“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Category Archives: Borrowed Thoughts
“Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” ~ C. S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
So far, 2012 has been a very hard, very painful year. I’ll leave it at that. A few days ago, I was feeling broken down, helpless, and completely alone. I realized in some ways, I had lost sight of my Jesus. I realized that was the reason everything seems so difficult to cope with. So I sat down and started to read one of my favorite Gospels: Mark.
I love Mark because of the pictures of Jesus, the King of the Universe, as a humble servant. I guess it can be so easy for me to get caught up in my busy life and use that as an excuse not to reach out and help those around me. Mark always reminds me that if Jesus could take time out of His three year ministry to help everyone who came along, I have no excuse to turn my back on anyone. But that really is not what I was wanting to talk about tonight. Instead, I want to talk about the entirely new picture of Jesus I got.
Like I said, I was broken and needing to be reminded of exactly what kind of a Savior I have. So I started reading at the beginning and just kept going for a good long while. I was lying in bed, cuddling with my puppy, catching up with my Jesus, looking for comfort. I got something a little bit different. I got Mark chapter six.
Maybe I should rewind a little. Because before chapter six comes chapter five. The end of Mark five is the story of the healing of Jairus’ daughter. If you read my blog at all, you probably know I’ve written several posts about that story and it is one of my favorites. The next thing I found Jesus doing was having compassion on the crowd and miraculously feeding the five thousand. At that point I was feeling pretty comfortable with my Jesus. I kind of think maybe the disciples were, too.
Then another familiar story: Jesus walking on water and calming the storm. The disciples saw Him walking out on the water and were terrified. They had no idea who it was and thought it must be a ghost to have that kind of power. And then Jesus called to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid!” When He came up into the boat, “they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled.”
That awe-inspiring power had been there all along. I wondered if the disciples felt any fear, knowing they spent their days so close to so much strength. Yet once the boat lands, Jesus is right back to healing the sick. There was so much power and majesty bound up in the same Man with so much tenderness and compassion.
I was wondering. Thinking about this apparent paradox and letting my mind try to understand what the disciples must have felt in those moments on the boat. Then it hit me: I am in the exact same position. Not only do I spend every day with Him, He lives in me!
That was one of those surrender moments. One of those moments where I suddenly realized I have absolutely not control. And no, it definitely was not the kind of comfort I was looking for. And yes, it was a little scary. But it’s okay because this kind of life isn’t really supposed to be safe. He never said it would be. I guess I still do not need to know if it is safe. I just need to know that He is so very, very good.
“You can’t always expect a sign from heaven. Sometimes God leads in the most simple, natural ways. Sanctified common sense is one of the ways that God leads us most often. Take in the options. Think and pray them all through. Step out in faith. Often that’s the best any of us can do.”
I came across this in my file of quotes from classes, I’m not sure which of my teachers said it, but it seems to fit my life perfectly right now. It can be so easy to use “waiting on God” as an excuse to do nothing. Although there will be times when we are clearly called to wait, often what we need to do is simply step out in faith and trust God to guide those steps as we take them. Sanctified common sense can have much more to do with God’s will than we often give it credit for. It seems like every time I’ve just prayerfully started walking in a given direction, either everything has fallen into place or God has changed my path so naturally I hardly realized it was happening. It’s such a relief to know that if I simply trust Him with my future, He will guide and direct it.
