Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Distant God?

Recently a friend of mine and I were in conversation and the topic of discussion was our love of books.
We both usually have a few books going at the same time.
In our piles a number of genres are represented.

We discovered that we have both wanted to read something by a particular author, but had not gotten around to doing so as of yet.
The author is Flannery O'Connor.

Ms. O'Connor has been referenced by authors we have read and often enough to catch our attention.
We resolved to remedy the situation soon and then get together to share our findings.

Shortly afterward I was on an appropriate website and took the opportunity to order a used copy of Flannery O'Connor's short stories.
Meanwhile, my friend had picked up a short novel by this author.

We decided we would swap books once we finished reading and then discuss them.

After reading a few of her short stories I felt that I had experienced enough of her writing.
The woman was an excellent writer, but her stories are not light reading by any means.
She viewed life through a very dark lens.

My friend and I met for tea this morning and Flannery came up in conversation.  We both looked at each other and immediately knew that neither one of us were interested in pursuing anymore of her thoughts!

What I found most oppressive was Flannery O'Connor's perspective on God.
She presented Him as illusive and distant; not caring, nor One who cares whether His children grasp how to know Him and His will.

That is not the God I know.

How grateful I am to Jesus for opening the way up for me to know Him intimately!

In Reflections for Ragamuffins, Brennan Manning states,
"Jesus brought a revolution to the understanding of God.  It is impossible to exaggerate the extravagance of the Father's compassion and love."
How sad that the author, Ms. O'Connor didn't grasp that truth!

In reflecting over this I thought of how there are always so many things vying for our attention, for our adoration.  How easily we could find ourselves following after any one of these "gods".

Thank You, Jesus, for making it clear Whom it is that deserves all our worship!

What a comfort to know that the Living God is not distant, but right here with us and that we can trust Him for He is faithful.

Yes, we can trust Him, but do we?
Oh, it is easy to trust Him when life continues on in a safe, predictable way, but it is a different story when change looms on the horizon!

Change comes in all sizes and shapes.
Whether it is dealing with the new world of Medicare for my honey or seeing a dear son struggling, it all comes down to "Letting go and letting God."

So often I seem to have to wrestle first!

Papa spoke to my heart this morning in one simple verse found in the First chapter of Deuteronomy.  It is the Sixth verse.
"The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain."
I can tell you that the Israelites were not  happy campers.  Literally!

The LORD knows it is not good for us to get stuck.  He knows we need to move on, to keep growing, experiencing and learning
The only way to do so is to put our trust in Him.

I trust that He will help me sort out the new way of doing insurance and He will help me to remember that all our children are men now and need to work their own issues out.  Without mommy.

The thing is that as hard as I find t is to let go, when I do, then I discover blessings that I would have missed if I had stayed stuck!

The greatest blessing is to rediscover and experience more fully the truth that my God is not distant at all.
He is as close as my breathe and seeks to take me deeper and higher in that intimacy.

Let's not follow in Flannery's footsteps, but let's taste and see that the LORD is good and then drink deeply!

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