Saturday, February 12, 2011

Exaggeration

I'm one of those people who is prone to exaggeration.  I over-use hyperbole, and I'm okay with that.  Those who know me get it and understand that it's part of my communication style.  It may cause an eye-roll on occasion, but they accept it and we all move on.

I've been slowly reading my way through Crazy Love by Francis Chan  And when I say slowly, I mean very very slowly.  I'm trying to let his words sink in and allow me to see God in a way that I haven't before.  This morning - much to my dismay - I was wide awake by 7:15.  On a Saturday.  I think it might have had something to do with the fact that "Q" was banging around in my belly asking for a bowl of cereal.  So being the unselfish mommy that I am (or maybe because I knew that the hunger-related puking was about to begin) I got up and fixed the requisite bowl of cereal and decided to dig a little further into Crazy Love.  When I got to a section about the holiness of God I had one of those "Aha" moments - one of those "see God in a new way moments".  And I knew I had to write about it.

I started this blog four months ago at a time in my life when I was frustrated and disappointed by many aspects of my current situation.  I realized that my frustration was coming from the fact that I was pursuing my own agenda and trying to make God fit into my plans.  It was time to be still and know that He is God and to accept whatever He put in my path as something to help me grow.  Four months ago I was struggling with infertility, I was in a job that I despised when I so desperately wanted to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, and my husband and I were just not on the same page about any of the big "life issues".  Today, barely four months later, I can say with absolute certainty that God was waiting on me to give up.  Every single thing I was frustrated or disappointed in has been resolved.  I am 17 weeks pregnant with a healthy little peanut, I was able to quit my job and switch to a low-stress part-time situation, and my relationship with my husband is better than it's ever been.  What changed in four months?  My attitude.

See, God doesn't change.  He is the same today, tomorrow, and forever.  He is who He is.  The Alpha and the Omega.  The Beginning and the End.  He is all-powerful and all-knowing.  His plans are flawless.  And all He asks of us is that we believe in Him and love Him wholeheartedly, and He will shower us with blessings beyond our wildest dreams.

Here's the hard part (and I've written about this before because I have a hard grasping it)...belief is not a feeling.  Belief is not stationary.  Belief requires action.  Read the book of Genesis and look for how many times God tells someone to move or to act.  It happens over and over again.  My current favorite is the story of Rebekah.  She meets a total stranger at a well who ends up telling her that God sent him to take her to be the wife of some man she's never met in a country that she's never been to.  Her parents agree that she can go, but they request time to make preparations.  See, weddings were a huge multi-day event.  It was often a sad event for the bride who, in all likelihood, would never return to see her family again.  At the very least, life as she had always known it was ending.  Families needed the time to prepare for separation.  But Rebekah's reply was simply "Yes I will go."  And through her, the great story of the Bible continued. 

Rebekah had free will - she could have said no, and God's plan would have continued through someone else in another way.  Because His plans are flawless.  But because she said yes she was part of God's amazing story, and we are reading her name thousands of years later. 

We all have a story like Rebekah.  There are times in our lives where we have to choose whether to stay or go - whether to believe or doubt.  It might be simple.  It might be tremendously complex.  But we all have that moment where we have to make a decision that determines more than we could ever imagine.  My mom and I were talking earlier this week about the way God works through His people.  If you know my mom ask her to tell you about my brother's job - she'll gladly oblige.  That story is an incredible testimony to the flawless plan of God.  And it all started with a "chance meeting", a "casual remark", and a "simple decision". 

You're probably wondering what in the world all this has to to do with my tendency to exaggerate and the book, Crazy Love.  Here's what I read this morning:
To say that God is holy is to say that He is set apart, distinct from us.  And because of His set-apart-ness, there is no way we can ever fathom all of who He is.  To the Jews, saying something three times demonstrated its perfection, so to call God "Holy, Holy, Holy" is to say that He is perfectly set apart, with nothing and no one to compare Him to.  That is what means to be "holy".
Many spirit filled-authors have exhausted the thesaurus in order to describe God with the glory He deserves.  His perfect holiness, by definition, assures us that our words can't contain Him.  Isn't is a comfort to worship a God that we cannot exaggerate?
It doesn't matter how fond I am of hyperbole it is impossible for me to exaggerate the power, wisdom, and holiness of God.  And yet, that same indescribable God, is working intricately in my life to make me more Christ-like and to pour out His grace and mercy.  He knows me by name.  I am completely and utterly overwhelmed.

I don't know where you are as you read this.  I hope you are near to one of those moments I mentioned earlier when it's time to make a decision to allow God to work.  Those moments are terrifying, and often they don't make much sense to our limited intelligences.  But I can assure you of one thing with absolute certainty.  Our God has delivered his people since the beginning of time, and He has not changed since he spoke us into being.  We serve a God who cannot be exaggerated.  I encourage you to step out in faith and see what He can do.  You won't be disappointed!

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