Sunday, August 17, 2008

Aw, Man . . . The Brakes Don't Work . . .

I don't seem to recall praying for this much change this year.


At times I wonder where in the world this year has gone, but then I remember doctors' appointments, surgery, hospital visits, test results, chemotherapy, one usually crappy week followed by an okay week followed by a good week only to have the same ol' cycle repeat. So that was February, March, April, May and part of June.

Then there was the easing back into a regular, pre-February routine which was familiar but foreign as some good changes had been made and some things which were neglected were at least being looked at again, if not actually actively pursued just yet. God had provided and was providing. Holidays were coming. Good things were happening.

Then another change was announced which has led to periods of optimism and moments of "???" and musings of how far back to go with a varied work history. And squished in was the wondering of when *I* would really change as a person, when I would see evidence of mine having grown as a Christian, a wife, a daughter/sister/friend/etc. It seems like many things have changed while many other things have stayed the same.

I don't want to be wishy-washy in my faith. I don't want a botched attempt at putting myself 'out there' to cause me to never try again. I don't want to be mired down in the past, immobile in the present or fearful of the future. I mean, c'mon! Look at the God I serve! He is just . . . well, He's God!

So why do I limit Him so at times? Why do I fight against and complain about the changes He knows are 100% in my best interest?

It's time to allow some Abraham-faith to grow in me. He didn't know where God was leading him. God said "Go!" and Abraham packed up his stuff and said "Okay!" and off they went. It wasn't without its ups and downs, but I don't think Abraham regretted it when he looked back from point B to point A.

And neither should I.

So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we're given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own."

If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.

*~ Romans 4: 1-5 (The Message)

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