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Monday, March 18, 2013

Centering In

My thoughts today feel rather scattered as I settle down to write this post.  I find it easy today to get bogged down in what I "feel like" and lose sight of what I am, and who God is.  I don't want to be ruled by feelings today.

So, let me guide my thoughts back to basics.

First, who is God?

God is the creator of everything, the all-powerful ruler of the whole universe and everything in it.  He is real, whether we "feel" Him or not.  He is in control, whether we see that in a sunset or in a hospital room.  More than that, He is good, and kind.  He isn't some sightless force or fearsome dictator. If we look long enough at the world around us, at the sunshine and the birds singing, at the rain and even the rise and fall of a baby's chest while sleeping, we can see the great goodness and kindness of God in the things He has made. He is not like any Creator we could make up. His goodness is beyond our imagination and ability. We can even see that great, unmerited kindness shining through the cracks in the dark pall mankind has pulled over the world, if we keep looking.  I say this, lest my readers forget to look.

Who, then, is Christ?

Jesus Christ is the priceless gift of a kind God to an ungrateful world. He is the logical extension of that great love and kindness we see in all the good things we had already received before He came.  He is proof, in the flesh, that a God who could be so kind as to bless us with things like sunshine, singing birds, the rain, and little children, would care that we saw justice for our wrongs, and mercy for our wrongdoings.  We can't make something like this up, but if we've ever known heartache, then we've known how badly we need the gift that Jesus brings. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted," (Matthew 5: 4 NIV), Jesus said, and we can take that as a promise.  It is my prayer that all of my readers will come to know the goodness of that promise.

Who, then, are we?

We are God's creation, the work of His hand and the most important thing that He made--whether we feel it or not. We are important because He made us important, and because He gave us value in His heart, before the foundation of the world was set.  We are not important because of the importance we give ourselves, or that which others give to us.  Some people willfully blind themselves to the kindnesses of God that He speaks through creation; some people deafen themselves in an attempt to block out the message that God has spoken through Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately, in their desperate attempts to cast God out, they are only casting themselves out of His presence.  They starve to death needlessly, like a famished beggar who won't take food that is offered to him. Who are we, except the sheep of God's pasture, which He made to know, and to be known by Him?  How blessed are we, that we are given the opportunity to live by blessings we never had to earn! I pray that all of my readers truly know God, and if not, that they will turn now and seek Him out.

How, then, should we feel?

Satan distracts us with feelings, and he would rule us by them, if he could. Let us not forget the realities of God--His eternal kindness, the mercy that He proved through Jesus Christ, and the value that He gives to each one of us as He tries to draw us to Him.  If we remember these things, we don't have to hold on to those feelings of stress, worry, distraction, sadness, and boredom.  Certainly, those feelings can and will come, but when they do, those who know God can take a deep breath and say this about their own lives: "The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day," (Proverbs 4:18 NIV).  Those feelings pass away like the morning dew, but the light of God never goes out.