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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

If I expect a certain kind rescue...

I love this wee paragraph. It was written on a blog I follow and it spoke straight at me. 

'If I expect a certain kind of rescue, then instead of being helped I feel like I’ve been harmed. Instead of being pointed to Jesus; I look back to myself. Grace becomes law: some truth I’m not learning, a bit that I’ve missed. These are the things I tell myself: Jesus didn’t die simply to fix my eating disorder or my drug addiction or my lack of self-esteem. He dies because I don’t get His love and grace – and I can’t apply it to my own life. I can’t do any of it; that’s why He dies. That’s why the gospel is good news: I can’t – but He can. And He does; not in the way I expect. Not in the way I want.  But He’s done it. Really. “But I don’t feel it!” He’s died for that too.'

'If I expect a certain kind of rescue...'
I've always had in my mind the kind of rescue I expected God had in store for me. The day that Jesus would just zap me and I would be free from the 'stuff' in my head. I think we all have those fairy tale expectations sometimes don't we?!
I've expected Him to zap other people to. I prayed so hard for so long that he would miraculously, in one split second, change and heal the inner workings of my beautiful sisters mind last year, and help her to see clearly how valuable and precious she really is... expecting her rescue to just be her walking out of hospital suddenly enjoying her life again. The reality was that I came home and sat in hospital with her on Christmas Eve just crying by her bedside as she slept, and her healing is taking time. It is happening - I can see it - but it is a long and slow process and there is some backwards and forwards steps to be taken just like there is for most of us. It's not the kind of rescue I had in mind. I hold the same expectations for the 'rescue' I expect from God for myself and all those I love. But mostly it's not the 'zap' we hope for which is disappointing I'm not going to lie.

But hold on... God already rescued us... He rescued us from death and in the most beautiful way... in Jesus dying for us. He's done it... it's won...'it is finished'. Yes, there are trials here... but the battle is won so why are we still acting like the battle is still happening?

In the midst of it all 'instead of being helped I feel like I've been harmed'. Somehow the fact that things continue to be difficult can seem worse than them happening in the first place. Not because the situation is any worse, but because I didn't get the rescue I expected and so I might feel like I've been cheated of something.
This is not the right spirit or attitude. This becomes not about God - it becomes about me. It's not even about being angry at God because He didn't, or doesn't seem to be doing something I asked of Him... instead it becomes about my lack of faith or about my lack of enough prayer or my lack of being good enough or worthy enough of being rescued or having my family rescued as a result of my prayers. It all stems down to not seeing the bigger picture and looking too inwardly, at what I want and what I think is justice, because it would make my life or the lives of those around me so much easier.

She went on to write... 'Jesus didn’t die simply to fix my eating disorder or my drug addiction or my lack of self-esteem. He dies because I don’t get His love and grace – and I can’t apply it to my own life. I can’t do any of it; that’s why He dies.'...
YES! This is spot on.
Sometimes I feel as though I understand His love and grace... and I think I do... the problem lies in the application. We are often so happy to explain it to others in need and help them apply it to their lives... but most of the time when it comes to turning the mirror round on ourselves and telling our own reflection those things, we just don't get it. We so often don't feel as though we deserve it...even though we feel that everyone else around us does. I believed and believe 100% that my sister deserves her rescue and all of God's love, but I still question if I do... It's that mentality so many of us have that ... "Yes they should be healed and forgiven, but for some reason for me it's different". Why is this? Do we feel as though we need to earn it?
But... thank the Lord He died for me... that way even if I can't apply it to myself ... He can. And one day I'll get it. One day you'll get it. You'll understand that just as you believe it is true for your friends and family, it is also true for YOU. Even if you don't feel it.

God's grace and love don't always look like a knight in shining armor type rescue, or an immediate healing, or a YES to that prayer you've been asking for, for so long, or a sudden change in your thought patterns... This is not a failing on your part or on God's. God just has a different plan. Trust Romans 8:28 'We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them'. You might in some circumstances need to let go of the 'rescue' you had dreamt up... but leave it to God... He's got it and He's big enough to take it. And it's for you as well as for everybody else.
'Love your neighbor as yourself'... if you don't love yourself... you're not going to love your neighbor very well are you?

Your Grace Finds Me - Matt Redman

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