Thursday, January 28, 2010

"There's got to be a morning after"

After yesterday (see After. Shock. Therapy) I was counting on Oswald (author of My Utmost for his Highest) to hit the nail on the head for me today-in my God's time. To give me what I needed. And clearly I needed comfort and hand holding. (OK, not Oswald's strong suit, but a girl can dream, right?)

Instead I got:

"Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me?''
(Acts 26:14)
"Am I set on my own way for God?
Obstinacy and self will always stab Jesus Christ...
When the knowledge comes that it is Jesus whom we
have been is the most
crushing revelation there could be."
(My utmost, Jan.28)
So no one-including Oswald-will give me what I think I need...
Hugs. Reassurances. An explanation of how I could have tried my best, and this is how it all was received?
All I want is unconditional love when I am at my ugliest, is that too much to ask?
What hope do I have if my best is hurting Jesus? (along with everyone else I live with)
And even though I recognize that the answer that is loudest in my head comes from a source that hates me, I still listen. "Check out." "You're done." "You are only making matters worse..."
"Oh, if you only had a river you could skate away on."

I want out. I want out. I want out. I close my eyes, and these are the only words I hear. They are my quite empty hope. I am, without a doubt, listening to the father of lies. And, as usual, his counterfeit offer is deceivingly appealing. He is the author of the mantra:
"There is only one answer-it's not a good one-but it is the only one."
Red flags wave as my head pounds. Where is the truth here? Where is the answer from the Lover of my soul? I'll have to intentionally stop listening to the loud-overly-eager-hater/liar, if I'm going to start listening to the still-small-loving-forgiving-wisdom-filled voice of truth. goes...
The enemy wants me to focus inward. To analyze my every thought and hurt. To sit here and wait for someone to come along and scoop me up and distract me from this quite unappealing revelation of self. (either that, or have myself put to sleep)
But God wants me to face it. Look it full in the face and acknowledge it:

My best efforts are CRAP.
(and so are yours, btw)

I think maybe after you've been a Christian for as long as I have, the thought creeps in that, now that I am redeemed, my best efforts are godly...untainted. That, since I attempt to devote myself to knowing God and loving and helping other people, I am no longer a part of the problem. But I am. And if my best efforts could change that, then Jesus would not have needed to die on that cross. And survival of the spiritual fittest would be the gateway to heaven.

But Jesus is the gate. And not to keep us out, but to stand guard over us, when that wolf has his sites set on our furry little hides.
My eyes needed opened to the ugly fact that, somewhat like Paul, my spiritual zest had taken a wrong turn. (fortunately mine didn't involve tracking down those who I considered spiritually errant and literally killing them) But people were getting hurt, namely the ones I love the most.

Bottom line-the world is broken and I am an ongoing contributor to that. I am fragile and clumsy (a really bad combo) and I live among the fragile and clumsy. We will hurt each other along the way-even when we are trying our darnedest not to.

"We imagine we understand where the other person is,
until God gives us a dose of the plague of our own hearts.
There are whole tracts of stubbornness and ignorance
to be revealed by the Holy Spirit in each one of us,
and it can only be done when Jesus gets us alone."
(Oswald, My Utmost, Jan.)

Where does the hope come from then? The same place as always. At the cross.

"Where the wrongs we have done
and the wrongs done to us
have been nailed to a tree
there on the cross."

May I never again forget the perfect work of the cross.

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord"(Gal. 6:14)
May , "I consider everything else a loss compared..." to the cross (Phil 3:8)
May I, "resolve to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified"(1 Cor. 2:2)

So...the glimpse of me that the enemy intended to take me out with, my Daddy-God intended to strengthen and grow me with. But even if "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger", no matter how strong I get, I will not fall for the enemies flattery. (with the intention of puffing me up, so that he can do the honors of deflating me later) I will instead remember:

"Little ones to Him belong,
they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me..."

Yes, Jesus loves you. He loves all of our weak little furry/mangy hides.
All I want is unconditional love when I am at my ugliest. Is that too much to ask?
No-thankfully-it is not.


  1. Lisa,

    Love you, girl! Happy blogging! Wish I was going to Denver with you!! Let me know how it goes!! I love you!

  2. Hey there.. funny, that evil one was telling me today "you are still that girl" I am teaching a bible study with all new people. Life's Healing Choices. I knew the enemy would be coming.. But what he was trying to do was undo all MY GOD has done in me. In just a few minutes.. I admit "worthy" of the name "sly little devil"

    We just need a switch... that works every time. I AM THE TRUTH..... And not let the evil voice even be heard.. I am not that girl.. AMEN!

    You go Lisa! I can't wait to hear what God does in Denver.. and yes I will be praying for you...


  3. I love this Lisa - it spoke directly to my heart - keep it up!