Realism

I gave you all a peek into the real parts of my own life that weren’t all so pretty. When was the last time you read a Christian woman blogger admit to you that she had a fight with her husband and then audaciously, publicly says it is due to more of his passive – aggressive ways? Hmmm? Shameless or shameful…which one? Other Christian women tend to not like this hanging out the laundry… and I’m sure it makes the guys uncomfortable too. But life, real life, can get downright uncomfortable, and one of the reasons I can talk about this kind of thing out front and personal is because I’ve been around stuff in the Christian Church long enough to know that there is lots that is terribly imperfect that could find redemption if it was confessed … admitted to… more than it is.

Christian marriage is not all sweetness and light for many of us. There are some of us who manage to work with less than ideal relationships, yet with God’s grace somehow keep on working things out. And folks, it is God’s grace.

When we get a bit too real in public life, it is like in art- a bit on the ugly side even if it says something. But the beauty of redemption is that you can salvage something worthwhile out of it anyway.

I was thinking that about the scripture the speaker in our church was preaching on today. He used a different direction than the one my own mind took with it, but it is something that the reality of the scripture gives us that we would not see if the human warts were edited out. It had to do with The Lord and Peter. So many things like this involve the Apostle Peter. You might be familiar with the story; Peter had labored all night fishing, and caught nothing. Zilch. An effort in futility… maybe worse than some, but probably the same disappointing results to greater or lesser degree in what Peter probably saw as a generally bad day. He was an accomplished fisherman, I’m sure. He had likely done this all his life, I don’t know, but Jesus, a carpenter by trade, says “launch out in the deep” and fish. Try again, at my bidding, in other words.

The great thing about Peter is that, imperfect as he was, he did eventually do what Christ instructed him. So he does in this instance, and the blessing and success is so overwhelming that he is faced with something else… “Go away from me- I’m a sinful man”. I might be worthy of a modicum of success after working real hard with all my efforts. I might be worthy of breaking even with my time and resources… but to be faced with the enormous blessing of God, the success rate that one cannot take any credit for… the lavishly outlandish return on the simple, slightly unbelieving obedience to God’s Word. That, my friend, was too much.

That is how we are with God in our lives. We don’t mind exhausting ourselves and running in circles… all we want to do is get by, maybe have a little more than the next guy. However, in facing the overwhelming abundance of the blessing which God wishes to give us through hearing Him, and following Him…. it exposes us and our systems of moral worthiness. We know then that it is all out of proportion to anything we could possibly deserve. And we want God to depart from us. Our failure gives us so much pain.

But there is that part of us that hopes He will not depart, that hopes we may just live at His feet in worship of all such magnificent goodness…. just to somehow remain close to it. And this is where God eventually brought Peter, not then, but much later. Through more and deeper failures. and that is the Salvation and Redemption that is in Christ. It transcends our ugliness, but not until we have somehow faced it. I think we face it not by looking at our failure and ugliness, but by looking at God’s great love and blessing. We must get revelation of
that.

I think that is where we start to be able to love people again…after they have hurt and betrayed us, wounded us so deeply we think we may never recover… become so full of resentment and vindictiveness that we hardly know ourselves anymore, let alone know God.

Somewhere along the line if we obey His command, and launch out into the deep- where we think we already have been and already have done all that there is to be done- this time we do it again at His Word. Then I think we will see His overwhelming blessing. And I think it will undo us, but heal us. It will start a restoration process that will give us access to what we really want and need…. more of Him.

and life goes on and my husband and I come to new circumstances and conditions as we have before…. and we weather through and go on… and have hope again. He is reading a book I had gotten for myself and it seems like it helping him to search deeper within… and we are moving on.

This is how life goes. This is what God does with us within it. He saves, and we are thus able to continue.