Your Faith Post Has Moved!

Hellooo, FAITHful readers.

(See what I did there?)

More changes as I figure out my time constraints and capabilities: For the time being, I’ll no longer be writing Faith posts on this blog, but instead linking you to the “Christian Living” posts I write for Geeks Under Grace. These sorts of writings just take a little more meditation than I can muster twice a month. (Just listen to me whine.)

Please enjoy last month’s work on the site here, and be sure to check out anything else they have that might interest you!

Until next week’s post, y’all!

Living the Psalms – Psalm 73:21-26

When my heart was grieved

and my spirit embittered,

I was senseless and ignorant;

I was a brute beast before You.

Yet I am always with You;

You hold me by my right hand…

Whom have I in heaven but You?

And earth has nothing I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever.

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How many times have I been senseless and ignorant before God? I think I cycle into those sentiments at least once a month, when my own strength to believe has depleted itself.

I used to believe that His love for me was as capricious as my trust was for Him, and so when the doubts and confusion and bitterness reared up I transplanted those feelings onto God and became certain that He felt nothing for me. Apathetic, like an imaginary friend whose personality was subject to my whims.

That isn’t what the Psalmist knew. His relationship with God was a relationship of person-to-person, not person-to-imagined-idea-of-a-person. And because he knew God’s personhood, he fully acknowledged to Him his times of stubborn anger; there’s no pretending in the presence of an all-knowing Being. I, on the other hand, typically try to convince God that I’m not upset about the turns of life: “No, Father, I’m fine. Really. It doesn’t matter. If you don’t care, I don’t care. I’ll just muddle along.” Passive-aggressive much?

But the Psalmist flat-out says, “I’ve been a jerk in my grief. I’ve been unable to compose myself, unable to present a clean and upstanding front. I’ve been like a dumb animal before you.” There’s only honesty between him and the Lord – something I commonly forego in the hope of presenting a disinterested front. “Let’s keep our relations cordial, God, what do you say?”

What blows me away even more, is that after the Psalmist admits his attitude and emotion before God, he holds fast to God’s steady response: He doesn’t leave us. He holds our hand, he guides us along, even when we’re petulant little children digging in our heels. The Psalmist’s raw need allows him this revelation.

“[He] is the strength of my heart.” I have had days where – for all logical reasons – I should have despaired my situation. Yet somehow there was inexplicable strength and hope. To put it in the geekiest way possible, it was like I had some super power imbued to me, a gift of resilience going into the fray.

It’s my greatest proof of God’s existence, because if it had anything to do with my whims I’d be up and down all over the place. He is not subject to my personal feelings. He is not my flighty imaginary friend. He is powerful, near, and involved. He is my “portion” as the Psalmist would say – or as I would like to say: my super hero.

For When the Answers Take Forever

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My heroes are the people who have to wait.

In Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet the protagonist Brian has a survival mantra: self-pity does no good. Waiting in the wilderness, he had to live with what he had handy and be content – even savvy – with nothing but bare essentials.

Frog in Chrono Trigger had to wait ten years to avenge a friend’s death, and even longer to be freed of his own curse. That’s what makes his character stick with me the longest out of a game with a widely endearing cast.

In Scripture there’s the stories of Sara, Ruth (and Boaz), Hannah, Elizabeth, the woman who bled for years, the many lame and blind healed by Jesus, Saul who became Paul – all of them given a time to wait without answer.

I see modern-day waiters who parallel the Biblical figures: waiting for companionship, waiting for children, waiting for healing, waiting for a call. It takes steady faith to press ahead and trust when God seems to be repeating “No”.

What do we do with the rescue plane doesn’t come? When the curse isn’t lifted? When we send up prayers that return back to us empty?

We take courage. We work. We examine what God holds out in His hands for us and say, thankfully, “What can I do with this, with what I have this moment?”

It’s not easy. I’m not saying it is. How many nights have I fallen asleep numb from waiting for someone to love? How many mornings have I woken up sunk down in the unfriendly quiet that smothers me as soon as the alarm clock shuts off? Many times I’ve wussed out and said, “I’m done, Jesus.”

But as Brian would chime in: self-pity does no good. Literally! What’s the use in sitting to sulk? Better instead to struggle against every enemy who wants to keep you from the Kingdom – what we all wait for, in the end.

So build that fire from sticks and sparks. Defeat the warlock despite every disadvantage stacked against you. Pray – pray and pray and pray even while people call you a fool and tell you God’ s not true if He hasn’t answered you yet.

Because just you wait. WAIT. Time is the fire in which we are forged.