Hungry For God

Monday, November 29, 2004

I think I can see the parallel between me being so sick and God cleaning me out from the inside. He has me in a place of shear exhaustion - I cannot think to perform or to try to take measures into my own hands...there is something so frustrating typically about me not being able to fix myself, to work out the things hidden in my heart and head, to get all of the dark secrets out and just be clean and pure already...

Very similarly, I have been sick for a month, and nothing I can do or say is making me better. I cannot really explain the exhaustion or dizziness or unsatisfied hunger, the tooth aches or body aches...I can't say to my boss in a way she'll quite understand that a sinus infection has me so bogged down. I just have to put myself at her mercy and at the mercy of the doctor who is still treating me.

And so...I see that I am indeed at the mercy of the Lord, waiting upon Him to clean me and purify and refine me just like my medication is slowly (but hopefully surely) clearing out all of the infection in my body.

My Father truly knows my tendency to try to take control of everything and so is allowing me to come to a place of no control over my physical health/performance at teach me to trust in what I don't see and feel right now in my spirit man.

In such a profound way, I have seen a glimpse of who I am to God, and a place He longs to and will take me. I had a dream Friday night that I was skydiving without a parachute. I was freefalling so peacefully, just trusting, relaxing and living freely. I can't explain the feeling in words that would compare to what I felt at that moment, but there was peace like I've not had in years. I was longing to be back in the air, freefalling when I awoke. The picture that came to mind was God holding my hand in the air. I want that so badly - as badly as I want to FEEL the way I know in my head that the Lord sees me - clean and chaste and pure...

I got out of bed, and I looked out the window to see the first snowfall of the winter - pure and peaceful, white, soft, beautiful snow covering all I could see...and that is the place my Abbah is taking my physical body is cleansed of infection, He is cleaning those dark corners of my soul. He is removing the Baals I've put before Him - pride, fear, performance.

Lately I've just been coughing and coughing and nothing is coming's just STUCK in my chest! I want so bad for it all to be gone, but my efforts and timing are all off. I have to let the medicine work.

But...I have a glimpse and a promise that He is working on me...and He is alluring me in the wilderness where I will encounter my Bridegroom God, where His beauty will once again be revealed to me...Here in this wilderness, He is awakening my love for Him, stirring up my hunger with a glimpse, and removing every distraction and crutch I lean on instead of Him. When I realize that I can't do anything (let alone breath) without Him, there I will find His peace, there I will freefall with You Lord, in Your arms.

"And in that day I will make a covenant for Israel with the living creatures of the open country and with the birds of the heavens and with the creeping things of the ground. And I will break the bow and the sword and abolish battle equipment and conflict out of the land and will make you lie down safely." Hosea 2:18

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Another trip to the doctor and an x ray of my sinuses revealed that both of my sinus cavities are 100% full of...puss...or that is what the doctor called it - puss. So, I am on a 2nd round of antibiotics - a 21 day dose of something stronger, and if this does not work...I may have to undergo THE DRILL, to drain the sinuses.

Last night I thought I was going to die. It seemed breathing through nose or mouth was not an option for a few minutes, but thank goodness for new and improved medications like prednisone! I later found out that this lovely corticosteroid causes bone loss and maybe loss of eye sight not to mention the bulk of the side effects not listed here!!! But, I am truly thankful for it, because I can breath again...for now.

In addition to the splendor of air, I woke up this morning to the most peaceful, beautiful blanket of new white snow covering the streets and rooftops. It was too awesome...watching those tiny white snow flakes blowing in the wind...


Friday, November 26, 2004

I have been sick for over 3 weeks. I am still sick after taking a round of zithromax, one of the strongest antibiotics out sinuses are so messed up my teeth hurt - along with my whole face. What is going on? I am so tired sleep seems like an urban legend...Oh, to be able to breath again!!!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Addendum...sort of

Now that I have had time to think about what I wrote last night...and ask the Lord if that is really what He thinks, I have to just add some things.

The Lord has impressed upon my heart through others of great wisdom His abundant love for the church, His passion for her, and His desire to have her as His bride.

My spiritual mother, my aunt, has been speaking to me about Hosea, and how the Lord asked him to take a wife of harlotry. Hosea loves Gomer deeply, but she continues to go to those whom she claims give her food and water and wool and linen and oil, and commit adultery. He does not leave her, but continues to love her and to act out "hard grace."

He was the example of how God feels about His church, He will never forsake her or allow her to get so far away that He cannot bring her back.
He says, "Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first for then I was better off than now.' He also says, 'Therefore I am now going to allure her, I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. In that day, declares the Lord, "you will call me 'my husband' and you will no longer call me 'my master.'"... He goes on to say, "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice in love and compassion." Hoseah 2

Wow. What a plan the Lord has for His church! To woo her back to Him in love, to make her beautiful and chaste and spotless, to give to her riches forever and ever in His kingdom. That she will be His bride who will bring in the harvest. What an encouragement.

