Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

worth it

For several years now I have been battling semi-serious illness. Friends will probably look at that sentence and say I am in denial again. Yes,  I will admit I do not like to deal with unpleasantness and therefore sweep it under the rug until the pile is so large and solid that I crack my shin on it.

Some well-meaning Christian friend told me recently that it is some sin in my life that is causing this on-going problem. This person does not know me well, and perhaps she simply wanted a chance to share what God has been doing in her life. Which she did.

But the statement hurt.

And as we all do, I sought council. From people I thought would agree with me and disagree with her.

Except my very best friend seemed to agree with her. I left that conversation feeling beat up and sad. Thankfully, she is my best friend and also rather wise, and so she called to further the conversation and clarify her position.

Whether or not there is unrepentant sin in my life is something only God can fully address. But, she said, your attitude about the disease DOES reflect a problem within your spirit. You don't ask God for healing, and you delay treatment, because you don't feel you are worth it.




I think that is true. After contemplating what she said, I think she is right. Who am I to ask God to heal my body? Hasn't He done enough? Daily pain is only what I deserve.

Funny how a statement of abject spiritual poverty can come out of a PRIDEFUL HEART.

I don't deserve a healing touch? Really, on some level, that is a slap in God's face. "You said You love me enough to die for me, but you don't love me enough to do this."

I am NOT saying that God has to prove He loves me by healing me. That is not it at all! But the opposite is also not true. It is not true that God hasn't healed me because He doesn't love me. There may be any number of reasons why God is allowing this, not the least of which would be "for His glory."  I may never know the reasons why. I've always found comfort in Job 38-40, and it applies here:

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,

I have not. But God has. I can take comfort in that!

My value is not based on my sinlessness (which doesn't exist) or my physical ability (which are rather disabilities) but rather on the blood of Christ. What is my value? My value is whatever someone is willing to pay.

God paid with His Son. Whether I choose to believe it or not, God thinks I am worth it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Open My Eyes

Open my eyes,
That I may see
Glimpses of truth
Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands
The wonderful key,
That shall unclasp
And set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Clara H. Scott

Psalm 119:18 says, "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law."

I want to see what is around me. I want to see what God has created, in all of its intended glory and in all of its fallen-state sadness.

These students of mine are wonderful image-bearers. Albeit sinners. How can I help them to reach the glorious potential, the wonderful plan God has for each of them?

This world is filled with the down-trodden and oppressed. They, too, are image-bearers. How can I reach down and help them up? How can I fight the injustice under which they suffer?

This world is a beautiful depiction of God's creativity. Am I truly enjoying it as He wishes?

Oh, God, help me see!

Then help me DO!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


This is a theme that comes back to me again and again: to know and be known.

Implied in this concept is intimacy. If one person truly knows another, there must be some intimacy involved. Intimacy implies going deeper than surface level. Knowing and understanding what makes a person tick, what causes that person to lose sleep at night, what causes him or her to laugh with unfettered joy.

When this concept is applied to people, there is risk involved. We all feel a bit insecure, never quite sure if what will be revealed about us will be shocking to that other person, if it will make that person see us differently, if it will mar the relationship. I don't worry about what some celebrty thinks of me; there is no relationship there. But sometimes I worry about what my sister thinks, or what my friends or colleagues think.

What about with God?

Hmmm. What about it?

With God, there is no risk. He is pefectly understanding, loving, kind. He is neither surprised by the depth of my self-deception nor disappointed by my continual struggles.

And yet it is so overwhelming to think that I can have intimacy with God. That I can be known by God. I want to be known -- we all have that innate desire. But do I really want that?

Or do I only want people to know what I allow them to know?

God knows it all. And loves me anyway!