Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Not sure if you're anything like me. I grew up in faith. That is my mom says my first word was Jesus and my childhood was surrounded, saturated by church and Christians and God. As I grew my faith grew and then I became a teenager with a rebellious streak a mile wide and to use the Christianese vernacular...I backslid. And as I did, as the shimmer of this world seduced me, it also, as it always seems to, caused me to wonder if God was angry at me, disappointed or even disillusioned by my moral lapses. I would return to Him, a little (or a lot) worse for the wear. Try hard to win His favor back. Only to repeat the whole sad cycle again later.
And so it was, much later, after one of my longest lows that God tenderly loved me back to Him by the Spirit. Without judgment, or anger, and certainly no disappointment. And from then on it's been a whole lot easier for me to come to Him with my struggles, to trust him with my failures. I know He loves me. His tenderness saved my life.
But to be honest, it's Jesus I've always had a little trouble with. Not the cross, or the dichotomy of His nature, or any of His miracles. Jesus just came across to me as a little terse, harsh even, and in my broken-heartedness I have always been a little fearful that He might become exasperated with me, or at the very least, that I wouldn't have been one of the guys He would've wanted to hang out with.
I go to a small believer's meeting called Ekklesia here in south Mississippi. The "pastor" Michael Dixon goes to great lengths to explain the person of Jesus in the equation of: Jesus is God and God is love and therefore everything Jesus did, said, and was can and should be understood in that context, viewed through that lens of love.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been confronted anew in Isaiah and 1st Peter by the humble, silent suffering of Jesus. How He did not blame me in my guilt, but for the joy before Him endured it. I have been falling in love with Jesus these past few days in a special way.
This morning, top off the jeep, fall in the air, sunshine like a tidal wave I was kinda blindsided by reality. The dead dark moon of impossibility eclipsed the beautiful blazing sun (Son) of His promise. My faith wasn't going to cast that mountain into any sea....I was probably gonna just crash and burn into the shear face of it. But then....
The Holy Spirit showed me Peter, trying as he might on stormy seas, to reach out in faith to a Jesus that he sometimes couldn't understand. Peter sinking in an impossible situation and immediatly Jesus....reached out....right where Peter was...to lift him...to rescue him.
But then Jesus said to Peter one of those phrases that always put a wall between me a Jesus, made me think He wasn't very tender, "You of little faith, why did you fear?"....As if God the Son didn't know.
It was for Peter he asked, not to castigate Him, but to reinforce to Peter, that rescue was never in doubt, there was never any need for him to fear, for me to fear. Impossibility isn't a bad thing, it's that place where only a miracle will suffice, where only God will get the credit, and where our faith will grow.
And so I fell in love with Jesus again this morning. He is my hero.