Do you ever have a hard time figuring out what God wants for you, the direction to take, the attitude to have, that activities to say yes or no to? At the beginning of 2010 Chris bought me a bible that is set up to be read through in one year. It is filled with readings for each date of the year so you can read it like that year after year. I love it and have started on this journey.
It's been interesting reading the bible this way because each day I'm reading a portion of the narative parts of the Old Testament, a Psalm, a Proverb, and a portion of the New Testament. My little brain is trying to put all these pieces together and then applying it to whatever circumstances or feelings or thoughts I may be having on that given day.
I've noticed something interesting. Sometimes I focus several days on the parts of the Old Testament that are filled with stories. After reading several consecutive days about how each king "did evil in the eyes of the Lord", or "did what was pleasing in the eyes of the Lord BUT......had some area of their life or their ruling that did not give their FULL heart to God", I start to focus on the mistakes of man, the bad attitudes of man, the selfishness of man, the unworthiness of each of us......none of us are good on our own apart from God. I see my own mistakes in much more light and it's hard to see that....hard to see the selfishness and the lack of respect for God.
Then on another week, I may focus on the New Testament reading and then stories of Jesus or stories of the first church after Jesus went to Heaven. Sometimes I notice the inability of each of use to consistently please God with our actions again, or sometimes I focus on the amazing sacrifices that the people in the first church made, the martyrs, the times they were beaten, the number of times they went to jail......amazing acts of faith, but am I like that?? Sadly, the answer is no.
Then other days I may focus on the Psalms and Proverbs and come away with the perspective of how powerful God is and how He has the power to give life and to take life. Sometimes that conjures up pictures of fear in my mind......not fear rev as in a reverence for God, but fear like fear.....actual thoughts of being afraid of God.
Each of these perspectives is different but they're all just a little skewed. They all may hold some measure of truth, but they also don't show the COMPLETE picture of God. And so I do have moments when I get confused or scared or sad at my own inability to make myself pure and perfect before God. But then I slow down my thoughts enough to ask God to show me His heart........
and I am amazed.
I am comforted.
I am relaxed and put at ease.
For in these moments I can see the BIG picture of God. And the BIG picture is that EVEN THOUGH I am unable to be holy, even though I am unable to consistently choose to be selfless, even though I am not smart enough to understand every word of this bible, even though I can't see all the things that He's doing in my life and the rationale He has behind the scenes, I am able to see a God, my God, who despite my own failures, chooses to seek out a relationship with me. He chooses to answer tiny prayers about finding toys for my children. He chooses to answer big prayers like healing health conditions of my husband. He chooses to comfort me in the deepest way that I need it on a given day. He chooses to remind me of his goodness when I listen to a friend share her heart with me. He chooses to show me how glorious He is and how much He LOVES me. And so I'm able to have peace again, resting in the overall character of God - GOD IS LOVE.
Despite all the unknowns I have of God, I believe that He is good. I believe He has my best interests in mind as He chooses different circumstances for me to live in. I believe that He wants me to feel loved by Him each and every day. I believe that He listens to the prayers and things that I tell Him. I believe that He is 10 steps ahead of me to be sure to protect me and provide for me.
I believe He is a good God and that He truly does love m.......and it is this belief that carries me through the gray areas, the painful circumstances, the mixed emotions, the uncertain world.
Thank You for being Good and for being Love.