A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Then Aslan turned to them and said, “You do not yet look so happy as I meant you to be.” Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.” “No fear of that.” Said Aslan. “Have you not guessed”? Their heats leapt, and a wild hope rose within them. “There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in shadowlands – dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended this is the morning.” And as he spoke. He no longer looked to them as a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better then the one before.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
“No more luminous illustration of this truth [of the undiscouraged perseverance of God] can be found in Scripture than God’s pursuit of Jacob and its apogee in the incongruous title, ‘The God of Jacob.’ The God of Abraham, father of the faithful? Yes! The God of Moses, who talked with God face-to-face as a man to his friend? Yes! The God of Daniel, the beloved? Yes! The God of Jacob, the crooked, the grasping, the deceitful, the swindler? A thousand times, NO! God would compromise His own character by linking His name with that of Jacob. And yet He has said, ‘Jacob have I loved… The God of Jacob is they refuge… Fear not, thou worm Jacob.’ What is weaker, what is more worthless than a worm? And yet Jacob the worm, Jacob the worthless, subject to the relentless, pursuing love of God, becomes a prince, having power with God and men… [God] does not despair of us even when we despair of ourselves. His patience is never at an end. His resources are never exhausted. There is an optimism in God which discerns the hidden possibilities in the most unpromising character. He has an eye for hidden elements of nobility and promise in an unprepossessing life. He is the God of the difficult temperament, the God of the warped personality, the God of the misfit. Only God saw the prince in Jacob. He has a solution for every problem of personality and temperament. When we surrender our lives into His hands for drastic and radical treatment, He will bring into play all His resources of love and grace… There is hope in the God of Jacob for any disposition or any temperament. No past defeat puts future victory out of reach. When God has saved and apprehended a man, He pursues him with undiscourageable perseverance that He may bless him. He does not exclude from His royal service penitent men and women who have failed. Had God dismissed Peter for his failure, there would have been no great Pentacostal preacher. God will turn the tables on the Devil by creating a wider ministry out of our very defeats.”
~ J. Oswald Sanders
“3:41am, make that 3:42
Time just keeps rolling on while I’m here stuck like glue
So many things cross my mind
But nothing stays awhile, so frustrating
I just wanna say something worth while, speak through me
Lord, say, say what You wanna say, and say it loudly
Say, say what You wanna say…”
Wow, I am an awful blogger. Over three weeks and no posts. But my stats tell me that for no reason I can comprehend, people are still stopping by. So to my faithful readers, I must say thank you, and I’m sorry. Life’s been crazy for the past few weeks, and with school starting on Monday, things aren’t promising to get any better. My mind has been so scattered all summer long. But right now, in a word, I’m scared. To be a bit clearer, I’m scared out of my mind.
By Monday night, I should be at college, signed up for classes, moved into my dorm, and left alone. Well, okay, not really alone, I’ll be on a campus full of people. But mom will probably be out of the state by then, and the closest people I actually know will be an hour away. My entire life is about change, and every time I think about that, I panic a little.
And yet, looking around, it’s hard to tell the change is even coming. Because I haven’t packed yet, my room looks just like it has for the past three years. Yes, there’s a stack of things for my dorm in the corner, but it’s really not that noticeable. Last night I went to the last service I’ll attend at my home church until Christmas break, and again, aside from a few good byes, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Everybody I see often acts normally, knowing their good byes won’t come until Friday night or Saturday morning.
But something’s off. Maybe it’s just me, but it almost seems like there’s something hanging in the air. Almost a sense of urgency. Suddenly realizing, what if this is the last time I see him or her? What if this is the last time I walk through this park? It’s so strange to realize that in less than two days, I’ll be gone.
Of course, there are other strange realizations as well. The other day, it suddenly hit me that some of my fantasies were coming true. You see, I’m a dreamer. I’ll stare into space thinking about “what ifs” for hours if I get the chance. But when I was about fourteen, one of my favorite things to dream about was going to college. Not just any college, though. I’d seen the students at Calvary Chapel Bible College when we picked Dad up from conferences, and I’d been impressed. I wanted to be one of them. So for hours when I was cleaning or delivering papers or supposedly doing math, I’d be thinking about going to that college. It was one of the things that I wished for, and that I thought would never happen. But it’s happening. I wonder if it’s always this scary when dreams come true.
But yes, I’m scared. I’m worried. Right now all the “what ifs” that come to mind are things that could go wrong. At church last night, though, we sang a song that really hit home for me.
I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet
And anytime I don’t what I’m to do
I will cast all my cares upon You
And that’s all it really comes down to. Trust. I’m doing a little better now, and just keep needing to remind myself that He’s in control. He’s taken care of everything. I just need to trust.