Sunday, August 8, 2010
"God can do anything, you know...
...far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Eph 3. 20-21 The Message
as I ponder on this again - He has done incredible things for us - because He loved us and came - because He took on flesh and dwelt among us - because of the incarnation - I am again blown away - because He whispers in my heart - not in the whirlwind or earthquake but in a soft whisper - eternity whispers - oh my - this is too great - who can grasp it? - the eternal One in our heart.
... the Jesus i am coming to know is the One Who had friendship/fellowship with the tax collector, the woman 'caught' in adultery, the little girl who was 'dead', the father whose heart was breaking because of his son who continually threw himself into the fire. the Jesus i am coming to know is the One Who did not withdraw Himself from the woman with the issue of blood. the One Who in essence said, 'phooey on the laws of the sabbath' and healed all over the place on that day - because He is the Sabbath and He was being true to Himself. the One Who loved us so much that He became incarnate - that we might be connected to Him, His Father and the Holy Spirit in that glorious, eternal relationship/fellowship - that dance that many of His saints talk about.
the Jesus i am coming to know dislikes [understatement] the actions of those who use, abuse and mislead folks. He seems to not have a whole lot of patience with the religious who will not see - and who hinder others from seeing Him as He is. the Jesus i am coming to know was and is moved with incredible compassion regarding mankind's blindness and chosen ventures into the pig pens of the world.
the Jesus i am coming to know doesn't keep a score-card on me - or on any one else. He has more patience with me than the ocean has drops of water. He doesn't beat me - or anyone else when our lives get messy. He gives me His hand, lifts me up out of my crippled place and enables me to jump, run and walk with Him.
the Jesus i am coming to know is so very eager to teach me Who He is - to take away the structures in my mind which argue against Him. He delights in freeing me from the chains of sin which bind me in order that i can experience the freedom and grace of His life.
i could go on and on - but perhaps by now, you get the picture - Jesus the express image of the Father - yahoo!
this Jesus - and more and more - as i am willing to set aside that wearisome burden of living in the imaginations of my making [and the world's, the flesh's and the devil's] as to who He is and saying yes to His life and Who He is, is the One i am coming to know.
the following taken from an article on a special blog
"Discovering Jesus in the dungeons of our brokenness means that we do not have to dream of a Magical Other or plaster our dream upon their face and demand that they live up to our unearthly expectations. And it means that we do not have to impose our agendas upon the lives of our friends, or of creation. Discovering Jesus in the dungeon means we are free to live in and out of the real dream of the Father, Son and Spirit, for now our adoption is no dream at all, but the simple truth. We are included in their shared life. The Father, Son and Spirit have pitched their tent inside our dungeon. Such a discovery is the beginning of faith and repentance (a radical change in the way we see), and it is the beginning of the freedom to accept others and to be accepted, to know and to be known, to love and to be loved, to delight and being delighted in."
C Baxter Kruger http://baxterkruger.blogspot.com/2009/12/expectation.html
... hear His voice
It never ceases to amaze me - tucked in here and there - in the most unexpected places - one stumbles over the fact that He has always desired to reveal Himself to us.
Moreover, this revealing is quite often to the unimportant, insignificant, no-name no-power folks in society.
Case in point: a few weeks ago I was finishing reading a historical novel about, as it turns out, a key figure in the linage of kings and queens of England.
There it was, tucked into the last quarter or so of a very long book. A simple person is brought into the story - one to whom He had revealed Himself. Surprisingly, a woman - not a man, nor priest, nor bishop or pope. Not even to a king or prince - or princess. Her name was Julian - Julian of Norwich.
In England in the 1400's, He visited Julian in order that she might know Him - not as the religion of the day portrayed Him. The religion of pilgrimages to various shrines to pray to whatever relic was being touted - maybe a little toe bone of saint so-and-so, or a vial of the milk of Mary, or a thorn from the crown given to Jesus, or a splinter from the spear of the Roman soldier.
He cut through all that and spoke to her of His great love for His creation. He made Himself known as Love - pure and simple and true.
It was a time of believing God was distant and very angry with folks. A time that believed He had to be appeased in any way possible - the longer and more difficult the pilgrimage, the better. The more money given to the shrine keepers, the better.
It was a time of fear of excommunication and damnation. A time which did not know - nor even consider - that Father just might not be as religion said. Oddly enough, and though it may look a little different, we have many similar beliefs and practices today regarding God.
Father made Himself known to this woman - this humble person. She, in turn, shared this with Catherine - the key person in the English king/queen linage.
Catherine was in the most devastated place of her life with no hope on the horizon. Among other very difficult circumstances, she had suffered the loss of a child, for which she blamed herself. Catherine made a pilgrimage of many weeks by herself to a shrine. Having received no answer to her prayer of help for her child, she attempted suicide. In the midst of attempting suicide, a man of the cloth rescued and introduced her to Julian. Time spent with Julian made all the difference.
Time spent learning Him - made all the difference.
Whether this actually happened - whether Catherine met Julian - I don't know for sure. That is not really the point.
The point is that, throughout all the years and centuries, there have been folks who heard Him - mostly in a way that cut right across the practices and teachings of the day.
There have always been those who would hear...
There still are those who hear...
and pay heed.
How many times do we hear something - and say something - and agree to and with something - and then - all of a sudden we get the ‘ah-ha’ about it?
When we stop jibber-jawing in our mind - and in our conversing/praying with Father - long enough, we just might hear what His heart is. We just might hear what He is talking about - what He desires to talk about with us - what He desires to do.
If we would just shut up and listen up - oh my! If we would just be still and know that He is. And that the *He is* is not some silent stump that we pummel with all our words and thoughts, but, in human terms, a living, breathing being, perhaps we would not find ourselves in the stews we get into about knowing His will or what pleases Him and/or walking with Him, where to go, what to do, what to say, etc, etc, etc.