Sunday, May 9, 2010

Love is undeserved

Its been a crazy week! I seriously don't even know where to start. I have seen God's love in the most real way and yet I still can't seem to get it. Just today, I fell back into my same old trap of letting my feelings get the most of me; trying to tell God what I want instead of letting his love rule my heart. And all this frustration and doubt just a day after barely getting through a day alive (by the grace of God) ok, so maybe we should rewind and start at the beginning of the weekend where I did a lot of reading and devo time.


My favorite character in the old testament of the Bible is Elijah!!! I can definitely relate the most to this guy and so going through my devos again this week, I find myself in 1 Kings reading about the story of Elijah. A little back drop action for you: Elijah had just prayed for no rain and it came to be. He survived during the drought and famine through crazy miracles of God. He healed a widow's child. He took on 450 prophets of Baal and showed them up. He then prayed for rain fervently and God miraculously provided rain again after 3 years. This guy is a titan of faith. And yet, just after all this, we find Elijah in a cave, hiding from a single women, complaining to God that he is the only true prophet left and that God should just take his life. But look at what God does here as Elijah throws his pity party.

1 KINGS 19: 9-15
And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” So he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” And he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” Then the LORD said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

This passage rocked me in so many ways! first off, I too, after just witnessing the power of God, often times find myself depressed, feeling alone, or just plain frustrated with life. Elijah, here, feels alone and he lets God know. But what does God do? He simply allows Elijah to think. In this passage, Elijah is on Mount Horeb (mount Sanai) The same place where radical miracles had happened to reveal God's purpose to his people. Elijah is probably expecting God to come to the place and show him a sign or a miracle, BUT God comes in a still small voice instead, asking him the same exact question. Elijah's response is identical. He still feels alone, probably frustrated that God's plan isn't lining up with what he expects anymore. And yet, after this, God still uses him and tells him to go, get back up on his feet and continue serving the purpose. That is amazing to me. If i would have been God in this situation, I would have given up on Elijah who has seemed to quit when the slightest thing fell against him. But i am not God, and I am thankful, because I am most likely more like Elijah, and I definitely need God's grace and patience everyday. So i read this on friday, not thinking incredibly much about it.


While heading home from our men's retreat, sleeping in the passenger seat, the driver lost control of the vehicle going 75 on the freeway in pretty heavy traffic. In my complete incoherence, the vehicle did a 180 degree turn went across two lanes of traffic, went off the road between two trees and went reverse first into a ditch. All I remember is a loud commotion, screeching, and the loud impact of the car into the ditch. I have no visual memories. And then the craziest thing happened: Me and the driver both walk out of the car with no bruising, no cuts, no pain, completely fine. Only after I walked out of the car, did I truly wake up and realize what just happened. We hit no cars. We went around a tree backwards and missed it by just under a foot. And then we dropped 2 or 3 feet into a ditch, completely ripping apart both bumpers of the car (without setting off the airbags). The impact snapped the guitar in the back seat. I will have pictures of just how miraculous this all was soon, but for now entrust my description. God's hand was on that car! He wanted us alive!


Oh how quickly I fall. I just took part in a miracle on my life. I might not have been here today, and yet I still forget about God's love almost instantly as I get frustrated with my own life. I struggle with feeling alone. And this feeling often leads me to getting into a bad mood or depressed. And usually its because of girls. I have this deep instilled fear inside of me that I will have to spend the rest of my life alone, and so I wrongfully spend a lot of my time trying to work things out through my strength, searching for girls to like and trying to make it happen on my time. Today, I got frustrated because the girl I have gotten myself interested in seems to continually push me away. Quickly, I become frustrated, jealous, bitter, and it takes a while as I sit there in my cave, to begin to listen to Gods small, still voice asking me what I am doing again? So if I have learned anything from this weekend, It's that God's love and mercy are completely undeserved. How could I have ever deserved to live through that? How could God still love me after all I have done and here continue to do? I dont know the answers to these questions, but I know that he does.

And that amazes me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Opening Statements

It's 11:30 at night. I tried going to bed around three hours ago, and yet due to the heat in my room, I have found myself staying up creating this blog.

Over the years, especially this last one, I have learned a lot about love. And not just your typical love that you hear everyday in songs, on television, or at the movies. I am talking about TRUE love, agape, the love only God can perfect. I have had my failures, my victories, my heartbreaks, my joys, my deserts, my mountain tops. My view of love has flipped completely around multiple times in the last couple years of my life. But one thing I have stayed firm on is the overwhelming love from God that I have witnessed in my life. I may not know how to perfectly love others all the time, but I know someone who does; I may not not feel loved by those around me all the time, but I know someone who does love me; I may spend a lot of my time and effort trying to find love in my life, but then I remember I already do have a love who will take care of me no matter what!!!!

As I make more posts in this blog, know this: They won't all be happy. They won't all be sad either. But I can promise you this: That as I live the journey that is life, when I overwhelmingly catch a small glimpse of God's infinite love, I will write about it; when I get down and depressed and wonder where love is, I will write about it until I figure it out. When I see the beauty and complexity of life, I will write about it. This is my life, every part of it. No editing the frustrations, nor the joys. This is my journey after God's heart. This is my journey to find what true love is . . .