Wednesday, September 5, 2007

hell in a handbasket

That all hell breaks loose when you remove yourself from God's side? During the last ten days that I've been gone, it seems like things have gone to hell in a handbasket. Seriously. Aside from being sick with the flu, things at work and at home have seemed to go haywire. While I am still trying to put it all back together, I am seeking God over this small hurricane that has stalled over my head.

That being said, I am soo back tonight. This will be our final night as Proverbs 31 Bible Study. Next week we will kick off the Girlfriends Gospel Hour--sounds like we will be singing doesn't it.*laugh. Maybe I should change that to something else. I am still contemplating what we should move into? Should I redo Proverbs 31? I'd like to tackle the Gospels and the words and ministry of Jesus. I'd also like to do Love Walks. We could do a series on the Bad Girls. We could do a series on the Good Girls.

In my personal prayer life, I am reading through the Psalms of the Ascent. Those would include Psalm 120 through 134. Why are the important? I don't know, that is why I am studying through them. What intrigued me is that these Pslams include all of the popular Christian Prayer utterances that are often heard. For example:

* I called out to the Lord, and he answered me. (Psalm 120)
* I will lift my eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121)
* I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord (Psalm 122)
* If it had not been for the Lord Who was on our side (Psalm 124)
* Those who trust in the Lord can not be moved (Psalm 125)
* Those who sow in tears shall reap joy and laughter (Psalm 126)
* Except that they Lord builds the house, the labor in vain (Psalm 127)
* Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, and walks in his way. (Psalm 128)

Isnt that interesting. What is the power behind these very simple Psalms. I know daily I've sat with one of them, and I can tell you--there is something. It reminds me that Christ and his ministry were not complicated. It is simple--trust in and rely on the Lord because He is here.

Which brings me to something else...Mother Theresa. If there was anyone I wanted to grow up to become it is her. I wanted to be a nun. Sex got in the way--but that is another story for another day--late at night.*laugh I pray daily that as my children leave the nest, i will be blessed to travel the world caring for those who are left behind and ravaged by the world--Like Mother Theresa. That being said, I read the Time article this week that discussed the Absence of Christ in her life. The darkness in prayer that pervaded her personal life for 50 years. Although I find it interesting that our society is quick to jump on the negative, profane and deprave and call it news--this piece did intrigue me. So often sisters come to me with this question about the silence they hear in their prayers--as if God is not listening NOR responding. Honestly, that has not yet been my experience. And, I dont know if I want to pray for it to happen in my life. God has been an ever present force in my life--whether I was in rebellion or open submission, He has been ever present. So, I've taken for granted that that is who He is.

"Abba, Abba why have you forsaken me!" Christ cried out in his final dark moments on the cross. It was during this time that the world went dark, the veil in the tabernacle tore, and a great wailing was heard. When we think of Christ's suffering, I know we think of the cross and his persecution. Of course we would, to us suffering is very carnal--we suffer when we are ill, we suffer when we are financially broken, we suffer when we are depressed with life--our suffering is very worldly by definition. But, recall Christ's words--would it have been better to heal him, or forgive his sins? As I've pondered Mother Theresa...I wonder if the suffering we are asked to taken on isnt more intimately intertwined with the suffering of Christ. Christ endured the withdrawal of God's presence at a critical juncture. How can this be if God says that he will always be there for us? That he will never leave us. I believe God never left His Son on that Cross. But, Christ had to bear the iniquities of the world on his person, and God had to place judgement on those deeds, that we might be able to seek grace over them.

When God is silent in our life, it is us sharing in Christ's suffering. Not taking on the sins of the world...but taking on the suffering that leads to Grace. I do not know why Mother Theresa was unable to feel His presence. But I do know this...she marched foward in Christ as if he traveled right next to her daily. How's that for faith?

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