Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Sentiments: Joy

Sunday Sentiments is an attempt to record what God has been teaching me and the way in which He does it.

One of my favorite passages from one of my favorite books: Sacred Thirst by M. Craig Barnes. The subtitle is "Meeting God in the Desert of Our Longings."  We have all been in the desert at some point. I have come back to this book time and time again ever since a friend told me to read it 6 years ago. The words resonate.  They are a balm for my soul and hopefully for yours as well.

Of course we do not always get what we really want- but that does not mean that we dare give up the joy of having hope. We are a people who must have hope. Not because it makes us feel good, but, more profoundly, because God is involved in this world. The most powerful illustration of this truth can be seen in his coming to be with us in Jesus Christ. After all we have seen Jesus do in his life on earth and in his death on the cross, after he rose from the dead, who knows what a risen Savior may do in our lives? Do we dare tell this Savior God to be realistic? God is the One who creates reality, and with God all things are possible.
Apparently, Abraham's encounter with God seemed so bizarre that he couldn't even share it with Sarah. A little later, when several angels came to remind Abraham that God was, in fact, serious about Sarah having a baby, she overheard them through the tent walls. This time it was Sarah who started laughing. In response, God asked Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh?...Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?"
This really is the question, isn't it? Those of us who have waited and waited for a blessing from the Lord, who have grown so weary of waiting that we have edited down our dreams, must face this question. Those who have settled for bodies that do not work very well, for loneliness that permeates the end of every exhausting day, or for jobs that strip away every shred of our passion- what would happen if one day out of the blue God were to say, "The waiting is over. It's time to recover your dreams"? Would we say, "Preposterous!" Or would holy joy well up again within our hearts, freeing us to say, "Why not? Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?" It all depends on what we have discovered about the Lord.
Our job is not to worry about when, or if, we will receive the desires of our hearts. That is up to God. Our job is to pray and to hope. And along the way, as we pray, we are drawn closer and closer to God. In time we will discover that being drawn close to God is even more important to us than our dream, because alongside God is where holy joy is found.  (p. 206)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.