Who am I before God?

Today I had the honor and gift of being able to sit in the comfort of my home while listening to some awesome Bible preaching and teaching.  My Church set up the Resurgence Conference for free online streaming.  I was giddy this morning for what I would learn.  I was overwhelmed at the sight of so many Jesus loving individuals packed into my church …singing ….praying ….learning …living …and worshipping together.  It was an awesome sight to see the pews packed.  It actually brought tears to my eyes …because I want to see that every Sunday.  And today was a Tuesday.  A day generally not packed full of church goers.  I was in awe of my God blessing me with a sight I always want to see.  It truly was amazing!

What I took away from today amazes me more.  It isn’t something I have really thought of.  All the Pastors who spoke today touched on it spoke into this feeling inside of me, but it was brought home by Pastor Greg Laurie.  Is who I am when I am all alone with God the same person I am when I am around others?  The answer is no.  I am not the same person I am around my family that I am around my Community Group.  I am not the same person I am around my Community Group that I am every Sunday at my Church.  I am not any of those people when I am with only my husband.  And I am still not that person in any of those situations then when I am alone with just God.  I’m just not.  Oh sure I could give you a list of reasons and excuses to “sanatize” my choices.  But I am not going to.

As Pastor Crawford Loritts spoke of today I need to move away from that dissection and set my feet to the path of what I am going to do about it.  How can the awesome and redeeming power of the Gospel shine it’s light through me if I keep putting Yahweh’s lamp beneath a bucket?  So I am going to start with today.  By God’s sense of time this is the beginning of my Wednesday.  And I was blessed with spending the beginning of my Wednesday listening to the teaching and preaching of my Pastor Mark and Pastor Crawford a second time through with my husband.  It was a good start to my day and I find myself at peace with what the dawn will bring me.  And trust me when I say that very rarely is the case.

So who am I when I am alone with God?  At first I thought it was that I am more confident when I am alone with God than when I am around other people.  Because I often feel a mile behind everyone else, completely out of place, and the only platypus among a flock of swans.  I’m not even the same species.  So as I allowed myself to sink into this self-professed confidence before the LORD I quickly come to realize I am not all that confident.  I question myself before and around others, and even when it is just me and no one else can witness my pride …it isn’t displayed in confidence.  It is displayed in second guessing myself, doubting myself, condemning myself, beating myself up …and staying completely focused on myself rather than focusing on the very real and obvious fact that I am an infant in my faith before a timeless LORD who knew all of my sin before He laid the foundations of the world.  That’s intimidating.  It is also so completely loving and humbling that He went ahead and made me anyway just the way I am.  I can’t really wrap my mind around it.

If the last paragraph didn’t give the answer away I’ll say it plainly.  When I am alone before God I am a mess.  I realize that in most of my online social media stuffs that I am involved with I always mention that I am broken, but I don’t think I act that part out.  I keep it hidden because it makes me vulnerable and real and imperfect.  Granted I know everyone knows I am not perfect …but this is a whole other level of imperfection.  I am broken because I am a sinner …yes …but the shattered pieces of me go much deeper than what I allow anyone to really see on any sort of consistent level.  I know we are all broken from the start, when we are being knit in our mother’s womb.  I know that, and I don’t want to try and play the ‘who is more broken’ game with anyone.  I am just saying, and letting you know that my soul … my very core …is shattered to countless pieces in Jesus’ dust pan.  I know I have only allowed Him the briefest moments of times to begin gluing my pieces back together.  I know that every day that passes more of His glue will bind me together with the stickiness of the Holy Ghost.  Just run with that analogy, bypass its flaws.

I am in pain.  In an obvious way physically.  I have told some about the constant level and degree of pain that I live in.  When doctors ask about a pain level between 1 and 10 …I live normally at a 7.  When I sleep it jumps up to an 8 due to the fact I am asleep.  So generally I don’t sleep well.  It isn’t restive.  Every moment of every day I am in pain.  It isn’t a discomfort.  It isn’t bothersome or annoying.  It isn’t mild.  It is burning, stabbing, real pain.  And if you look at me it is doubtful you will see that pain.  It might show up briefly in a wince, but generally people don’t realize how much I hurt.  I don’t want you to know.  I go to great, exhaustive lengths so you don’t know.  I hurt.  All the time.  Even when I am smiling, laughing, singing, and lifting my hands to worship LORD …I am in pain.

