Sunday, April 30, 2006

Yet though He slay me...

A few weeks ago I was going for a bit of a walk (waddle really) through my neighbourhood. As I walked I prayed that God would strengthen my faith. I asked Him to give me a faith that could praise Him and thank Him even if things don't go as planned, even when I was hurting. I want to have a faith that will be constantly strengthened by hardship, instead of smashed against the rocks and made weak. Forgetting that that is one of those prayers that will be immediately answered and tested, much like the prayer for humility and patience, I went on my merry way. Oh so proud that I was being so brave in my walk with God.

So a very little bit later I happened upon a house. Chad and I had been looking to rent a larger place to house us and our growing family. We had given up the search in finding anything with 3 bedrooms in our area and in our price range. I had gotten to a place where I had accepted staying here in our tiny little place, and honestly was not looking anymore. But this house came available right down our street (I love our street) AND it was 3 bedrooms, AND it had an Airconditioning unit, AND it was big AND it was beautiful. I had been ignoring it for weeks, but after the sign had been up for so long decided to check on the price, and what do ya know? It was within our price range! I went to check out the inside and it was home. I could feel it. It really seemed like God was blessing us beyond my wildest dreams. Chad and I applied...I tried not to get too worked up...We were rejected. I hadn't realized how fragile my little faith was and I was depressed for a few days over this little thing. I was so angry that God would tease me like that. (I think I still am a little.)

Yesterday, my diamond fell out of my ring. The diamond that Chad gave me and I have worn since getting engaged. My diamond with a little black dot in it, that sparkles anyway. I have no idea when it fell out, but being rather small, it would be impossible to find in any of the numerous places that I went. Again, I ranted at God for taking my precious diamond. Angry at Him for what has felt like a very disappointing time since being in this country, having had irreplacable things taken, opportunities not happen, jobs not gotten, houses not gotten, and now my diamond gone...

I have realized how weak and fragile my poor pathetic faith is. I have a chronic and slow burning anger at God that rears it's ugly head everynow and again. I know now that I need my faith to be made stronger. I have NOTHING to be proud of in that department. I am so weak. It seems so funny that it's the little things that can make us lose it. I still want a faith that will cling to the ankles of God. I want the faith to say, "Yet though you slay me, still I will trust in You. Even when I don't get the house I want, even when my diamond falls out of my ring, still I will praise You." I recognize now that I have a long and painful way to go...but maybe in the end I will get what I need the most, faith the size of a mustard seed.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Easter bunnies and Bloody nails

I was struck this Easter by the sufferings of Christ. We watched the Passion of Christ on Good Friday and for the first time I realized that a huge part of Christ's sufferings was the lonliness and despair he must have felt. He was sold to his enemies by a friend. While He was aching with the weight of the knowledge of what was to happen his friends slept. One friend denied Him. I think I have become so immune to the story that I fail to see how painful this would have been. His own people rejected Him, and cried out for his death. This man had loved and longed for them. He was made fun of as He was beaten, insult heaped upon powerlessness. In any other person our hearts would bleed to hear such a story, but this man, well, it's just Jesus. In Sunday school we learn to say "He died for us" without any concept of what He went through. We're almost bored by the idea.
He suffered lonliness in a way that no person will ever experience it. God turned His back on Jesus too. God turned His back on Him at Jesus' utmost need for a friend. Jesus took on the weight of the world, all the hate and anger and abuse. He became the most disgusting vile criminal on that cross, and He was rejected by God, so that the most disgusting vile criminal can have a chance to truly live. No one else on earth is ever truly alone. God sees all of us and aches with us in our pain. He was truly alone to be with us in our lonliness. He experienced true pain to be with us in our pain.
Sometimes we wonder at God loving us. Either we complain that He doesn't love us enough or that He couldn't possibly love us in all we've done. I know realize that we join in the ranks of abusers when we question such love. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. There was no greater show of love for us than what happened Good Friday, and no greater show of completion than what happened the following Sunday morning.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This Island Earth

I have been desperately home sick lately. I feel so far from what my life was. Out-of-touch and distant. I feel like I'm watching as earth is getting smaller and smaller in an already too small window. (Not to mention I have stand far from the window due to an 8month pregnancy gut!) I miss my country and the culture. I miss good ol' American shopping and relative friendliness. I miss mexican food and Good Times hamburgers and shakes. I miss my family...and even at moments miss Chicago. As I feel further and further from the world I feel so overwhelmed with an astronaut's loneliness. A huge world and a little me, in a vaccuum.

My brother just left to go to Iraq. He'll be a body guard to higher-up Army officials. I wasn't at his going away party. I wasn't there to see him off on his bus trip to his body-guard training. I wasn't there. I called to say goodbye. I hadn't talked to him in 6 months. I hope that's not the last that I ever get to speak with him.

My beloved and only Grandfather is in the hospital again. He's been in and out and has had periods of being non-sensical. I can't be there to help him. I can't be there to help my Grandma. I can't be there. When I said goodbye to him the last time that I saw him I had this terrible feeling it would be the last I would see of him...I hope that I haven't seen the last of him.

I feel not so much like I'm on the other side of this Island Earth, but well and truly on another planet. I am able to keep radio contact as I drift further and further into outer space. Untouched and Untouchable.