Oh, the randomness...

Just my thoughts on life, love, and the pursuit of Jesus.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

All or Nothing

I've been thinking about this concept a lot lately. More and more, I think I understand what the term "jealous God" means. Anyway, I was reading the beginning of this new book and some of the language really stuck out to me.

"Sometimes we're afraid to talk to God this way—like Job crying out in the night on the ash heap behind his house, like the psalmist treading water in the dark, like a furious teenager, welded into bed with a broken neck and bolts in her head. We repress those murky, edgy emotions about our suffering. We choose to be polite, speaking sanitized words, or not speaking at all. We bottle up our troubling questions and unspeakable feelings toward God, hiding behind an orthodox, evangelical glaze as we "give it all over to the Lord."

Except that we haven't. It's a lie and a ruse.

And He knows that too.

Why would God rather have our anger, our venom, our rage, our cry of desolation rather than our measured, controlled, even-tempered, theologically correct prayer?

It's all about the heart. Over and over again in Scripture you can hear God saying, "Give Me your heart or nothing at all."

God doesn't have time to play games. He wants reality.


Sometimes brokenhearted people say harsh things. Sometimes some toxic cynicism or long-repressed anger can spurt out of a lacerated heart. The Lord knows that...and wants to be close anyway. Sometimes bitter emotions and acid words can ooze from a crushed spirit. The Lord understands that, as well...and draws near to comfort.

The fact is, gut-wrenching questions honor God. Despair directed at His throne is a way of encountering Him, opening ourselves up to the one and only Someone who can actually do something about our plight. And whether we collide head-on with Him or simply bump up against Him in the dark, we cannot be the same.

We never are when we experience God.

Take your grievances directly to the Lord, which means moving toward the Lord. Go ahead and vent disappointment, express hurt, and even question the goodness of the Almighty. But whatever you do, don't badmouth Him to others. Please don't sow seeds of discord or incite rebellion among friends against God. Don't talk behind His back. Engage Him, head on.

When you think about it, the people you really get angry with are the ones you trust most deeply. "I am mad as a hornet, God, and I don't understand what you are doing one bit!" sounds like the dark side of trust, but it is trust nonetheless."

-A Lifetime of Wisdom: Embracing the Way God Heals You Joni Eareckson Tada 2008

Anyway, in here she repeats the idea that God wants it all. He wants all of our hearts and emotions and fears and joys etc. etc. That notion has been very freeing for me, because I've wondered who is strong enough to really see my darkness and still want all of me. God. I knew that intellectually, but not in my heart.

I loved this part "give me your heart or nothing at all". And I guess I think that should be true in any close relationship. I don't want to be held at a distance, and don't want to hold at a distance.

Anyway, hope it gets you thinking today... :)


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