Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No One Said it Wasn't Going to Hurt

Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never
leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Jesus never promised to make us happy. He never promised that the path would be smooth, paved and free of potholes... in fact, he promised just the opposite. Have you ever stopped to think about how idiotic that is? This is God incarnate, wanting to establish a new way of interacting with the beings He created, and He tells them that their life will be hell if they decide to follow him. They will be tortured, made fun of, spat at, hated, all because they believe in Him. Who in their right mind would ever do that?

Worse yet, there are times when He, like any good parent, asks us to do things that suck. The plain old, bottom lip out, arms crossed and stomping across the room on my heels as hard as I can, are you looking at me, kind of way.

The difference is, He's not asking us to do the dishes. He's asking for absolute trust.

Have you ever participated in those trust exercises? You know the ones... before a support group starts, there has to be a common trust between everyone, so they put you all through ridiculous exercises like training dogs. You fall backwards into other people's arms. You go through fake-stressful situations so that you learn to 'bond' and 'trust' one another. Do you get the same feeling I do? These don't actually build trust, but merely facilitate you realizing the inevitable: that person you're catching would KILL you if you didn't catch them.

That's not trust. That's duty.

God doesn't need us. He doesn't require our worship to exist. The guy doesn't even sleep, because He created the sun and the moon. He doesn't need us to trust Him.

But we need to trust in Him.

It's a terrible human paradox. We need to be needed, and this is one situation where we definitely are not needed.

I have to learn to trust all over again. I have walked this path so many times before, and each time I look down, it seems like I'm treading the same territory one more time. You know what I've realized? This is not the same turf, but it is the same lesson. You take math for twelve years in school, and each time the grade you're taking builds off of the previous one. My faith is something like that.

It doesn't make it any easier.

I'll be completely honest with you, I'm hurting. More than I can really put into words or express in a tangible way. Father, you are taking me down a path I am unsure of. I feel as though there is a knife in my side, yet knowing full well that this is what you want for me. It gives me a strange peace in this storm.

Trust. I have confidence in what God is doing.

God never said this journey wasn't going to hurt. He promised me that it would hurt me, rob me of my innocence and rose coloured glasses. I didn't expect it to cost so many lives, literally an emotionally. I didn't realize that I would so often feel numb inside, and feel like quitting. I didn't know that I would stand at the front of the battle lines, heaving and thrusting, over and over until my muscles burn and threaten to buckle under the strain. I didn't know that it would rip my heart from my chest so that others could grow. That I would give up everything and everyone I love in a pursuit of something greater.

This hurts like hell. And the frightening thing is, it's all worth it.

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