Friday, May 13, 2011

What I've been learning

Lately I've been learning a lot about God's love, and about who God loves. I've seen firsthand the promises and declarations of God prove to be true. 

I've seen that God loves orphans.  Loves them so, so much.  

I've witnessed God's incredible love for the weak. 

I can testify that God loves widows. 

And I can't even begin to tell you how much he loves and cares for the abused, abandoned and those forgotten by most.  They are usually referred to as, "the least of these" but that is a label I detest. 

I'm certain and confident in God's love for the brokenhearted.  And for those who have hurt so badly. 

I know God loves the poor.  He cares for them and provides for them, and keeps them in the shadow of his wing. 

I know of God's mercies toward those who are persecuted.   And those who have made bad choices.  

I'm sure of God's healing for those who made bad choices and have nearly ruined their lives, and perhaps others' lives as well. 

I know all of this.  I marvel again and again at God's unfailing, unrelenting love for "them".   But I often wonder where I fall in all of this.  I was so blessed to be raised in a Christ centered home.  Not only were all of my needs met, but many of my wants as well.  I was safe, secure and loved.  While I have experienced heartaches, they are a drop in the bucket when compared to the majority of the world.   I have been seen as strong in the eyes of so many.  I've not been persecuted.  I've made bad choices, but they are private bad choices, not publicly condemned ones.  

So I think for much of my life I was so certain of God's love for the people that needed it (in my eyes) more than I did that I went to war with myself and decided to not "bother" God with the little stuff.  I'd seen extreme poverty, heard horribly sad stories and I was certain that God's love was what these people needed for healing and purpose.  But, in my broken line of thinking, I equated a human's ability to love as God's ability to love.  If God was spending time loving, blessing or comforting me up in my comfortable home in suburbia, I wrongly assumed that I was taking those blessings from someone else that needed them more than I do. 

The last few monthsI've started to realize how messed up this thinking is.  God is not made in my image, I was made in his.  While I love both of my boys the same, there are times that I am physically unable to meet both of their needs at the same time.  God is not limited by anything, so when I spend time with him or "bother" him with my less than life or death requests, I'm not taking his attention away from the starving child in Africa who needs him.  God doesn't have limitations.  In fact, he wants me to come to him with all I'm feeling, regardless of how ridiculous it is.  

As I walk through life, I notice that it's easy for me to trust God with the "biggish" things.  I know he's in control.  I didn't stress much about our moves or our transition to civilian life.  I knew God would take care of it.  We'd put a lot of prayer into those decisions and I knew God would take care of it.  But it's the little stuff that I have a lot of anxiety about…perhaps because I don't follow the clear instructions in Philippians to "not be anxious about anything" and while I pour my heart out to God about my life, I don't spend much time on the little things because I think that God doesn't want to hear that dribble when there are much more important things in he has to take care of.

Then he orchestrates something little, something that gets my attention and I know that he cares about the dribble of my life.  He cares and wants to know the little things that stress me out.  He knows my heart's desire and honors that.  He knew my desire for a ring, and he decided to woo me by blessing me with a ring and you know what?  That didn't stop him from solving the world hunger crisis.  He knew I was anxious about Tate going to preschool.  He knew how much I wished that my mom could have taught him (she is the best preschool teacher in the world, bar none).  What did he do to ease my fears?  Tate's preschool teacher's name is Miss Kathy…not just my mom's name, but also the same salutation my mom uses.  Such a little thing, but it was so reassuring. 

And now I'm fighting anxiety.  I don't know the exact cause of it, but I'm pretty sure the root has something to do with the box I put God in.  So I'm working on it.  I'm working on bringing everything to God with prayer and thanksgiving because there is nothing too small for God.  So to the list above, I'm going to add this…

I am absolutely certain and sure of God's love for me.  Even in my pride, God found me.  He's freeing me from the prison I'd made of making him too small, and in my own image.  God's love for me is vast, endless and all encompassing.  His love for me doesn't take away from the other people that he loves.  God's love for me and his blessings for me don't take away resources that he could use somewhere else on people that need it more than I do.  In fact, if I let him, he can make ME into a resource for other people that have greater needs than I do. 

God is big, my friends.  He loves me and cares about all the little things that matter to me. 

And I'm at peace with that.