Maintaining Healthy Relationships

I’ve been working on a paper for school.  I share this information not because I am focused on the importance of chasing intellect, but because the subject of my paper and my present heart ache are connected.

I am exploring the importance of remembering God’s saving deeds throughout history and sharing that information with the next generation (Psalm 78).  Ultimately the message scripture is revealing is about maintaining a faithful relationship with God, which brings me to the question “how do we maintain healthy earthly relationships?”

We know if our relationship with God is not healthy and growing, our earthly relationships will also be affected.  If our relationship with God is healthy we are able to embrace others. Perhaps the word ’embrace’ only applies to some, and the word ‘accept’ applies to others?

See what I mean, we are such a fickle people, deciding whom we should love based on what feels comfortable, always so in tune to the immediate and the physical.

Jesus tells us to “love our neighbor as ourselves….but if we show favoritism we are sinning”(James 2:8,9)

What if we are doing everything in our power to maintain a healthy relationship with God, but some of our earthy relationships still remain strained?  We cannot control another person’s response, but we can ask God to help us with our attitude.

I’ve also wondered, why I seem to be harder on people who are believers, when they make bad decisions?  Is it because they know better? Perhaps it is an opportunity for me to see how God feels when I disappoint him.

The Israelites knew better and God was patient with them.  They rejected Jesus and put him on a cross.  Here we see God sacrificing his own Son in order for us to be in relationship with him.  I find it amazing how He loves us all the same too, how his love isn’t based on our height, or weight or smell, or intelligence, or behavior.

Perhaps I have come full circle.  By constantly remembering what God has done for us, our mind has no room for pity or circumstance, no time to point the finger of blame? By constantly talking about what God has done and can do, we are obediently announcing that we trust Him with everything, especially that which we don’t understand, and totally mesmerized with who He is!

That’s where I want my mind right now Jesus; totally off my circumstance and pain, praying for those who have hurt me, for they too must be in pain, and a heart that is totally in awe of YOU.

 

 

 

 

 

Living Vertical in a Horizontal World

Good morning Jesus. It has been an interesting week, holding on tight to your hand and walking with you while you open my eyes and lift my chin gently upwards with the tips of your fingers.  You keep me living vertical.

Windows and doors open all around me, revealing images of this world’s reality, of our perilous soul condition.  Objects of desire are blotting out the Son, blind sheep still wander.  The weight of it wraps around my feet and threatens to keep me horizontal.  The pain of it tries to drown me, but you severed my ball and chain on the cross, and we walked into freedom from the tomb.

Since you joined the Father and left your Spirit here, there’s a lot of seeking going on, but not for you.  Your truth has been traded for brighter lights, bigger toys, man’s temporary fascinations.  As if we can compete with you and your design, your purpose and your plan? Have we forgotten the cycle of history repeating itself?  Our struggles and our triumphs are not original, or the first, or the last, but You are.

You hand crafted our intricate, brilliant minds in your image, kissed our lungs with air and yet some can’t even bring themselves to speak your name.  So much safer and hip to use the buzz words of the day, so non-committal, so plastic intelligence, empty, and most of all – powerless.  But my soul is not downcast.

You delight to say my name and called me before the earth felt the warmth of the sun.  The realization that I even bleep on your radar slays me, that I am so much smaller than the stars, yet matter more to you than the entire universe put together.  I am but a speck of star-dust orbiting around you.  You are a mystery magnet I cannot explain. I am in awe of you and go deeper, past the velvet curtains of your solar systems to the beginning and the end, into your heart.

How do I know you are real?  How do I know there is one God, and that you love me?  How do I know I have nothing to fear when I put my trust in you?  You have proven yourself over and over and over again.  Every living cell bears your seal, every generation has witnessed the majesty of your handiwork.

The closer I come to you, the faster you run to me.  I don’t need to see the exact lines of your face to feel you here beside me.  I am not ashamed, and I will not apologize for believing in a baby born in Bethlehem, born of God and born of man.

As the world grows darker, as the pages of time draw to an earthly close, even though my body may lie down before the trumpet sounds, keep my spirit living vertical.  I love you.