I’m feeling cantankerous.

And weary.

I’m so tired of all this pseudo-intellectual, pretentious nonsense that passes itself off as wisdom and knowledge these days. Tired of bad doctrine like open theism being so casually embraced by the Church. Tired of this bill calling for the removal of the words “husband” and “wife” from federal documents. (‘Cause we’re all just so stupid and discriminatory and people are special snowflakes and that’s SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than addressing things like unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, systemic racism, human trafficking, education, soaring federal deficit, equal pay for women, the lack of proper support and care for veterans….) Tired of people who just absolutely refuse to think through to the logical conclusion of anything. Tired of living in a post-modern word that rejects metanarrative and concrete word meaning – until that doesn’t work and then suddenly language matters, but only in the way deemed appropriate and necessary by those who would seek to redefine words.

It all makes me very cranky.

In the midst of the crank, what fascinates me is how so much of this, both within the Church and without, is emotion-driven. “I don’t like the way you/that makes me feel, so you/that are/is the enemy and must be destroyed.” There is no rational reasoning. There is no agreeing to disagree and live in peace. There must be total acquiescence and silencing.

Furthermore, the louder the screams, the more defensive and hot-headed a person gets, the more insecure they are. If you really believe what you believe about something, anything, another person disagreeing with you or having a different viewpoint isn’t going to send you into a tailspin. Confidence in a position means that you don’t have to have everyone on your side. The squashing of dissent is a sign of fear and a desire to control.

And that is why I am so glad that my hope is in Christ. He never says to sue the government or scream at your neighbor or redefine/censor language or pitch a big, fat, stinking fit when someone disagrees. He says, “Look to Me. Follow Me.” Whether anyone else does or not is irrelevant. Because it’s not about forcing an agenda on anyone. It’s not about feelings.

It’s all about Him.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

You Can Trust God

Trust in the Lord with all your (9)

Gentle Reader,

I had a different post in mind for today, something about basic logic and the insanity of our world. These words may yet come at a later time, but right now I simply don’t have the energy or the brain power for them. As the meme says, “I can’t brain today. I has the dumb.”

Truth is, I feel pretty awful. Chris and I went out to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday, which was cut short by my sudden desire to either faint or vomit. Both seemed like viable options. (As of today, I have done neither and I really wish I would. I think I’d feel better). My liver or at least the space around my liver is swollen and painful. Can’t really eat. There’s pressure behind my eyes; not quite a headache but enough to be irritating. Yesterday afternoon I fell asleep on the couch and didn’t realize it. Didn’t even hear my husband moving around or the dogs barking, which is unheard of for a light sleeper like me.

I don’t know what’s going on. Since I had a CT scan to check on all this stuff last Friday morning, I’m hoping that the timing of that test and this attack/flare-up/whatever has been orchestrated by God so that my doctor can easily diagnose and treat the problem. I’ll be seeing him on Wednesday.

So, instead of some sarcasm, I give you this:

You can trust God.

You can.

It would be easy for me to stop trusting God. It would be easy for me to become furious with Him. Why won’t He heal me? Why won’t He release me from this? Why do I have to suffer? All legitimate questions, really. All questions that I suspect each one of us will have to wrestle with before shedding these tents of flesh.

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Well, I know about things like the effects of sin. I know how genetic mutations arise and how they are never a good thing (so much for naturalistic evolution). What I don’t know is why this is happening to me. I don’t know why this has been allowed or why it’s part of the plan.

But I do know that I can trust God. It’s the hard choice. Sometimes excruciatingly hard. Yet when I want to let go of the cliff-face and drop into the sea of despair below, the beauty of His dear face above arrests me. His voice urges me on. His hand grips mine, no matter my weakness. He grants me eyes to see something good, something eternal, in the midst of the battering storm.

When the tsunami comes, He covers my body with His.

When the winds howl, He pulls the hood tight over my head.

When the pain stabs at my side, He holds me close.

He has not abandoned me. He never will.

Be encouraged today. Whatever you face, however bleak it seems, you can trust God.

My journey to faith. (15)

Five Minute Friday: World

Along the Way@ mlsgregg.com (3)

Gentle Reader,

Didn’t really get to connect with my fellow writers this evening. Little things got in the way, like stopping by the store for milk and getting distracted by all the pretty ice cream.

It’s that time again. Kate. The sisters and brothers. Connecting across the miles and through the internet to write about: world.

Go.

It’s getting to me this week.

The world.

And all the junk in it.

I know to expect a dip in my mood with the first blast of summer’s cruelty. Though born in August, I despise this season. As I tweeted the other day, saying that you like the heat is basically saying you like being sweaty and lethargic. I don’t understand that at all. People that willingly live in the desert have to be a little touched in the head.

Already prone to scowl, I began to dwell on some things. Broken relationships. An upcoming CT scan to check on my sad, dysfunctional liver. (Seems like that road will never end). The cancer that’s eating away at my grandfather.

Crabby, thy face is mine.

Sunday was unpleasant.

Monday, out of nowhere, I had a desire to read the book of Ezra. I knew it was a prompting of the Spirit because…well, it was urgent. A deep, aching hunger. For Ezra? Sure, I’ve read it before, but nothing was sticking out in my mind. Why on earth would I be moved to read about the ancient priest and his people? What words did God have for me there?

If I listed everything I learned from just three chapters, this post would far exceed the five minute mark.

The people in exile return to the ruin of their home, the once-great city of Jerusalem. They take back with them all the precious items Nebuchadnezzer had stolen. The pagan community around them practically throws valuable items at them. They have no idea where to start, how to proceed. But they go.

The Nethinim. The Temple workers, who labored behind the scenes. The men who did the grunt work. Out of the spotlight, beyond the glory.

Chapter Three, verse three:

Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening burnt offerings. (NKJV)

They did what the knew was right, despite their fear.

I was reminded: I cannot take my eyes off of the Lord. Not for a moment. Not for a fraction of a moment. I will be swallowed up by woe and worry, rack and ruin if I dare. Yes, I face ongoing health problems. Yes, my grandfather is in his final days. Yes, there are troublesome people and issues.

None of that is bigger than God.

And so this, the cry of my heart:

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)