Friday, December 28, 2007

What Your Knees Are For...

Life is an ebbing and flowing of ups and downs, triumphs and failures, plenty and need.

As Christians we know that all blessings are from God, and we give Him thanks. However, we often come to expect those blessings, not because we feel we are owed anything from The Almighty, but because our culture teaches us that our hard work will reap their own blessings in this world. When we fall for this lie, we lose our dependence on God in favor of dependence on self and the things we can see, or more specifically, the things we have earned. It is in this delusional state of mind that we are in need of reminding what our knees are for.

Sometimes even hard work is over-looked in capitalism, as the easy and fast dollar wins the day. Sometimes we may lose a loved one to death or miscarriage. Sometimes we just flat-out reap the consequences of our actions, and all of those events can force us back to our knees as we turn our eyes skyward for help and answers.

At times He answers quickly, giving comfort and wisdom. Other times He lets us know that His time is not our time and that can be frustrating, even maddening, but in the end we will be reminded of just how good our God truly is.

When I was growing up I heard Bible lesson after Bible lesson on the Israelites, and remember that even the prepubescent mind of my youth thought the Israelites were so unbelievably stupid for always "falling away" and getting themselves thrown into bondage, or conquered every now and then.

"Idiots! You just saw the Red Sea parted five minutes ago, and you're making idols. Go wander in the wilderness or something....jackasses." I plainly remember thinking like that, and henceforth committing myself to not ever being an "Israelite" at the weathered age of eleven.

Sixteen years later I have stood convicted of my own sins, some of them egregious, and in dire need of reconciliation to family, to friends, and to God. I was in need of some of my own wandering in the wilderness in order to drive the point home, and when my prayers for relief were not answered in my own time (a period I thought was reasonable) I cursed God. Yep, I'm an Israelite alright. Whom is the jackass now?

This Israelite understands the purpose of the lesson, and have learned from his time wandering in the wilderness that he should be thankful for the reminders of what his knees are designed to accomplish.

I'm not any more mature, wise, or savvy because of my experiences, as trial and error is not wisdom, it is Darwinism that the most simple of creatures will encounter. But I know that I am God's creature, and in this new time of need and seeking His will, I have learned patience, I have been taught humility, and I have been blessed with family to help me through. I even have the good fortune of being another's comfort from time to time.

I understand this is not a particularly good piece of writing I have crafted for you today. It is not insightful, informative, or even entertaining by almost any standard. I offer you my most sincerely apologies if you have been bored by my ramblings, but because I had formerly shouted my displeasure to the heavens in a public fashion, I feel I needed to shout His praises far and wide during this time of needed reconciliation.

To make up for ineptitudes of my writing, I offer this beautiful and praiseful psalm written by the hand of a beloved of mine.

All creation is bent eternal.
The winds howl their chilled requests
confused to the North and South.
The trees creak and crack and moan as ring upon ring upon ring
The oceans project their rage with white-crested waves and squalls,
in perpetual demand
"How Long?" "How Long?"
The birds sing a sweet verse and cease,
waiting as if response will free their song.
Scorched sand of uninhabited land cries out
through visible waves of heat
"I thirst"
The plates of earth shift and shake with violent collision
laboring simply to find their footing.
Cancers perform their victory songs
for multitudes of tear-soaked faces.
Man is weary; hunted down
by the fixed sum of his numbered days.
The gentle voice of liberation whispers from the throne.
"soon. very soon."- Alan Gable

God be praised for his goodness, for his loving nature, and for the opportunity to be reconciled in redemption, prayer, and worship.

We'll see you for New Year's in Nashville if you're coming.....or NOT leaving ;)