The fact I am in pain is not the problem.  It is just how can you see the redeeming power of God for this pain, through this pain, and because of this pain … if you don’t even know I am in pain in the first place?  Hiding this thorn isn’t allowing the light of the Gospel to shine through those gaps and cracks.  Don’t worry I am not about to start whining around everyone, nor am I going to constantly complain.  I just know I need to start exploring the ways of shining the light of Christ through the lens of this agony rather than covering it up.  I know I will need to pray about this a lot, and actually talk with the LORD about this …rather than just at Him because of it.  He had the solution in an eternity before today.

My physical pain was the easy answer.  It is the low hanging fruit.  A piece higher up has to do with intimacy.  Oh I tell people I suck at it because I have absolutely no idea what it looks like and I have never really had living examples of it around me.  The part that people don’t know is that I still have PTSD.  The LORD has redeemed some shallower areas of this, but I haven’t really begun to explore the deeper side of the PTSD pool.  I’ll hug people hello, because that is a greeting.  But a strange man, or a man I am only acquainted with, better not come up to me and touch my arm.  If that happens no one will know it…..but inside I am freaking out.  And it doesn’t always have to be a man.  Touch, in general, I am not very good at.  Being married has exposed this problem in so many ways.

It is so obvious when it is between me and God that when I go out of town with my mom …and we share a bed to sleep in …I will sleep on the edge, corner of that bed so as not to touch her in my sleep.  I get on the verge of anxiety attacks if while we are laying there and the outsides of our arms touch very lightly.  Comfort be damned.  And that’s my mom.  I don’t think anyone realizes that every Sunday at my Church is a miracle of God because if it were any other space, any other place, I would be uncomfortable and looking for my way out.  And I would never go back, much less volunteer eagerly and willingly to associate with random people.  Every Sunday is a miracle in my bucket sheltered world that I can go to Church for hours, being around strangers, and feel at ease and protected while I am in God’s house.  I am in God’s house with God’s people enjoying God’s company learning God’s word.  If you take God out of that I would never go back a second time.  Trust me on this.  But how would you know this.  How can I portray that in a way that isn’t all about me, but about all of His light shining through those shattered parts of me?  And I don’t have an answer for that.  I will pray about that.  I know the LORD has the answer already.

So I am in physical pain, in PTSD to the point where I close my eyes if a commercial or image comes up involving tidy whites.  What else?  I hunger for His word, I hear His commanding voice, and I tend to ignore Him.  I won’t do this in front of others.  Before others I keep up appearances.  I listen to God, I do what He tells me to do, and I portray a somewhat sedated, rebellious, obedience.  Before other’s I choose Him.  But when it is just me and God hanging out …most of the time I will choose myself.  When I am alone with God I sit there in complete disbelief …confused …horrified shocked awe …at how shattered I have become.  I am overwhelmed by my mess.  I am at a loss over the loss the LORD and I look at in the parts of me that have become nothing more than a fine powder …dust.  And yeah, some of that is my sin …but some of that is just bits of me.  Bits of me I lost.  Core elements of me that just don’t work any more ….and so I don’t know how to function as me any more.  I know that the LORD has it all and that I am a new creation …but how does that new created me work, function, and exist?

I sometimes think I knew the answer, or answers, so I try to forge ahead.  And as a lot of my friends have babies and toddlers …my actions remind me of the baby who tries to craw for the first time…but still can’t figure out how to get their knees beneath them.  I would like to say I am a toddler learning how to run …but more often than not I am the babe who still needs to learn how to support and control my own head.  Because I don’t do that very well.  I don’t take every thought captive to the LORD.  I don’t pray on my knees as often as I should.  I don’t read my Bible as often as I should.  I don’t focus on all things that are true, good, and holy from the LORD.  I fill my head with crap, false gospels preached in TV series, or movies, or games, or books, or ect….and if I don’t control my head how can I possibly guard my heart?

Before God I am broken.  The puppet strings of the world have been cut …but that is still the habitual way, the normative way, I know how to move.  I exist beside the LORD looking at the shattered mess of me in horror ….and I don’t know what to do.  I know Jesus is where I need to start.  Jesus is my start, my middle, my end, my energy, my reason, my salvation, my joy, my motivation, my prize, my portion, and my support.  Just to name a few.  Before others I know I put on the front and face of this is who I am, this is my personality, this is where I am from, and this is what I do.  When it is just God and me …I feel less defined and more like a blob.  I am undefined as I set myself to the task of knowing deep in my core …in the spaces inbetween all the shattered pieces of me …who the LORD says I am and how He defines me.  I am learning those truths in the Bible, in the teaching of the Gospel, in the testimonies of the people around me …and I know it is true in my head.  I need it to sink and cement itself in the empty spaces between the pieces of me.  I need to sit, and think on it.  I need to take the time to sit with Jesus at His feet to chew on His words.

