Tag Archives: beliefs

The Dirty Gospel : God Isn’t Fair

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I discovered this weekend that I hate the woman Jesus healed. I’ll back up just a second for a few of you new readers. We are in the middle of a series called The Dirty Gospel. Loss & Depression then a post about God’s love being a severe and painful mercy.

This past weekend I was at World Mandate conference (more on that Thursday). Louie Giglio spoke on Friday night about the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8. But this is the part that stuck out to me:

A man named Jairus pleaded with Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. On their way the woman with the issue of blood reached out and touched Jesus. At that moment Jesus stopped and healed that woman. Yippee, right?

Not for Jairus. While this woman was getting her healing, a messenger came and told Jairus that his daughter was dead. Jesus was too late. Jairus was first and she cut in line. This is where I realized that I despised this woman.

Well, not this actual woman. But what she represents in my life. All those times where I am begging God, but it seems that He is too busy helping others. I am crying about my financial lack, only to learn that someone else received a significant amount of money as a random gift. What the heck, God? It isn’t fair that they have so much and I have so little.

We have been in the process of adopting for almost four years. FOUR years. In that time I have seen so many families bring home their little kids. I guess Jesus was too busy helping them that He forgot about my waiting family. They only had to wait a year. It isn’t fair.

We planted a church in a city that didn’t seem to care about God. In our first few months in Seattle we talked to 2,000 people about Jesus. Want to know how many came to church? Two. Just two out of two thousand. Meanwhile in another American city, revival is breaking out and churches are growing out of their spaces. God, we are doing what you asked us to do. Why isn’t anything happening? This isn’t fair.

Maybe for you, it is marriage. Or family. Your friends seem to be having all the luck with romance and babies. Perhaps you have been working hard in your career only to watch a co-worker get the promotion.

Waiting for God to move, only to watch Him part the waters for someone else. All the while, we feel like we are dying just like the daughter did. Jesus was too late. He wasn’t fair.

I have died waiting for a Savior who seems to have gotten distracted.

When I see people around me getting what they are desperately seeking from God, I cringe. Because in my little way of thinking I somehow conclude there is now less for me. Maybe Jesus used up all His magic sprinkles for their miracle. Will Jesus run out of His miracles before He gets around to me?

I think that when Jesus is working on behalf of someone else, it means I am still sitting on the to-do list. Maybe He will get around to me, maybe not. Fingers crossed I don’t die waiting to find out.

Then I remember the truth and I take heart.

The story ends with Jesus going to Jairus’ daughter and raising her from the dead. Jesus didn’t just show His power in her life by healing her. He did something bigger and more unexpected.

And that’s what we hope in. There are days it feels like we watch another get our blessing. The spouse we want, the kids we crave, the bank account we dream of, the job we’ve worked hard for and the recognition we think we deserve. And maybe it isn’t fair.

Fair = reasonable. Not sure about you, but I’m glad God isn’t reasonable when it comes to the Gospel. I don’t deserve it and if He was fair then I’d be a goner.

The Gospel isn’t fair. It is more than that. It is ample, generous, and extravagant. —> click to tweet.

Sure, sometimes waiting for God kills us. It kills our flesh to make room for something bigger. If we watch a dream die, it is because God is going to call forth something bigger and more grand than we were ever imagining.

Remember how only two out of two thousand came to church? God did a miracle with those two girls. He birthed a church. They gathered a critical mass of friends and our church began to grow and take off. What seemed like death was God’s way of bringing life.

The Gospel is dirty because it kills us sometimes. It kills our misperceptions and wrong expectations. It kills our selfish ambitions and pride. But, God never leaves us dead. He raises us up into the life He has destined for us.

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Filed under Faith, Fire, The Dirty Gospel, Uncategorized

The Art of Moving Mountains

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Moving mountains is quite tricky really. So often I hear sermons about how God can move our mountains. Faith of a mustard seed and all. I believe that with God I can move mountains. And yet, there they stand before me again. Daunting peaks and valleys, frozen ice patches splattered along the ridges.

They seem so magnificent and their beauty scares me. How can such a thing move, God? And yet I know it must. I know it doesn’t belong here. It blocks me in and hides me from the things beyond it’s peaks.

