Let down gently?

February 23, 2007

How many times have you been hurt or felt let down?

I’ve put my trust in human beings but obviously when i do, i take a risk.  Many times i’ve shared aspects of my life, made myself vulnerable and opened up.  Opening oneself to another is essentially taking the risk to open a door to getting hurt. 

People often say it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.  I think of the friendships i’ve had over the years where i’ve felt damaged or mistreated, but i’m glad i took the risk to get close to those friends even if in some cases i was knocked along the way.

Life is a learning curve and i believe we can receive God’s love in a special and different way when in a place of vulnerability and hurt – when we’ve felt in despair we can let Him minister to our pain rather than being bitter, and in so doing be drawn deeper into His heart.

Friendships are amazing, even when hurt occurs, because there’s something beautiful about two beings, two of God’s creation taking a risk, and trying to imitate the bond of love between the ‘persons’ of the Trinity.

God doesn’t give up on us and is always there for us no matter what we feel about Him.  He won’t let us down, He doesn’t want to hurt us, but Love us to the fullness of Love that we are capable of receiving. 

We need a balance in life between the VIP’s (Very Inspiring People) and the VDPs (Very Draining People) so that we may both give and receive from others, and in doing so draw each other closer to Christ.

Are you in the right seat?

February 21, 2007

How many times have you looked down on someone or thought of yourself as better than another?  No?  Perhaps it’s just me!

If i completed a marathon run for charity or led worship at a service then i might pat myself on the back and say ‘well done!’.  Yes, those things may be good, but in the church community the preaher is no better than the worship leader, the worship leader no better than those in charge of the sound system, and they no better than those who clean the church or those who welcome people into the building.

All have two things in common: 1) they are children of God, 2) Have a unique purpose in the Body of Christ. 

If everyone wanted to be a preacher and was gifted at that then there’d be no one to listen to the sermons.  If everyone said welcoming was  a lesser role, then people might never enter the church to hear the song lyrics they needed to hear, because they didn’t feel at ease and welcomed enough to come in. 

How do you view yourself?  We are called to seee ourselves as God does: beautiful, called, and gifted.  But we are equal, no one better than the other, for God loves us equally… we just need to be faithful to the call He has placed on our life.

I’ve been on an epic journey of late, battling spiritual blizzards, shooting arrows of faith at mountains which block my path…

It’s been a hard trek, and would’ve been easy to give up during the course of the adventure.  However when you have treasure you’re fighting to get to, it keeps you going, even when things seem impossible – the treasure acts as an incentive to continue, giving you a boost of energy.

Maybe your treasure is your children, your spouse, your friends, your family, or some promises God has made to you personally, or the promise of eternal life itself?

We all have dragons to slay along the way, and they may be around for sometime in the form of challenges at work, or difficulties with a family member or with someone’s health.  Whatever the dragon you have to slay, you need the hope of a treasure, something keeping you going.  Obviously you first need to identify the dragon you’re trying to slay.

Whatever dragon there is in your life, know that in Christ you have the victory over it.

People without vision perish, those without hope give up!

Matters of the Heart

February 5, 2007

If something in your life is of God then Satan won’t be happy so will try to confuse you.

When something which is precious to you becomes a chore or a struggle, be encouraged that this is possibly because you’re in exactly the right place to be maximumly effective and fruitful.

Matters close to the heart can cause extremes: much pain and ecstatic joy.  The heart is a complex place where we talk of emotions originating, the place we get hurt and offended, the place where we take risks, the place people can hit us at the deepest level.  One area of heart searching i’ve come to realise many young Christians battle with is the question of, ‘Where does friendship end and relationship start?’.

Remembering all the way back to my University days i recall one afternoon when a Christian sister of mine (now married with a child)  came out with me for coffee and a chat.  She shared how all the male Christian friends in her life were so wonderful that she’d be happy if God called her to marry any of them!!

At the same time as discerning who might be her future spouse this lovely woman of God was trying to work out whether God might have her assigned for a life of celibacy.  There were so many thoughts my peers went through in those days with regards to their vocational journey…  to help her quest someone suggested that to know who your lifelong partner will be is to say, ‘could i live without this person?’.

Essentially i believe God calls us to the places where we’ll flourish most, but that doesn’t mean there will be no struggle or temptation, even once you’ve made a decision.  The hardships in marriage, the hardships in a life of celibacy are to hone you into a more beautiful diamond, knocking off the rough edges, making you reflect God’s love more.

If you’re struggling with your vocation, your work, or any relationship in your life, rest assured that God will use it to make you more like Him… for He Himself went through trials and temptations from Satan who wanted Him to go ‘off course’ and not receive the prize laid out for Him! 

Don’t let Satan steal the gifts God has for you!  Don’t give up!