I don’t know if any of this makes any sense.  I hope I’m not writing in circles, because I am good at that.  I just wanted to get these thoughts down.  Because good men of God spoke into my life today.  The LORD spoke to me through them.  He made me who I am before Him …and I need to allow His glory, His light, His redemptive power, and His grace to shine through my mess.  He doesn’t want me to sweep it all under a rug or the bucket just because others come around.  That doesn’t glorify God.  It glorifies me.  I’m broken.  I’m a mess.  Jesus is the neat and perfect one.  And only Yahweh can shine light through the murkiness of His followers.  It doesn’t make logical sense.  It seems foolish and folly.  But the world in its wisdom does not know God.  We can’t shine a light through dirt and murkiness.  That is a miracle.  Only the power of the LORD can do that.  Because He is that awesome.  And only HE is that good!

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Loved by God; Loving God

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.” (Leviticus 26:12)

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. ‘“ (Revelation 21:3)

                I heard this verse today listening to a CD by Ghost Ship, a Christian band.  It stuck with me and I began to think about all the times God has spoken these words.  You will be MY people.  I will be your God.  I have heard this saying often enough so I assumed I fully understood its meaning.  I mean of course God will be our God.  He is the only God, so it naturally makes sense.  So instead I always pondered on what it means to be His people.  I have made up lists in my head of all the things I should be doing as a possession of God.  But it wasn’t until today that I was sort of struck dumb by the second half of that statement.  God will be my God.

What does that mean?  And how super huge is that meaning?  When I was a pagan I chose my god.  Since I chose my god it was more of a bartering relationship.  I would pray/worship to my god in return for blessings, protection, healing, strength, love, knowledge, foresight … “fill in the blank”.  Then there was the whole other aspect that this god was lucky enough for me to allow him/her into the story of my life.  I decided their worth and importance.  Yahweh, however, is not like that.  My relationship with the LORD is completely different.  I knew this on the surface, but the Holy Spirit really struck me with a deeper understanding of what this means.

First off, I didn’t chose the Great “I AM”.  I did not hunt down the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  The LORD chose me.  The Almighty God hunted me down.  And I can promise you it was a long hunt.   This very simple statement completely blows my mind.  I mean who am I that the Creator of the heavens and the earth would diligently and personally seek me out?  The God of the Bible wanted me.  He desired me and loved me before I was ever born.  Even though He knew of everything I would do against Him, and in spite of my efforts to defy Him, He didn’t give up on me.  I was chosen to be His daughter.  I am pretty sure the old me would have viewed this all with a great deal of pride.  But now, knowing I deserve wrath, hell, and damnation, I am struck to my heart with bewildered awe.  I feel so deeply humbled by His grace.

That grace is limitless and all consuming.  The LORD doesn’t barter; the LORD loves.  He told me He would be my God.  He told He would be my Father.  There is so much responsibility wrapped up in those two words.  I don’t have kids; I only have cats, and so that is all I can knowingly compare it too.  I get to feed my pets, shelter them, and care for them when they are sick.  I also get to play with my pets.  I get to spoil them with loving affection.  I get to hold them, snuggle them, and shower them with kisses.  The concept that God gets to do all these things with me is mind blowing.  And He loves me in a much more fantastically perfect way.  Sure there are times when my cats need to be squirted with water, or given a light swat; but just because I do either of these things doesn’t mean I love them any less.  Which means God doesn’t love me any less.  My cats are my babies, my treasures.  And I feel uncomfortably undeserving to know and better understand that I am a better, more important treasure to my Heavenly Father.

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” (John 6:37)

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.  They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.” (John 17:6)

                God gave me as a gift to Jesus.  As Pastor Dave Bruskus said, “I am God’s gift to God.”  Which is pretty WOW.  I know I have never really looked at myself as anyone’s gift to anyone.  God, however, has deemed me so important to Him.  Not only was I a gift to Jesus, Jesus promises to never cast me out.  I will never be put in a garage sell, re-gifted, or taken back to the store.  Jesus is going to keep me.  I am that important to Him.  I am that loved by Him.  The LORD has consumed the story of my life into His story.  Being held by Jesus completely drenches me in His plans and purposes.  If I couple that with the responsibility God has already taken for me I come to realize how much He already engulfed me if I just let Him carry me along.  Saying all this, typing this all out, it baffles me why I resist my LORD so stubbornly and continually.  It’s not my life any more.  I have been purchased, and given as a gift, to Christ by the blood of Christ.  Again, WOW!