Father, thank You for Your promise to the church! For the amazing love You have for her, for hedging her in with thorns and for never leaving her.

"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity." Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blesing - grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly, bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, 'Spare your people O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, "Where is their God?'" Joel 2: 12-17

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Call for the Church to Rise!

I am deeply saddened by the responses I have been reading and hearing about from several supporters of the Kerry campaign, and those who consider themselves to be left wing or liberal or democratic. Some of the blogs I’ve been reading come from people who seem deeply wounded and deeply hurt and rejected by the whole of Christianity. Some were titled, “Unwanted,” or “Immoral,” or “Cast off as evil by the Republican Christian Evangelicals”…I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, and it is in the heat of passion, as I am steamed, and hurt, and have been made humble as I look at our church – the Christian church as a whole. I wonder, where does this image come from?

Even the church in which I was raised, I knew that there was no room for outsiders, and I was an outsider. It was torture to go, but I was forced to…I had to attend, even though people in the “in group” talked about me so loud I could hear them...they talked about me, but never talked to me, never sat by me, or answered when I said hello. I was deeply wounded in a place I should have been able to call my “community” my “home” my “family,” and so I feel like I can identify.
It is no wonder that so many have rejected the church, that so many have found other means of fulfillment, other friends who do not know God. I am so sad! I am angry and disappointed because I have been there, and I have also been in the “in group” who rejects people. I am certainly not perfect or guiltless when it comes to being callous or turning a blind eye to someone who needs Jesus. But, I am thankful that my eyes have been slightly opened lately…and I am deeply saddened by what I see. I am embarrassed at my own behavior and embarrassed for Christianity. There are groups of young people who have rejected the traditional church and formed the “Emergent Church” and many other groups…these people may be a good example, but then again, it’s not about the atmosphere or how old you are. It’s about being the church, the hands and feet of God, reaching out to those who desperately need Him, who are hungry and thirsty. It’s about setting the captives free and healing the broken hearted

I feel a call to repentance. I feel like we need to be on our faces in front of the Lord, asking, begging His forgiveness for treating His people as outcasts. It is obvious that so many of these who are hurting today have been abused by the spirit of religiosity that is dominating so many of our churches today. We as a church need to be ON OUR FACES in repentance for the way we’ve abused those who are offended by the church. We need to pray for those who don’t know God because of the rejection they’ve experienced in God’s house. It’s time to give up our little cliques and our “in groups” and our stereotypes and to ask the Lord to allow us to begin to see others in the way He does. It’s time we begin to think about why there are so many people who feel rejected and offended by the church.

Our leader is a loving God who welcomes all. He created the entire earth and every person on it, not just the ones we like or think are beautiful or important. As a whole, we have not been the church that God has called us to be. It’s time to stop making fun of others because of how they are dressed, and badmouthing homosexuals, and start praying for them, and loving them, and welcoming them into our churches, because maybe if they feel and experience the love of God, they will find that nothing else can satisfy. Hearts are changed, perspectives are changed, goals, decisions, values change when we give our hearts to God. That is what church is about. If we do not let someone in because they are not Godly, then where will they go to hear about the Lord? Our purpose as the church is not to decide who is accepted and who is not, but we are called to our first love – Jesus Christ – who walked the earth with murderers and prostitutes because they were the people who needed to see His love the most, to experience His love. The only way for us to be the love of Christ, to share the love of Christ is to seek His face first. We cannot begin to see others the way Christ sees them without His help. They only way we will begin to see others through Jesus’ eyes is to focus on Him. I do not think it is possible without Him. It is time for the church to be the church. It is time that we reach out instead of shutting out.

I feel that this nation is facing a time much much more desperate than before the elections. I feel that the chasm between parties has been deepened by this spirit of religiosity, and I feel that the church can do something about it. The only way the image of the church is going to change is to BE LOVE, to SHOW LOVE, to give others the love that Christ so freely gave us. This is a challenge to all Christians. I think that more than falling on our faces, begging for guidance from God, maybe we should begin to intentionally pray for our eyes to be opened to those who are in need of Christ. This is a serious time, and the church has a huge role to play. We cannot play that role without the Lord. Seek Him now. If there is a need for a national fast, I pray that we will all participate. I feel that it’s time to become tenderized towards others who are not Christians and to pray like never before for their salvation and their eternity. This is a call to stand, a call to be lovers of God first, and to love others as we love ourselves.