In today's post at Ann's, she is writing some truth to their boy, who is ready to leave home. There are some powerful words worth reading. But one thing she says struck me in light of our world today. It is so needed:
"It’s true, son: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One man with God can change a culture. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs.Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.
Only when you offer yourself as bread, broken and given, to a hungry world, will you ever be satisfied.
The only life worth living is the one lost.
No matter how loud and crazy and broken the world is, child? Let joy live loud in your soul."
Our self-absorbed society wrecks havoc with our faith...it teaches living the opposite of the selfless life Christ commanded us to live, the kind of life Ann is talking about.
When I was teaching, I had a young teen come to high school after being home schooled. Talk about confrontations...I was too hard when I graded, expected too much, I didn't appreciate the sarcasm or the "laid back" attitude apparent every day of high school. As I tried to challenge this apparently bright child, I met road blocks at every turn. Then graduation came and as the parents told me, "They knew great things would be accomplished by this extremely gifted young person."
I smiled and said I hoped they were right.
A year later, Mom sat in my room crying. "The first job had been lost, "____ wouldn't get up early enough for work." "Attitude towards co-workers was rotten." "He wants to move home, with no rules." "I had no idea he was like this."
She followed with what to do?
I breathed deeply, "Pray." Simply pray.
Life throws all of us unexpected curves. and those circumstances of our life can cause us to experience pain, fear, extreme sadness, boredom, loneliness, and more fear and pain.
After all these years of living and feeling all of these emotions, I realize these hard times are not bad but actually good experiences, because if life didn't get hard, we wouldn't need God. We wouldn't come to the end of our own self-reliance in how great we are. We would never realize just how good God is.
I smile at what David says in Psalm 13:1-6. Believe me he is having a pity party, really being honest about what he feels but then once again, he remembers the right answer.
"I have trusted in your steadfast love...." Never failing, never changing, never ending love...that is what God is for us. And yet we look to our circumstances for fulfillment, for the hole in our heart that needs to be filled. When I look to things, to food, to clothes, to friends, to praise from others, to "stuff" to make me feel good, to get rid of the "feelings," the outcome is never good. It is only God and his "steadfast love" that fills me with peace, with love, with satisfaction, with contentment.
Now for the practical...how do I do that? In I John we have the answer...
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God."
Calming our fears,
filling the holes in our hearts,
overcoming sadness with joy,
and removing the lonliness with satisfaction
comes from loving others and being thankful for every circumstance in our lives and the emotions that brings because it is at those times, the times of tears, of pain, of fear, of lonliness, of sadness that we are drawn closer to our God, the God of "Steadfast love and faithfulness."