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” (John 14:23)

                I am just so amazed right now.  I am completely in love with the LORD.  To be loved so thoroughly, cherished so deeply, treasured so fully, and esteemed so highly by the very Creator of well everything … it is just … UGH!  So wonderfully much blissfully heaven!  I don’t know how to put it into words.  And when someone understands this about the LORD, gets that this is how our Almighty Father feels about each of His children … how can you not fall completely in love with Him?  How can I not worship Him?  This makes my heart ache so deliciously.  I love God the Father.  I love God the Son.  I love God the Holy Spirit.

God loves me so much He wants to live in me.  God the Holy Spirit has taken root in me.  I am never forgotten nor abandoned nor forsaken because the LORD lives in me.  He is always with me.  They say home is where the heart is, and the LORD has told me His home will be with me.  His heart is in me, with me.  I understand a little better now when the Bible speaks of the believer living in Christ.  Because Christ is my home; Jesus is where my heart is.  So being a daughter in the people of God actually has nothing to do with the lists I make up in my head.  It is about a loving, covenantal  relationship with my God.  I knew that before, but I understand it a little deeper now.  Thank you, LORD, for sharing Yourself with me!

My personal Psalm

In the dark I have withered

Unknowingly lost I have wasted away

I did not know I was blind as I feasted on Gahanna

Unafraid I lived boldly against you

Unchecked, I challenged Your people, and threw down the weak

As a worm ridden guide I led many down my rut into Your justified, wrathful fire

I’d shamefully claim ignorance, but I knew of You from a young age

I deserved Your hell richly, and I spat in Your face as I drove the nails in

In horror I shudder to think of the piddlily amount I would have taken, 30 would seem like so much

But You would not settle for my rebellion

My denials fell on open ears as You came near

I flinch to think of how many scars on Your heart belong to my teeth and nails as You drew me into Your arms

In my wretched terror You whispered three words to me

“You are mine”

In a moment You shattered me like a long forgotten window beneath a wrecking ball

And then everything changed . . .

 

For the first time I opened my eyes and saw the brilliant promises of Your rainbow

With the eyes of a babe I looked on the cross and wept tears drawn up through my soul

And You did not leave me

Instead you picked up my broken body from the sludge of my debauchery

You carried me from the dark as my muscles were non-existent as I had never used them before

Not even to inch my way from my own cancerous slime

You washed the feet of Your disciples but You bathed all of me with Your tears through Your blood

Each day You mend my destruction, teaching me how myself truly works

Like an infant I am unable to walk, though You are teaching me first to crawl

Through each breath You teach me to depend on You – even when I attempt to crawl away to temptation

But You do not leave me

Your Spirit richly plagues me to thirst after Your word, which strengthens me day by day

I think I might stand one day, but Your unimaginable love keeps me on my knees

Despite these words and my heart I know I will still fall

I will still wander and stray

But You do not leave me

The depth of worldly loss is wholly known to me, but the ocean of ALL I gain in YOU LORD still finds me in the shallows

I am in no hurry to get to the deep end

For every drop of Your all-consuming water drenches me in cherished love for You

I know I will still lean toward the beach

But You do not leave me

My toes feel an edge beneath me and before me

I fear an abyss I know does not exist in the ocean of Your love

Despite the fear of the path You put me on You still do not leave me

So in You LORD is my hope

You are my redemption

You slay all my monsters and free me from my demons

You show me a new mirror to see myself in

You bathe me in a new love to exist inside

As each new fear arises through every beat of my heart You take it away and replace it with peace

So in You I hope, in You I rejoice, in You I sing, in You I dance, in You I worship, in You I kneel, in You I pray, in You I fall on my face

In You I am shielded and clothed before You

“Thank You” are the only small words I have, but You know my heart

And You still do not leave me

Thank you for loving all of me, for never giving up on me, for calling me

Daughter

I love you, so much

Abba, Father

Heavenly Daddy

Amen

“Count it all joy”

 

“(1) James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
(2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
(5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
(7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:1-7)

 

It is the third word in that catches me and holds me with shame. You see James was not only a high priest of the Church, but he was also the biological brother of Jesus. James knew things, stories, about Jesus we will never know because they grew up together. Very few humans that have ever walked this earth can say that they were not only a high priest in Jesus’ Church, but that they were siblings of our Christ as well.

