Worth It


As I’ve been reading through the One-Year Bible this year, I’ve often felt frustrated and confused.  God allowed one person to continue in horrible, blatant sin, and another He struck dead for a small infraction that I think could be handled through a simple rebuke.  Job loved God with all his heart and followed God’s ways, but he lost everything for a time.  David wrote Psalms with wonderful promises that the righteous will be blessed, yet he often lived as an outlaw and dealt with betrayal and disappointment.  For someone who just wants to follow the rules and receive God’s blessing, this is a very difficult thing to wrap one’s head around.  My pastor says it’s supposed to be difficult to understand.  God doesn’t fit into a box and cannot be figured out.  The mystery that is God is what makes Him worthy of our worship.  I’ve tried to embrace that concept as I read, but it doesn’t mean I don’t wonder how to make it all fit. 

It’s not hard for me to admit that I want to know what God wants me to DO to receive His blessings and have the things that I desire.  “God, if You just lay out a course of action for me to accomplish, I will do it.  Just tell me what to DO.”  After all God’s done to show me His unconditional love, I still find myself trying to earn it, trying to figure out a way to become a person worthy of blessings.  His answer continues to be a cheerful, “Be still, stop struggling, and wait for my redemption.”  I feel like I’m lying on the couch, watching TV and eating grapes, while a hundred people around me clean and straighten up.  I feel guilty and lazy.  I want to get up and DO SOMETHING, but God just smiles and tells me to relax. 

Then I read this passage:  “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)” 
-Romans 4:13-15

Suddenly a little light popped on in my head:  If God gave us a set of rules to follow to receive His blessings, we’d have no incentive to get to know Him.  We are lovingly pulled into an intimate relationship with Him when we want to find a way to please Him. 

If everything was black and white, we could think our salvation and redemption was due to our own accomplishments and ability to follow the rules.  But with God, there is much that only He understands, and it makes us realize that He is the one in control.  We are to be full of faith that He is with us, He is guiding us, and He is perfect love. 

The relationship is what He craves, rather than strict adherence to a set of rules.  In spite of what we desperately want to find, there is no formula like “Perfect Obedience to The Law = Blessing.”  The closest thing to a formula we have is:  “Right Relationship with God = PEACE.”

The Bible doesn’t promise us that if we follow a strict set of rules and live pure and holy lives, we will be honored and rich and happy.  Look at the life of Paul!  He was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, ship wrecked, and mocked.  And yet as I read Paul’s writings, I find that he was a man full of confidence that he was obeying God’s voice and all the suffering was worth it.  Paul was honored to suffer for the cause of Christ.  I’m sure he was thankful for the times of physical comfort and the love of friends, but he sang praises to God even when he sat bloody and in chains in a dungeon. 

The path God has asked me to walk over the last few months shows me that my formula to impress God is nothing to Him.  But I do think that what makes Him smile is that uncertainty and fear drives me into His embrace.  I may not know what the future holds, but I know that I have found peace with God.  In spite of my circumstances, there are times that I can almost tangibly feel the arms of God around me, hear Him whispering in my ear that it will be all right, and I promise you – if it took suffering to get me into this place of intimacy with God, it has been worth it.  There is nothing to compare.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Spiritual Life

4 responses to “Worth It

  1. “In spite of my circumstances, there are times that I can almost tangibly feel the arms of God around me, hear Him whispering in my ear that it will be all right, and I promise you – if it took suffering to get me into this place of intimacy with God, it has been worth it. There is nothing to compare.”

    I have certainly experienced His wonderful engulfing embrace.

    POWERFUL! WOW! I love the freeing truth you’ve lead us all to Kimberly. God is the God of intimacy. He desires a deep relationship with us; full of His embrace. I think our culture struggles with this because we’ve become emotionally impotent.

    Keep allowing God to pour through you my friend!

    • Thanks, Shannan. I think so too. I’ve been trying to figure out how to embrace my emtional side without letting emotions to guide my decisions and conclusions. It’s definitely something that takes balance – and good friends to point out when things are out of order! 🙂

  2. Pingback: My Vow « Kimberly Wenger's Blog

  3. Kim Wyatt

    And you’re back! Yay!
    Just a comment: God DID give us a set of rules to obey to earn His blessings and our righteousness apart from His grace. They’re called The Ten Commandments, and it was at the Israelites insistence that they were created. The Israelites believed they were fully capable of abiding by any precepts God set before them.

    If you!ve been to Sunday School at all, you know they could not.

    That’s why we need a Savior. Not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, because we cannot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s