Mountains are situations, experiences and views of ourselves that block us. They trap us. They stop us. These past few months I have wondered why I don’t say to my mountains, “Move!”.  As I have thought about it, I identified three common reasons why I make friends with my mountains instead of moving them.

1. Having a mountain is a good excuse. It’s a good reason to stop and an excuse for why I can’t or shouldn’t. What better reason than to say, “Well, I guess I am off the hook. There is a mountain in my way.”. Such an obstacle is a good reason to pitch a tent at the foot of this giant.

I could make a nice life here at base camp. Sure, base camp is more of a place of survival rather than living. Soon I might forget how nice heat is or electricity. Or forget about indoor plumbing. I might start to believe that I was made for nomadic camping instead of being planted in the land God has for me.

When I get weary of pressing on, excuses look good. I like the excuse my mountain offers me. You guys go ahead. I have a mountain. I’ll meet you on the other side…maybe.

2. Often I don’t move my mountains because I am freaked out what might be on the other side. Most likely it is better than where I am now, but it still scares me. Yes, there could be a flash flood here. Yes, the winters are harsh and long in the shadow of the mountain. Yes, I am always blocked and unable to move, explore or grow. Sadly, I have learned to live like this. And knowing what to expect brings some comfort. Can I really thrive on the other side of the mountain?

3. This realization knocked the wind out of me: Sometimes I don’t move my mountains because I need them. I get resources from the mountain. I rely on the animals living on it for my food, it’s snow melts into my water and it’s caves are my shelter. In a way it replaces God meeting my needs. Why trust Him for water when I can just get it from this muddy pond? The mountain provides me with some identity as well.

Our mountains mark us. Maybe you are the girl with the eating disorder. Or the man who never had a father. Financial crisis is your go-to. No matter who says they love you, you will always be the one who was rejected. We cling to our mountains because they have been feeding us for years.

We aren’t made to live in the shadow of daunting, haunting mountains. We were made to move them. —> click to tweet.

Moving mountains isn’t easy. In fact, I don’t really know how it works, but I do know that we are called to do it. We look at God, take Him at His word, pray like our lives depend on it and start walking.

Maybe when we approach it, the mountain will disappear. Perhaps the image of the mountain will remain and we will find that God gives us the supernatural strength to walk straight through it’s rock core.

There isn’t a formula, and I don’t know exactly what God is going to do to move your mountains. But I know He will. I know He promised. We aren’t made to live in the shadow of daunting, haunting mountains.

We were meant to live free. We were created to live without inhibition. We are destined to move mountains. 

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Filed under Faith, Fire, My Life Thus Far, Whimsy

Why I Blog

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I had coffee a few months ago with Kat from Inspired To Action. She has about a bazillion readers on her blog, so I picked her brain. She asked me a great question. When you write, who are you trying to talk to?

It really got me thinking. Google searches brought me tons of advice from bloggers about how to brand my blog. The clear path to large readership is have a specific issue you consistently write about. Decor, beauty, fashion, food, faith, motherhood…take your pick.

The problem is, I just can’t. I can’t focus so specifically on one thing. I’m not passionate enough about bangs, bread or vintage wallpaper to write about them regularly.

My interests are about as diverse as my readers. You guys are everything from liberals to conservatives, Christians & atheists, male & female. Plus, you live all around the world & that eliminates me being able to tell you about the deals at Target.

When pressed to say what Lark & Bloom is about, I would say this: It is a cultural experiment. Instead of looking at all our differences, let’s explore the spaces we have in common. You may not agree with my lifestyle & I may not agree with yours.    What if we talked anyway?

I believe in Jesus & am passionate about the Church. We may disagree on that & I don’t find that offensive or threatening.  But, I bet we both are addicted to coffee & have a love-hate relationship with Taylor Swift. ( meaning we hate that we love her )

Let’s agree to disagree & learn from each other anyway. Let’s tell our stories & celebrate that we share the same space in history. Let’s talk about how we all want Michelle Obama’s arms.

Doesn’t that sound fun?

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Filed under Fire, Whimsy