What blows my mind is what he does with this rare position of his. James throws it away. He proclaims himself a bondservant of his Savior, of his Brother. A servant. How many times have I addressed myself as a follower of Christ? A follower has a much loftier status than a servant. A follower has a right to question and to judge. A servant is obedient. A servant does not question his/her Master. A servant is not equal to his/her Master.

So which am I? Am I equal to Jesus? Do I have a right to question Him or judge His teachings? My free will, a very gift from God, say that I do; but my heart tells me different. When I accented Jesus as my Lord and Savior I gave up my free will, willing, and chose to be a servant of Christ. So why then do I still think of myself as a follower? Pride. The root of all evil.

Today’s world tries to convince me that I am no one’s servant. That servitude is wrong. So often the world tries to build me up as if I were a god myself; or that I could somehow find equal ground with the One true God; the God of Abraham; God the Father of our savior Jesus Christ. But the world is wrong. The Holy Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost–is so far beyond our comprehension. I can never be equal to Him. I am the servant of Jesus Christ. I am the servant of God the Father. I am the servant of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because I love them and there is no room for pride in love.

(2) My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

That love, that surrender, and that servitude does not exclude me from hardships. I do not get a free pass and an easy life because I choose to devout my heart and soul to the living Christ. I can’t even say I wish it did. This last year has been pretty bad for me; but there is little I would change. Each hardship has taught me something new. Every rough turn in my life has enabled me to help another swim through their own rough waters. In all my nuggets of pain I have found blessings that I can count as joy.

God did not put these trials on me. He didn’t instigate my pain or these rough waters. God is a good God. Those rough waters were coming my way and Christ stepped in to give me aid. He kept my head afloat. He made the bad times worth it due to the blessings I gout out of them. It was only through the power of Christ I was able to keep my peace. Through it all I was able to find a smile-sometimes through tears-and know it would all be okay.

I don’t think I counted enough joy in this last year. I know my own self-pity, frustrations, and pain kept me from seeing all the ways in which Jesus carried me, and God blessed me. I know I missed many chances to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me. I am trying to change that. It isn’t something easily changed. It requires a lot of two things: patience and trust. Something a servant should have their Master in spades.

(3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. (4) But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

In a world filled with immediate gratification Patience is nearly impossible to find in people any more. I am often guilty of wanting things in my time, when I want them, and exactly how I want them. God, thankfully, doesn’t act according to my schedule and plan. He has His own. This very fact makes it very easy to slip into a “God why are you doing this to me” mindset. When we experience hardships, pain, and suffering it is so easy to blame God. It is true that He has the power to do anything so He could have altered everything to make it so you did not have to suffer. And I think the truth is God often does this. Think of all the ‘close calls’ you and your loved ones have had.

It can’t always be like that. If it were like that we would live in a perfect world. We don’t. Adam and Eve introduced sin into this world. And sin has been destroying it since then. It isn’t God’s fault when bad things happen; it is sin. Our sin, someone else’s sin, or just the fact that the world is no longer perfect and in the evil born out of the Fall of man some really nasty things were given life. So many diseases that aren’t God’s fault. But discussing the whole pointing fingers thing is an entirely different story.

The point I want to make is that God isn’t the cause; He is the solution. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. When bad things happen people find themselves in despair, lost and forgotten, because they didn’t have the patience to wait faithfully for God’s solution. Remember God does not work in our time. He works in His own time. Sometimes our own misery drags on longer than it should because we don’t turn to God soon enough, quick enough, often enough. We don’t have the faith in His goodness. We don’t have the patience for His time and His healing. I want it now. I want it my way.

This year has taught me so much patience. Now my patience isn’t perfect, but it does have a perfect work. It does work perfectly in me when I choose to practice it. That doesn’t mean my patience is flawless. What I am saying is that when I find my patience in my faith what happens inside me is perfect. When I find my patience in my faith I feel such peace. I am perfectly at ease. I no longer struggle or despair; I curl up against the chest of my Savior while He carries me through the thorns. The sense of peace is astounding.

Having patience in hardships isn’t about giving up. It isn’t about saying whatever will happen will happen. Because I am patient doesn’t mean I am completely resigned to accept whatever hardships come my way. My patience in my faith in Christ’s love and God’s goodness is a choice. It is a decision to look on it with the positive and loving light that no matter what happens I fully believe it will happen better in the end because of God. And I am willing to wait for that end to this storm with my Lord. It is about me being steadfast in the knowledge that God will handle things. Jesus will hold up His hand to calm my seas. I just need to wait for it, and to show Him I am willing to surrender my life until His hands.

