social spark Aisling Beatha: January 2008

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Monday, January 07, 2008

But I'm not in the mood to live in a hut!

I got this, from a fantastic writer over here.
This is not mine, i did not write it, Lysa TerKeurst did.

But I'm not in the mood to live in a hut-
Yes, sometimes it is very scary to say we want to follow after God completely. For the minute we do this- little scenes of possibilities start flashing before us. A dirt hut. A life of poverty. Some kind of horrible tragedy to test us. A health crises that pushes us to the brink. Loss. Pain. Extreme sacrifice.

Satan says, "Look at all you'll have to give up. And there is no guarantee that Jesus will come through for you. None at all. Don't take this Jesus thing to seriously- lighten up.

Jesus says, "Look at all you have to gain. My love for you is so completely consuming, I can only have your best interest in mind. Make me the the center of your heart- and you will light up the world."

It's kind of like a little seed in a seed packet. The little seed likes living in the seed packet. The seed packet is safe and relatively nice- a little plain but nice nonetheless.

Then one day the farmer comes and plucks the seed out of the seed packet. Suddenly, it is pushed down into the deep, dark messy place. The seed cries out, "Why have you done this? I like being a seed in a seed packet. I don't want to leave the other seeds in the seed packet. Why do they get to stay in the seed packet. This is not fair. This is horrible. My life is bad."

Then horror of all horrors, the farmer pours water over the deep, dark, messy place. So much so that the seed starts to break apart and life as he knew it slowly slips away. The seed cries out again and again but the farmer seems cruel and silent. "Why? Why me?" seems to be the only thing the seed can utter over and over again.

But then one day this green shoot burst forth from the ruins of the seed and pushes up through the deep, dark, messy place and into the glorious light. It grows and blooms and becomes all that it had the potential to become.

Now, think about that farmer. Was he mean and cruel? Or was his love for that seed so consuming that he could only have the seed's best interest in mind?



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My "Theme" for 2008

I hadn't really intended to seek God for a theme for this year. Not after last year which was the year with the theme of seeking God for myself, not relying on others. That turned into the most isolating year of my life. After that and other people's tales of years that did indeed follow their theme but not at all in the way they expected, I wasn't going to do it this year.

Then one of the guys at church prayed for me the other week. I trust this man so much, trust his instincts and his ability to hear God. And this time, as he has does and as he has done a number of times recently he talked about resting in God's presence. And I KNEW, I knew that I had my theme for the year. 2008 is to be the year I REST!

It's a funny theme really and I expect that some people might misunderstand it or think that I should be DOING something to make myself acceptable to God. Heck, I'm not sure I understand it all myself. I mean, REST? Does that mean I sit back and do nothing? Well, in a way yes, because this is about God coming in, loving me, pouring out on me etc.

BUT rest is active. Not in a "I must do ........." and "I have to do .........." in order to be acceptable kind of way or anything like that. But, sometimes rest has to be a choice. I have to choose to rest, choose to ALLOW God to do whatever He wants.
But, back to the other point, it is about me doing NOTHING!, because there is not one single thing I can do to make myself acceptable and I have been trying for so long. Trying to make myself a good enough wife, a good enough mother, a good enough friend, a good enough office worker, a good enough person, and I CANNOT do it! Not one think I can do will ever make me good enough, or acceptable or lovable.

And heck, most of us are good Christians and we know this in our heads, right? We KNOW that stuff, we don't need little old Zoe telling us, I mean, she must be daft is she hasn't worked this one out by now. But, you know what? I thought I had got it worked out, I thought I understood it, but I was STILL striving, still trying to be enough. So, really, the only thing that I believe god requires of me this year at the outset is for me to say "YES LORD!" "Yes, Daddy!"

Does this mean I might stop doing some of the things I have been doing? Oh quite possibly. I have no firm plans for anything like that right now, and actually in effect some of the stepping back from things might be more emotional and spiritual, cutting the ties that involve too much of my soul in these things, whilst continuing to be involved in them in a more right way.
There is going to be a lot of learning to say "NO!" So be prepared for that if you need to ask me for something later in the year. Because this year is about learning that God loves me no matter what and I do NOT have to do do do do do do do to earn his approval. Even those things that you personally think are good and right for me to be doing, even that you think I SHOULD be doing, for whatever reason, I might well, not do them, I might well, say NO! And I don't have to give an explanation, I don't have to make it OK for me to do that, all I have to do is do it. And if I hurt or upset anyone with that this year, I am sorry.

So, is it all going to be nice, and lovely, and me sitting back, letting go of things and just being loved loved loved? Probably NOT! I sincerely doubt it in fact. Because I sincerely doubt that all of the times of rest will be by my choice. When this guy at church prayed for me last week, one of the things he said was that he got a sense there MIGHT be coming a time of ENFORCED rest. He's been through that himself the last couple of years and it has not been easy, I know that. But he said, not to fight it and try and battle my way out of it but to just let go and treat the time of rest as a gift. It's not necessarily a nice and pretty prayer, that one, but my spirit recognized it. Does that make sense? Something in me said "yes, he's probably right".

Does that mean I sit in fear of what that might mean? Absolutely not. There are two possibilities that immediately come to mind and that is either me losing my job OR something health related. But it wouldn't surprise me if it comes a totally unexpected way, or even not at all. And that's OK, because I KNOW that god is in this. That's all I can say, I KNOW that He is in this and I say "Yes, Daddy".
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