Monday, August 24, 2009

Trust

Wow,
I am really slow with the posting, but I have been doing other things lately and I really have to be in the mood to write a new post.
I guess I am in the mood now :D
I have been following Grace's posts lately and she has me thinking about my own story after I read her post tonight.
She is talking about being more secure in Father's love these days and about honest issues she is still having.
I can completely relate to that. My image of God has changed so much from year to year and I have lived in a space of utter uncertainty for about 4-5 years now.
The thing that made me doubt in the first place ( I was so sure about what I believed a few years ago) was the fact that things were still going wrong, very wrong in my life and in the lives of people I love.
I was assured that when I got my act together things would be better. No one overtly said exactly that to me in the Charismatic church where I used to attend, but the implications were everywhere.
Seems like every testimony I heard was about fasting, praying, getting into the word, living a more Holy life or praying in just the right way and it would all fall in to place.
After hearing about how God had healed diabetics in the congregation probably 200 times it started really getting under my skin. It started making me angry when this was the focus of our message or even a part of it. I have two sons who are both type1 diabetics and they have gone through a hell that you wouldn't wish on you worst enemy. After a while it started sounding like they did something wrong that God wasn't healing them. Lets face it, they were 18 months and 2 years when they were each diagnosed and there was no way they did anything to deserve that.
Those word of Faith people can be so inspiring sometimes. They can really encourage you that everything will be alright. But then you go home, or your teenager decides to cause a scene in the sanctuary after a service where you were an usher.
Suddenly it seems like a bunch of B.S. frankly.
I have come to a realization: my expectations mean nothing. All my expectations do is drive a wedge between God and me. Trusting some one isn't about putting expectations on them, it's about believing that they have your best interest at heart. I can look back and see that God has indeed had my best interest at heart, but I could never see it when it was happening.
Sometimes it seemed( and still does) that He had left me to fend for myself.
Something I am not really that great at, as it turns out.
The really hard thing for me, and I think for a lot of people who are believers is finding a way to start removing those expectations we place on Father God.
I think I am still trying to get rid of some of that old way of thinking, at least in my knee jerk reactions to the daily situations I find myself in.
The one thing that has helped me to begin ( and I mean begin) to remove those is, letting the reality of His great love for me; remove some of the self- imposed expectations of God on me.
How does that song go?Just as I am... There is no hope of self justification, I realize that now. I have always believed that in my head, but I didn't trust that. Surely there were things I needed to do.. a huge pile of shoulds. My family and I walked away from church, pretty much. It was actually for selfish reasons like: I had to work on Sundays this wasn't an option at the job I had.
I also like to sleep in on Sunday because it's one of two days that we could.
So us walking away from a church service on Sunday morning was a source of guilt and shame, briefly.
I still miss going sometimes and every once in a while we do go to a service. But it has very little to do with my walk with God on a daily basis. In fact I would say it really has nothing to do with the daily walk.
I miss corporate worship, I always liked that part of any service I ever attended.
I love to sing praise to God, I think we should; I still do.
what I no longer do is pledge allegiance to a local church or denomination.
I have found that everywhere you go , depending on who you talk to; you will get a different set of black and white answers to a life that is filled with gray area.
I am not as sure of my theology these days and much much more sure of Father's love for me.
I really think it has been a natural progression that I needed to go through( and still need to) to come to this place. I can't pin God down to a set of rules or a mold of my own creation.
As Lewis said about Aslan , He is wild.
I love that, I hate not controlling my spiritual growth( as if) and trying to trust that Father God does really care about me.
There have been things in my life that I know when they happened it was Him. I know. Details that only someone who knows my heart would fulfill out of fondness for me. Little things that seem inconsequential but to me meant so much, like a letter from home or someone making your favorite meal just because they want you to know that they care. He has done those things in my life and I can't deny that it was Him. It wasn't coincidence.
As I think about those things it makes me wonder why He would care so much.I may never fully get it, but I believe it. Trusting my current problems to Him, not so easy.
I guess I still have a long way to go, But that's ok I think..
Any way, I am getting tired and not sure where this post is going anymore.
If you are reading this I hope you will realize today that Father God does care for you , exactly where you are. Like think about someone who has been really kind to you, He cares way more than that and judges you way less than that.
That's what I believe now. We look at the exterior stuff but God looks at the heart. I have heard that in so many churches, but then they will turn it around on you with conditions. Or they will tell you ways to curry favor. I say that's a load of crap. Not the part about God looking at the heart, but the fact that people will tell you ways to improve your life with God when all you can really do is sit at his feet and thank Him.
I think it's a lot less complicated than we make it.
Peace be With You

