Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you magnify with a microscope or a telescope?

So a few years back a friend told me to read the book "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. When I heard the title of the book I was immediately hesitant to buy it, I don't want to know how I'm wasting my life because I know the facts were I was living mediocre and to actually think I may have to change was not something that I invited with open arms.

I started to realize that maybe this is why some of us are so hesitant to live like Esther, Ruth, Job and Jeremiah. Fear of changing, fear of what God would have us do, fear of where God would have us go. Fear we would be mocked like Jeremiah and be a laughingstock to our friends for what we believe. "O LORD, you deceived; me and I was deceived you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me." Jeremiah 20:7

This past weekend I went to the bookstore and there it was "Don't Waste Your Life", jumped out at me and I knew I had to get it. I've only read a short amount but I can tell you my palms were sweating, my heart was beating fast because this is a life changing book. He says "God created me-and you-to live with a single, all-embracing, all transforming passion-namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. “John Piper. Life is not about my happiness, its not about stores, vacations to exotic places, climbing the corporate ladder, life is simply about God. Glorifying God in all aspects of our lives but notice he said all-transforming passion. Another word for transform is to change. By glorifying him we are changed and the love we have for Jesus should be enjoyed and displayed in all spheres of our lives. When we live for God in all parts of our lives we began to share His glory with others.

This of course is just a glimpse of what I read but it was almost disappointing to me that life was not about being happy. I mean that is what we are striving to be right? Happy. Striving to make enough money to get what we want. Striving to look just right to be wanted, striving to please other people. I felt a loss that life is not about my happiness since that is what the world around is chasing. John Piper says this "The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples."

I think of Esther with unmistakable beauty and faith in the Lord "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." She stepped out in faith to save her people; she was willing to give up her life for what she believed. Esther 4:16.

Or what about Ruth and her devotion to God and her mother in law Naomi.
"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." Ruth 1:16

What about sweet Jeremiah, the laughingstock of his people he said this "So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, "I will not mention him or speak any more in his name; his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

What do these three people have in common? Passion. When times were tough they pushed on, they didn't live for themselves or their happiness but instead they lived for His glory. I want to be more like them, I want to have a passion so deep I can say if I perish I perish, where you go I will go, and his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.

John piper gives an example of how we can view God "You can magnify like a telescope or like a microscope. When you magnify like a microscope a dust mite can look like a monster. Pretending to magnify God like that is wickedness. But when you magnify like a telescope, you make something unimaginably great look like what it really is. With the Hubble Space Telescope, pinprick galaxies in the sky are revealed for the billion star giants that they are. Magnifying God like this is worship."

We can pretend God is only a fragment of our lives but we are deceiving ourselves. God is magnificent, he is the creator, my prayer is that I see God as he really is and glorify Him in all spheres of my life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Healing Begins

Today is bleak and inspiration is fleeting. When life is closing in and it seems you are stranded where is there to go? I’m stuck on an island; all that surrounds me is the sandy beach and an endless blue of sky and water. It’s going to take a miracle to get off this island….

But as time goes by I realize that I’m not on the island, I’m not on solid ground. Instead my eyes sting and are blurry from the salty water, nothing is clear everything seems to be foggy. I’m sinking fast and the endless blue is all I see. This is the life that I’ve been living. What I would give to feel my feet on the warm sandy beach, to feel the sun shining, to see clearly again.

Have you ever been where I’m at right now? You thought you could breeze through hurts, mistakes, and pain without facing it? I thought I could do that but I was wrong, so wrong. So as much as it sucks it’s time to trade in what I want to do right now for what I know I need to do.
I’ve never been down this road, I’ve never willingly gave up something I wanted to heal. It’s uncomfortable and sad. Even though I know it’s time for a change within my heart, I have peace in the ways I’m used to. I’m used to sinking in the endless blue, with foggy vision. I don’t want to give up that place because it’s familiar; it’s so familiar it has made me numb to feeling like there is any other way.
I cling to the promises:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

I’ve messed up big, I’ve made my own ocean of mistakes, but I have hope. A tiny bit of hope within me; that is teaching me to trust and obey and put one foot in front of the other. When that pit of fear takes over I have hope that gives me a reason to choose to heal for myself and the ones that I love.