Tuesday, May 3, 2011

my five.

What does Jesus ponder when he thinks about me? I subconsciously commit the unspeakable heresy He’s become so familiar with of making him human...and then I’m jolted by my own conscience. Often I compartmentalize him so quickly it catches me entirely off guard and without a second glace, I slip into Dr. Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief.
I deny that he would acknowledge me as his the way I am -- how could he ever do that? I pretend he’s happy with me because I’m doing so much better than I have before, I shove my happy Jesus face in his throne room and crack a joke and he laughs -- God loves laughing, right?

Immediately this hits me in the stomach as cowardly, lies, a cop-out. I am disgusting, an awful person for thinking that. I’m so broken, so not right, so entirely out of the whole spiritual realm all the time. I suck at being a Christian more than I’m good at it by an off-kilter ratio of about 85% to 15%, if that. Frustrated at my lack of belief, I apologize to God and tell him that I’m sure he’s angry with me just as I’m angry at myself -- after all, I deserve it, right? I’m sure instead of being the “funny guy” in the throne room, my rare appearance is more like “that guy” and the Seraphim frown at me most of the time.

If I don’t quit thinking about how Jesus sees me right about now, the slip into bargaining is seamless. He loves me even though he knows me, I am guilty of being an awful person...so it must be somewhere in the middle. He is happy with me that I made the decision to follow him and give my life to him, but he is not content with where I’m at. He has things for me to work on -- there are so many ways I could be a better Christian. If I seek him then he’ll answer my prayers and actions and soon I’ll be back where I should be. Not a bad deal.

Why do I even try. It becomes madness; my conscience creates this vile subterfuge of a dialogue between me and an identical voice to mine that plays God and I try and converse my way out of this completely messy room. I know I should change these areas of my life, but I don’t think I can, and he can see that, so why even try? Why do I wonder what he thinks of me, he sees EVERYTHING. Even my innermost being. What is that anyway, an “innermost being”? Is that like your colon or something? Whatever it is it’s bad, and here’s where I eventually either stop conversing with him and just walk away or just stand, wallowing up to my waist in the mud I’ve created.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression...these things wash over me and my heart acts as if there’s no coal to touch my lips and I’ll never be pure...ever. The first four stages of grief are where I so often think my relationship with Christ is at, it makes me feel gross every time I face that fact.

God created humanity; you, me, us, all of us, to mirror him. He is complex, has more dimensions to his flawless character and personality than we could ever imagine; he feels and is many, many things (Psalm 30:5). He is also constant, unchanging, unmoving and his promises hold true to me no matter what I’ve done (Numbers 23:19 ). Yes, there are consequences for my mistakes, my shortfalls and my altogether-too-often decision to sin. But the blood of the Lamb that his son willingly gave me is what has saved me from not just the world and what it can/has done to me, but also myself.
One through four, I so often cycle through the first stages of grief in my relationship with him. But the whole time I’ve done and continue to do that, Jesus never stops being


One - Deuteronomy 4:31
“For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.”

Two - Nehemiah 9:17
“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them[...] but you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.”

Three - Deuteronomy 10:17
“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

Four - 2 Samuel 22:32-34
“For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.”

Five - John 6:37
“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

More of Jesus’ character:
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Psalm 145: 8-9 “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
Joshua 1:8-9 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Psalm 30:5 “Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God
has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his
people, his treasured possession.”

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