Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Digging deep

"Humble Gift" by Marie Elliot
Listening to: "How Firm a Foundation" by The Walla Recovery
(I have been on such a hymns kick lately. Kind of strange and random, I know, but this stuff is just so good! They just have so much substance to them, instead of being so focused on the emotional--not that emotional is bad--and I love that.) 

Favorite thing: unexpectedly coming across stuff that lines up perfectly with everything I've been pondering on my own.

Lately, I've been thinking so much about pain and how the way you handle it is so vital to who you are, about how it brings out things in you that you never realized were there and forces you to deal with them, about how incredibly important having a strong foundation is for anything else you encounter. One of the biggest things: As hard and painful as it's been, I am so thankful that God has used the past few months to get my attention and forced me to dig into the deepest parts of my heart to get rid of everything that's been buried there, things I had no idea even existed. Digging deep like that isn't easy--at all. It's so difficult to have to face yourself for who you really are…and even more so to actually deal with it. Still, it's so, so worth it.

As I was reading my Bible yesterday, this verse really stood out to me:
"As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built."
- Luke 6:47-48 (NIV)
Seriously? Down to the exact wording of what I've been thinking. I had no idea the "dug down deep" part even existed. This is exactly where I am right now: getting rid of everything inside that's in the way of building the foundation I need for everything that's coming next. I don't know what that will be, but it's exactly why God has been pushing me: "Seek Me first. Don't worry about what comes next--this step is most important." Without this, everything that comes next will be worthless because there's nothing to build on. Case in point:
"But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
- Luke 6:49
So then, last night, I had to read another chapter in Sexy Christians by Ted & Diane Roberts, a book for my Human Sexuality class. (Ahem. Good book, exceptionally ridiculous title.) To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it. While I do like the book, I've been making a point to avoid it because quite frankly, I've been avoiding anything having to do with relationships lately.* This chapter, though? Could not have been more perfect. It was completely focused on pain, finding purpose in it, dealing with it correctly, how it forces you to deal with who you really are. It also emphasized the importance of pain in coming to really know God. Like I said--perfect. Some favorite quotes:
"In Abraham's culture, fathers found their value and future in their heritage--particularly in their firstborn sons. In this environment, it seemed almost natural for Abraham to develop an unhealthy addiction to Isaac. But do you see what God did? He loved Abraham enough to bring him to the knifepoint of finding his value solely in his relationship with his heavenly Father."**
"What we do with our pain is one of life's determining factors…. What we do with our pain determines the depth of our character…"***
They go on to say that, when it comes to pain, you have two options:
Option 1: Pain + Purpose = Freedom
Option 2: Pain + Pleasure = Bondage****
Basically, you can use the pain to grow and come to know God in a way you never have before, or you can bury the pain by distracting yourself with other things, denying that perhaps there are things within you that need to change. God often uses pain to get our attention, but we have to be willing to acknowledge Him...and that requires us to dig. Deep. Painful? Very. But so very, very worth it in the end.
"Fairytale Tree" by Chinitsu
 "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
- Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

*Usually my favorite subject, but I need a break from it just now :)
**Sexy Christians, p. 201
***Sexy Christians, p. 202
****Sexy Christians, p. 202

1 comment:

  1. This was so incredibly good to read, I totally needed to hear some good truth today, thanks!