5 comments:

sandwhichisthere said...

Shaun,
I have much the same feelings as you have listed. I think that I remember reading that God will not go into a manmade structure. That seems to invalidate most organized religions. They all seem to be a little stucture happy. I have never seen one with a holocaust out front.
I don't think that anyone has seen God or had a conversation with God since Moses. There are a lot of rules and guidelines in the Book but the Book was translated from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek to Latin and to English. Did you ever play telephone as a child?
The military has a policy called "Don't ask, don't tell.". It is not related to God but the terms should be. Don't ask God for something and don't put God to the test by telling God to do something. You got it right when you said just keep on thanking God for all of the good things in your life.
Personally, I have always felt that church is toxic, religion is toxic, and God is the antidote,
from way out there in the lunatic fringe, Nils

Suztash said...

Well, if God won't go into a manmade structure, what was the tabernacle for? What was the temple for? When people had finished constructing the tabernacle according to God's instructions, the glory of God filled it so that the people, not even the priests could enter. God was there. The ark of the covenant was the place of His dwelling in the old testament. Anyway, Shaun, I would just like to consider that it is not just your spiritual growth that you should be concerned with at this point. You and Johanna have children. If you do not go to church or Sunday school, are you teaching them what they should be learning about God? Will they know how to study the Word of God? Please consider the instructions given to fathers concerning the law of God...they were to teach them to their children, bind them about their necks, wear them on their foreheads, their arms, post them on their gates, on their door posts....etc. I'm not saying you have to wear phylacteries, but the boys have so much to learn about God. Church and Sunday school is a much better source than tv, movies, and an occasional conversation. Sandwiches' comments shows you what happens when you do not study the Word. Many have encountered God since Moses. In every book of the Bible there is a story of individuals with their individual encounters with God. The new testament shows the fulfillment of all the prophetic promises made through men who encountered God. Jesus, in Whom the fullness of God dwelled, came to show us the Father/God. Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father as he was being stoned. Saul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul (as he was later called) asked this question: "How then shall they bcall on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?"Romans 10:14 If the boys are not getting consistent, faithful teaching of the Word at home, don't they deserve to receive it from other people who love God and His Word? People that denounce and belittle the Bible are those who are ignorant of it. The Word of God is alive! It is Spirit. It is sharper than a two edged sword and able to divide soul from spirit. Jesus, the Word...the essence, the full expression of God, became flesh. Then when He returned to the Father, He sent His Holy Spirit to guide us into all Truth, the Word. God's Word changes us, perfects us, helps us know God, know the mind of God, the heart of God....makes us into men and women of God. God's Word isn't watered down, corrupted by translation, or irrelevent. It is powerful and life changing and vital to our growth as children of God. Please do not rule out gathering with other believers. Yes, churches are filled with imperfect people. However, they are people that are seeking God, trying to become godly, and people that are taught and teach to love and forgive. What does the world have to offer our boys? Sue

Anonymous said...

I love this blog and I like cats :D
Happy Sunshine & roses to everyone!!!!!


WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!!

adventuresinmercy said...

shaun,
This was a very beautiful and moving post. Thanks so much.
Warmly,
Molly

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