August 29, 2009

breaking the legs of sheep

Man versus himself
Man versus machine
Man versus the world
Mankind versus me

The struggles go on
The wisdom I lack
The burdens keep piling
Up on my back

So hard to breathe
To take the next step
The mountain is high
I wade in the depths

Yearning for grace
And hoping for peace
Dear God, increase!

"Every New Day" - Five Iron Frenzy

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
-Proverbs 29:25

Sometimes . . . or perhaps 95% of the time, I wish I wasn't human.

I wish that I didn't struggle with the same things over and over. Well, I guess I wish I didn't struggle or wrestle with sin, period. But . . . then I'd be dead. And I'm not dead yet.

The fear of man . . . a funny thing, isn't it? God has brought me a long way in this struggle . . . from being painfully shy in high school and part of college, to fighting for acceptance of my peers once I moved to a new area . . . and feeling depressed when I felt rejected. We are always looking for something outside of ourselves to give us validation, worth, and identity, aren't we? My biggest struggle was trying to get this from my peers. Well, somewhere along the way I got hit upside the head and God showed me that the only acceptance I truly need is from Him . . . and the only validation and fulfillment can come from a relationship with Christ.

People were never designed to tell you who you are, to complete you, or give you worth.

While I know this, I still find myself struggling. Why do I want so badly to be liked? I've been hanging out with people long enough to realize that not everyone is going to like me, I'm not going to like everyone, and there are plenty of personality differences to go around.

Yet, when I want to be friends with someone and it's not reciprocated, I feel upset. When I get more excited to see someone than they are to see me, I tend to feel stupid.

Why is this? Is this just a reminder of my sin and my pridefulness?

Solomon knew what he was talking about (well of course he did . . . he was Solomon) when he talked about the fear of man being a snare.

Perhaps this is just a reminder to me that I am still very much in need of a savior. I am broken and sinful. Just like the Israelites and Hosea, I keep chasing after idols or other lovers in efforts to find fulfillment and satisfaction . . . all the while the only one who truly loves me continues to pursue me and be faithful when I am not.

A lot of the time, we find ourselves in a wilderness . . . worn out and wounded after chasing these things. It is in this place that we can most clearly see God - when the things of this world have left us broken and empty. Sometimes it's only then that we can truly see how faithful and steadfast He is . . . and how He is the only one who can redeem us, give us identity and life.

Sort of tying into this is an exerpt from Don Miller's Searching For God Knows What:

"Imagine how much a man's life would be changed if he trusted that he was loved by God? He could interact with the poor and not show partiality, he could love his wife easily and not expect her to redeem him, he would be slow to anger because redemption was no longer at stake, he could be wise and giving with his money because money no longer represented points, he could give up on formulaic religion, knowing that checking stuff off a spiritual to-do list was a worthless pursuit, he would have confidence and the ability to laugh at himself, and he could love people without expecting anything in return. It would be quite beautiful, really."

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