Wednesday, April 02, 2008

God's grasp

The other day while we were out and about we heard a song that talks about God's grasp. It hit me hard as I listened because I was thinking of those days and nights at the hospital that I was so mad at God. No matter how mad I got he never let go of me. It kind of reminds me of when a child gets mad and will not listen to what you are saying. You may have the child by the arms and they are struggling to get away. If you can just calm the child and surround them in your loving arms they will relax, surrender and be at peace. How many times have I struggled with God and once I will say ok you are in control He will surround me with His loving arms and I will feel His overwhelming peace.

The day that I wrote the post about my battle I had emailed some very dear friends of ours . I wanted to share something Marc shared with me.

Spiritual Vision Through Personal Character
"Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place …" (Revelation 4:1).
A higher state of mind and spiritual vision can only be achieved through the higher practice of personal character. If you live up to the highest and best that you know in the outer level of your life, God will continually say to you, "Friend, come up even higher." There is also a continuing rule in temptation which calls you to go higher; but when you do, you only encounter other temptations and character traits. Both God and Satan use the strategy of elevation, but Satan uses it in temptation, and the effect is quite different. When the devil elevates you to a certain place, he causes you to fasten your idea of what holiness is far beyond what flesh and blood could ever bear or achieve. Your life becomes a spiritual acrobatic performance high atop a steeple. You cling to it, trying to maintain your balance and daring not to move. But when God elevates you by His grace into heavenly places, you find a vast plateau where you can move about with ease.
Compare this week in your spiritual life with the same week last year to see how God has called you to a higher level. We have all been brought to see from a higher viewpoint. Never allow God to show you a truth which you do not instantly begin to live up to, applying it to your life. Always work through it, staying in its light.
Your growth in grace is not measured by the fact that you haven’t turned back, but that you have an insight and understanding into where you are spiritually. Have you heard God say, "Come up higher," not audibly on the outer level, but to the innermost part of your character?
"Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing …?" (Genesis 18:17). God has to hide from us what He does, until, due to the growth of our personal character, we get to the level where He is then able to reveal it.

Later that day I received this from the sister of a dear friend of ours.

I do want to share with you an excerpt from a book, Praying through Life's Problems, by Stormie Omartian. This excerpt was written by Joni Eareckson Tada:

I know God has the answers. Thirty-five years of paralysis has been like a classroom for me as I've discovered the richness and depth and wonder and sweet satisfaction of all that the Word of God contains for people who are suffering. God has His reasons - a refined faith, a stronger character, and a purified heart are just a few answers to the question "Why?" But when you're hurting, and your heart is being squeezed like a sponge, or you're feeling numb and you don't know if your emotions are upside down or right side up, a list of sixteen biblical reasons that all of this is happening can sting like salt in a wound. The bleeding doesn't simply stop when someone ticks off answers, although they may be good and right and true. When you're grieving over the loss of your body or other personal struggles, answers don't often reach the hurt that's down in your gut and heart. When a person is suffering like I was when I was first injured, you're like a child who's been hurt and you turn to your big, strong father and say, "Daddy, why?" Now, I don't think it's very daddy-like for the father to look down at his child and say with cold detachment, "Well, child, I'm so glad you asked that question. You see, my plan for you in all of this is 'such and so." No, a child who's hurt wants her daddy to reach down and pick her up and press her against his cheat and say, "There, there, honey, everything's going to be okay. Daddy's here."

That's our heartfelt plea, isn't it? We want assurance. Better yet, we want fatherly assurance that there is an order to our painful reality that somehow transcends our problems. We want assurance that our world is not splitting apart at the seams. We want assurance that our world is orderly and stable and somehow safe. We want God to be at the center of things, to be in control. He must be at the center of our suffering and He must be good. He must be our "daddy" - warm, kind, and compassionate. This is our cry when we ask "why?" The problem of suffering is not about something; it's about someone. And so it follows that the answer is not something, but someone. And God, like any good daddy, doesn't give answers as much as He give Himself.

One day He will give us the key that will unlock everything and it will help us make sense of it all. Until then, leaning on the Man of Sorrows is enough.

It is this weakness that keeps driving us, driving us to God by the overwhelming conviction that we've got nowhere else to go. There is no help but Him. There is no hope but Him. Abraham Lincoln

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you;
Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:6-8

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

I have gone back to all of this so many times this week. I still have a hard time understanding WHY it has to be children. Not only my children. WHY Cindi's child? WHY Mary Beth? WHY all the other ones of our friends who have lost their children? WHY Emma? WHY do all hers and Michala's sisters have to struggle through life? WHY all the children we have seen diagnosed with cancer? WHY do their little bodies have to fight? Because it takes that to make hard hearted or stubborn people like myself see what's important in life. I am not sure the answers. All I know is if God is trying to teach me to rely on Him more or teach me something, PLEASE do not let me miss it. I do not want my children's lives to be in vain.

I asked one of my encouragers this week why God was picking on me. She quickly said God is not picking on you, He picked you. My prayer today is that I am worthy to be picked.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kelli, that's so eloquent. I pray that many of us will see our trials in the same way and with the same grace that you do.