Tuesday, June 28, 2011

God is Good, part 2

So, I went to title this blog (sometimes I title it before I write it, and other times I title it after I write it... this time it is before it's completely written) "God is Good" and then realized that the title sounded familiar. Sure enough, I found that I had written a blog that was already entitled that. So I read it.

First, it was written many months ago. It was during a time where Michael and I were hanging out regularly because our relationship had not yet gone "long distance", nothing much was hard in my life, in a sense that I was still in college and all I had to worry about were grades and whether or not my senior recital was going to go well. Since then I have student taught, graduated from college, and my relationship with Michael has "gone long distance." He is currently 5 hours away, and during the school year, he's 3 hours away.

It's funny how several months will change your perspective on things. Now, I'm not about to say that God's not good. That's definitely not true. But I am going to say that it's very easy to say that God is good when everything around you is good too. I'm also not saying that I'm not surrounded by good things. I am. I am surrounded by things that are good. A family that loves me, a job (though sometimes I wish it were more), the prospectiveness of jobs, life, a bed to sleep in, dentist appointments, communication with Michael, etc.

And yet, at the same time I feel like I'm learning more about the difference between saying God is good and knowing God is good. Right now, I'm having a hard time translating "God is good" from my head to my heart. What does living like you know God is good look like? I'm not sure. I think part of it looks like leaving everything to Him. Trusting that He's got a plan for whatever's happening right now. Being content (NOT the same as happy, more along the lines of joyful) with where He's put you, knowing that here and now He's trying to teach you something. It's not easy. I don't think it's supposed to be easy. But it is supposed to bring us closer to Him, and that is something that is easy. Drawing nearer to God should be easy because He is so beautiful.

Why all this wordage? What am I trying to say? Well, here. Help me. Pray that God would give me a spirit of contentment, and ease me through this time in my life where things are hard, but not terrible. Merely uncomfortable. Pray that God would enable me to see and know with my heart that He is indeed good and that He has got some massive awesome plan in mind for this. I'm sure, 100% positive, that in the future I'll look back and know that God had this for a reason, but I want to know that now.

I know. Patience isn't one of my strong suits, but this is something different. I want to know in my heart of hearts that God has something in store for me. It's called walking by faith, and not by sight. Walking through the dark night of the tunnel when you're not sure that there is light at the end, but you're trusting that there is. It's a fool's hope. A fool's trust. But then I'm trusting in the God who used the foolish things to shame the strong. Maybe there's some hope there after all.

This is me publicly declaring in the midst of stuff that God is GOOD.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Happily Ever After

So, on a trip down memory lane, Grace and I watched Ever After last night. We stayed up until about 1am to finish it after a long exhausting day, but finish it we did, with happy smiles on our faces and satisfied thoughts. Ever After is probably one of the first (if not the first) chick flicks that I learned to love. It's right up there with the boy bands that populated my early teenage years (Plus One anyone?). I loved the wit, the courage, the stupidity, the humor of it all. I still do. Grace and I were giggling in certain parts, parts that I had either forgotten, or not realized through all my previous watchings.

As it is, it got me to thinking as I attempted to go to sleep at 1 this morning. I always have trouble going directly to sleep after a movie because my brain is still processing. As my writer's brain processed, I had to smile over the fact that true to a chick flick, there had been three or four parts. The introduction of the characters to the viewer/reader/audience and to each other and the build up of story-line. Then as the story seems to be floating along on wings of awesomeness, something happens. Something dreadful happens. It doesn't come out of nowhere though. It's something that one of the characters has hidden from the other character/s. It's been building, so you know it's going to come to light and ruin everything. Sure enough, in the middle, something awful happens because the secret, or whatever it was, comes to light. Trust is betrayed, hearts are broken, and those who thought they were on top of the world suddenly find themselves at the bottom of the well. In the last part, one of the characters, preferably the one who was betrayed, steps back into the life of the betrayer and shows them that they are still loved. There is massive reconciliation and a drinks all 'round! I mean... a happy ending. I love happy endings!

Which also got my thinking, why do I love happy endings so much? Why does anyone?

Which led me to the conclusion:

It's because we all want our own happy ending.

Shocker, I know.

I guess what made me smile early this morning as I realized this was the fact that if you are a Christian, you do get a happy ending! And what's amazing is that our life resembles a chick flick... or maybe it's the chick flick that resembles our life.

In the beginning, when God first created man and woman, they were perfect. They were introduced to each other, to God, given a set of rules to live by, and very quickly they broke one (all) of the rules and tried to hide it from God. It's kinda funny because hiding things from God doesn't work very well. Because of this lie, because they broke the rules, things suddenly started looking extremely dark. Mankind hid from God because they figured that He could never love them again. After all, if they were unlovable to themselves, they should be unlovable to God. Therefore they ignored God and attempted to live on their own. They weren't only afraid of God, they were being rebellious. Something had snapped inside mankind when they sinned. They didn't want God. And yet something amazing happened.

God, the creator of the universe which is billions of light years across (and then some), stepped into our nasty and showing that He still loves us, He died for us, paying the penalty for our sins against God. It was this penalty and the sin that was separating us from God in the first place. He payed for it all, rescuing us from the death penalty that we had placed on ourselves, the shackles that we had crawled into because we were unlovable. Instead, He took the death penalty, He placed the shackles on Himself, so there would be no room for us, as long as we accepted Him and believed that He really had done this for us.

He has brought us not only back to Himself, but also back to life. He has become our life. The ultimate reconciliation has been made. This is a love story that all other love stories long to copy because it is so amazing. We, of all people, are to be most envied, and yet sometimes we can't even believe it ourselves.

As it is, it was nice, wonderful, to be reminded that my Savior is my knight in shining armor again. I hope I have been able to remind you of the same thing as you read this.