 

(5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

My decision of faithful patience didn’t come to me easily. Sometimes I still often struggle with it. I don’t have to struggle alone; thankfully. I often have to ask God for help. I often pray for the wisdom, faith, patience, and trust to rely fully on Him. I know He will give them to me. I know He will supply me with everything I need. I know this because of the above passage. It is just one of countless others that tells me the goodness of God.

He doesn’t negotiate. He gives liberally and easily. If wisdom and faith were skittles God wouldn’t keep His favorite colors to himself. When you asked for skittles He wouldn’t just give you one or two. God wouldn’t just pour a handful of skittles into your hand. God doesn’t just give you one bag of skittles and calls it good either. If you ask our Lord, in full faith, for ‘skittles’ you will find countless buckets of those rainbow colors all around you. There would be no end to them.
God only asks for one thing in return. Only one thing.

(6) But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
(7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

God only desires for us to believe Him when He tells us He is a good God. He asks for our faith. How trusting does it sound for us to ask, “God please give me the strength to get through this, but I doubt you will.” We might not say the last part, but God can see into our hearts and be wounded by the doubts that rest there. How can any of us claim to have a passionate faith when we don’t trust what we have faith in?

God made the world in six days. God covered the entire world in the grate flood. God parted the red sea. Jesus performed countless miracles. Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead after he had been dead for four days. Jesus rose from the grave. The Holy Spirit moves inside you. Our Lord and Savior specializes in the impossible. He created this entire universe and all its natural laws. He has broken and ignored those laws countless times. If we have faith, and if we believe, everything the Bible teaches ..why should my small, tiny life be so impossible for Him to fix?

I am not beyond the reach of my Savior. My life, my hardships are not too much for Him to handle. I am not too small, too unimportant, for my God to notice. He loves me. He loves me specifically with a love so intense I can’t comprehend it. He will answer my prayers if I just trust in Him to do so. If I can only manage patience to wait for His glory to shine through. Because it isn’t about my time. I am not a follower of my God and Savior who can make demands and question His authority. I am a servant. I am obedient. I am trusting. And I have faith that my Master will not lead me astray or let me wander in the high, rocky places of life like a lost lamb.

Book of Ruth, Chapter 4

The fourth chapter really isn’t about Ruth. It is about Boaz. It is about his immediate action to seek out this ‘closer relative.’ He doesn’t wait a day or two, he goes out immediately. He waits at the gate, knowing this relative will walk by there at some point. When Boaz finds this relative he tells him to come and sit. Then he immediately goes out to find ten elders of the city right away and had them come to sit. He didn’t discuss it first with his relative. He didn’t lay anything out…see if it was okay…and then get around to asking the elders. He did it all, immediately, one right after the other.

He didn’t rehearse what he was going to say. He went with what was in his heart. He didn’t second guess himself. He laid everything out before everyone, and before God. He didn’t question whether it would work or not, or if he was doing the right thing. He simply did what he had to do to get where he wanted to get. He knew that God might not want him to reach the same destination…but he didn’t hesitate or fear taking the steps to get going on that journey. And God did give Boaz what he wanted in the end, because Boaz sought it out in a manner that God would approve of.

I have no doubt that if Boaz wanted to, he could have easily taken and had sex with Ruth. Her willingness in the matter wouldn’t have had to have been a concern. The previous evening he could have taken her to bed on the threshing floor, but instead he went out and sought the best for Ruth by seeking out the closer relative. He redeemed Ruth. It probably wasn’t easy or cheap. It took time. He waited until they were married. He obeyed God’s laws of relationships and duty and love. And for that obedience, for his mastery and guidance over Ruth, and for Ruth’s obedience…they were given the gift of a son. A son who would beget other children who would lead to King David.

This chapter is about Boaz’s obedience. His place as a man. It speaks of confidence, and loyalty. His loyalty wasn’t just to God, but to his family as well. There was a closer relative. Boaz offered to give up everything he wanted, because it was the right thing to do, to offer it to this closer relative. He was willing to stand aside: self sacrifice. He was willing to be that guiding hand, that shielding wing, that Shepard to Ruth.

This book truly shows how man and woman need to relate to one another. It is a very short book. It is a very simple story. But there is a lot in this story. The focus is Ruth, but Boaz should be commended as well. His morals, his ethics, his religious beliefs, his trust and faith in God…is just as impressive and worthy of note.