Sunday, February 14, 2016

From Judgment to Compassion

“Don’t ask what’s wrong with me. 
Ask what’s happened to me."

I read this recently and can’t stop 
thinking about that second question. 
Moving from pre-set conclusions to discovery. 
Moving from judgment to compassion.

In a recent post, I quoted Hebrews 11:6, 
"God rewards those who try to find Him." 
I talked about how when we have fallen, or
hurting, or want to choose faith over doubt…
showing up and trying is where courage beats fear. 
His kind, generous and merciful love never fails. 

Someone left a comment that I have to be
careful using new age demonic translations (NLT).
This person said the original meaning included
the word “diligent” to describe the seeking, 
and that there is no “try” in Scripture. 

I trust this person was just offering his take
on this verse, maybe meaning to be helpful.
For many years, I have been a diligent seeker.
But a lot of change has barged into my life,
and today, I got nothing that looks like diligence.
It has made me infinitely grateful for grace
and the steadfast unfailing love of the One
who has rewarded me with Himself over and over.
What "happened to us" is never the end point. 
But we give people respect when we move past
an assumption that something is wrong with them
--something that needs a dose of correction--
and listen to what they have walked through. 
Putting words to our struggle makes us vulnerable 
but it also makes us open to the healing 
that can come as imperfect vessels share 
about the perfect love we found in Christ.

On this weekend dedicated to celebrating love, 
let’s remember that love is the axis 
on which the whole world turns. 
It’s the answer to every problem and what
the entire world needs to see demonstrated. 

Love is God's other name.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Just Try

...He rewards those who try to find Him.
Hebrews 11:6

A TV commercial shows a dad getting
upset because his son got
 a trophy just for participating.
Dad ripped that plate off
and wrote “Champion” in its place.

I get that. No one should just get a
trophy for just showing up. Should they?
Doesn’t it take value away from those who
do more than show up, who actually win?
Well, maybe they should and
maybe it doesn’t.

Maybe it more closely resembles God's way.
God doesn’t reward those who win.
Every day, He gives out rewards
for showing up and trying.

So many days, I try to find Him but
feel like I just somehow miss the mark.
I can feel “unsuccessful” in my seeking.
And, honestly, I can’t do formulas or 
get up just a little earlier for “quiet time."
I let out a faint whisper for help.
God, I have to find You today.

He could have said, I can't give you 
anything if you don’t find Me.
He is more Little League coach
than NFL commissioner.
We don't stand alone as He waits for us to win. 
He stands with us and rewards our trying. 
When we have fallen, 
when we are hurting, 
when we have wrestled, 
when we want to choose faith over doubt, 
showing up and trying is where 
courage beats fear. Every time. 

He rewards our trying.
That is the kindest, most gracious,
most merciful kind of love there is.