My former roommate and dear friend Abby Perry said this in her latest post, and I don't think I can say it any better. I am so glad that He is nothing like us. And I am experiencing so much joy in the fact that He has made us a little like Him, and that He wants to bring us to His side in the end.
Every day, in that light, is being saved by an incredible Redeemer who wants to redeem us to be like Him in this world. He lets us be like Him.
What a privilege. What a joy.
I have a beach ball in my room.
During my cleaning escapades, I found a sad, deflated, never-been-used beach ball. I had one of my friends blow it up just for fun - one of those whims that I get sometimes.
I think I'm going to leave it inflated. It adds some color and life to my room, and reminds me of summer. It makes me smile and think about playing, and joy, and happiness.
In a previous post I talked about shedding my "summer skin" and moving on - the old is gone, the new has come. But just because that summer skin is gone, and everything that was with it, doesn't mean that it was never there in the first place. Things don't disappear around here; God is not a magician. Things are renewed, restored, remade, redeemed....He is a Redeemer.
My beach ball reminds me of that - that my "summer" has been redeemed. It hasn't been erased, it hasn't been forgotten. It has been reborn...and the things that lacked joy, have it now in a new form.
The things behind me are still there, but they have been redeemed and recreated into memorials, memories, and hopes. And now they make me smile.
See what He has done for you. Go get yourself a beach ball :).
I've been thinking a lot about God for the past year or so....about who He is, how we interact with Him, how we see Him, and how He sees us. These thoughts were spurred on by watching people around me, and seeing how so many people live life so differently. In particular, how so many Christians live and enact their faith differently day-to-day.
I love hearing people talk about how they see God, because they often see Him differently than I do....everyone has a unique perspective. Everyone I meet seems to love Him in a new way that I haven't seen before. It's like my brother and I - we both love our parents, but we show them in different ways, and we live out our relationships with them differently. I don't know what Ben would do if he was confined to showing love by grocery shopping with my Mom, and by cooking with my Dad.
Ben and I are in the same family, but our identities and roles in that family are different, and look different. We would never expect them to look the same, and to ask us to do that would be unreasonable and unrealistic.
In expressing our love differently for one another, we experience freedom. I am at liberty to love my family in the ways I do it best. I am at liberty to be myself within my family, and not try to be my brother, or anyone else, for that matter.
This does not mean that I should not sacrifice; freedom does not mean no limitations. The beauty of being at liberty to love is that it's a choice. My expression of that love is not limited by others or myself.
I am required to love; I have freedom in how I do it.
Love has variations, I have liberty in experiencing and expressing that love, and God is like a disco ball.
This is only metaphorically speaking, and this is just the way that my mind has tried to grasp a God that no one can explain, and few understand. In my feeble attempts to understand God, the best way that I can verbalize my thoughts is by describing a disco ball.
A disco ball is the same material all the way through in that it doesn't change. The material that it is made of is consistent. A disco ball is a disco ball is a disco ball. Just like God is God is God, and He never changes.
A disco ball also has many "faces." God has many characteristics. Loving, just, merciful, righteous anger, omnitience, sovereign, gracious, etc. The disco ball shows all of its faces all of the time. God, in the same way, exemplifies all of His characteristics all of the time. There is never a time when He is not something that He is. As humans, we are limited, and often love sometimes, show anger sometimes, mercy other times, etc. God, when He is loving me, is hating sin and the devil. When He showed mercy to us as sinners, He poured out His wrath and justice on Jesus at the cross. God is always everything that He is. He cannot not be God.
When I stand in front of a disco ball, I am limited in my vision, and can only see some of the faces directly on the disco ball. But I CAN see the effect that all of the faces of the disco ball have on the room (all the colors and spots, etc.). You may be standing on the other side of the room, and seeing different faces on the disco ball, but you see the effect on the room as well.
Everyone in the room will see different sides and faces of the disco ball, but we're not looking at different disco balls, just different aspects of it. Our different positions limit our vision and understanding. We all see it reflecting in the room, though, and then when we talk about our different sides that we see, we start to better understand how all the reflections are being made the way they are. We're sharing our pictures of the disco ball....or of God.
God's character allows for us to share our love at liberty, because He has so many different expressions of His character. His relationship to each of us is unique, so we should thrive in our variety of expressions of love.
Thrive in the liberty of love and disco :).
The Bewildering Call of God
’. . . and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished.’ . . . But they understood none of these things . . . —Luke 18:31, 34
God called Jesus Christ to what seemed absolute disaster. And Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death, leading every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken. His life was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God’s. But what seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is never the same as man’s purpose.
This bewildering call of God comes into our lives as well. The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our true inner-nature. The call of God is like the call of the sea— no one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in him. What God calls us to cannot be definitely stated, because His call is simply to be His friend to accomplish His own purposes. Our real test is in truly believing that God knows what He desires. The things that happen do not happen by chance— they happen entirely by the decree of God. God is sovereignly working out His own purposes.
If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are. As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, "I wonder why God allowed this or that?" And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose. A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.
Summer '08 has kept me on my toes. Spending an entire night in the ER with a friend I barely knew who busted his head open. We know each other now. Training for and running/biking a Duathlon. A huge challenge and hurdle for me. I can't wait for more. A new job doing graphic design.....my dream. This summer has been different, but good.
Last night I was privileged to attend a John Mayer concert. First of two concerts this summer, and it was fantastic. Spectacular. I feel almost as though many of his lyrics spoke to my memories as well as my hope for the future.
"just keep me where the light is."
"Good love is on the way/I've been lonely but I know, I'll be ok/Good love is on the way"
"Why is it not my time?/What is there more to learn?/Shed this skin I've been tripping in/Never to quite return"
There were more, but I'm trying to be brief. Dave Matthews is August 15, and I can't wait.
I realized last night at the concert, that Jesus can be found everywhere. Even there. Even in a stadium with shirtless John Mayer standing up on stage, singing his heart out about the love and life that's in his heart, not realizing the Truth in his words.
I'll be looking for Jesus at Dave Matthews too. We should look for Jesus everywhere.
"On the night you left I came over
And we peeled the freckles from our shoulders
Our brand new coats so flushed and pink
And I knew your heart I couldn't win
Cause the seasons change was a conduit
And we left our love in our summer skin"