Expanding Pupil

What an interesting poem. The double meaning is what caught my attention.

As a disciple, a learner, a pupil, I’m constantly being taught by life and by God. I especially get an education in storms. If I pay attention, it’s an understanding that spiritual eyes take in. The supernatural expansion of the pupils that allows us to see light where there is none.

I’ve been in some bad storms. I’m not in one now, at least not in an outward way. Maybe, I kind of am. Or maybe those are smaller life ones. The bigger storm is internal. The tempest in my mind and heart. It’s composed of the constant knowledge that I do not have joy. The joy of God. Do you understand what I mean? The transcendent joy that comes from Him and is completely not circumstantial. Don’t get me wrong. I know God’s love. I see it and I feel it. He’s stepped in and shown me in countless ways. This is why I’m trying to access that joy. So, decided I would read John. It’s the book that often non-believers are told to read first to learn about Jesus and of God. My plan is 3 chapters a day over 7 days. I need to know Him and to see Him more. I believe this is the answer. I’m 5 days in. I’ve been really trying to internalize and meditate on what I’m reading. Yesterday, in John 12:45, I read this:

” The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.”

Every single thing that makes up Jesus, is God. Kind of elementary, I know, but actually not. This verse is at the tail end of chapter 12 and then in the next chapter, He washes dirty feet. This is what I see and then, I see God. Washing the dirt from his creation. Saying, “I’m your Teacher and Lord but above that, I’m your friend. And even though, I am God, and I can eliminate this world, I am not beyond connecting with you even though I have to clean you. There’s only one reason, I do it. I love you. So, stay connected.”

This is why:

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my JOY. Yes, your JOY will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” John 15:10-12

Have I read this verse before? Yes. Many times. Did I know I would see it before I decided to read John? No. I was just counting on God to come through with the answer to my lack of joy. So, there it is. I do not miraculously have joy right now, but I do know that it’s possible. I also know it’s directly related to being fastened to Him and also loving people like a friend. Like Him. It’s definitely not possible without His additional intervention. This is why He had to give us the Holy Spirit. He’s practically doing everything.

I just need to respond to the light.

 

(I’m simply talking. Don’t worry or wonder. I need to write and express myself and some days that’s all I’m doing.)

Love Always????❣????❤?

 

Heartfull

Here, you’ll experience human love, service, care, concern,  kindness. Not as often as we’d like but it does happen. Yet, underlying all that is a level of self. Do you understand what I’m alluding to? The ever-present part of us that can’t help but think of ourselves not even for a microsecond. Ok, let’s say you see a person in need, instinctively,  you respond with compassion. Maybe in that moment you are not aware of yourself, but what happens if they are ungrateful? Or indifferent? What if it remains that way and you’re never appreciated or acknowledged.  How long would you keep it up?  What if you knew that before you got involved? The first time, I may overlook, but I won’t be void of any self thoughts. Right? Those thoughts influence my next steps.

Parenting is like that. Right now you’re thinking, hey, I give and give to my children because I love.  But be honest,  you’re still susceptible to self thoughts. You’re not that selfless. Maybe you’re a super human and you’re consistently good at putting yourself aside. So, I’m assuming. Still, I doubt it.

-But- God isn’t that way.  He never thinks, “your past, current or future thoughts, actions,  behavior,  low response levels, etc. affect how I feel about you, therefore, I’m going to adjust my love accordingly ”  THAT is human behavior.  Do not superimpose that on Him.

From a recipient standpoint, this is awesome news!  If I ended this blog post with that, then I would be giving you half the story.  As true as it is that God has phenomenal love for us that has no parallel, the one who responds to it, is required to emulate that same love.  That is the hard news inside the Good News.  It is difficult because unlike God, our profession and our actions are inconsistent.  The incongruity is due to our inability to completely and permanently remove our self from our love.  Our love is sharing space with our selfs. There’s kind of a gap there because they can’t mix. (When I say “self” I don’t mean loving yourself.  That has to do with our understanding of our value in God’s eyes.)  I am referring to self(ish). The me factor. If that’s the way it is, how can we ever truly love fully?  I don’t think we can even if we proclaim it over and over.  But I do believe we can love to the best of our ability as we respond to Jesus’ Love:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (He washed the disciple’s feet)

 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:1+7

Why that verse? Jesus knew that the time had come and He knew the outcome, the beautiful and the ugly. He decides to follow through anyway, but right before he serves mankind,  He serves His fellow man. With the feet washing.  That is an act of loving fully.  He didn’t think,  I’m already going to die for them. That’s enough. Jesus loved to His greatest capacity. And He did it knowing full well our hearts.  Neither Jesus nor God had a contingency plan if we all didn’t respond. They were going to go through with this no matter what. It was always the plan.  I know this because:

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” 2 Timothy 1:9

It is a very complete plan.  We receive His Love and He has a holy life for us.  The Holiness does not come from any self-manufactured decision to repent.  It comes from God’s Love that already loved fully, but now it goes beyond that and steps in the space between our genuine love and our selfs. He gives us the capability to take our receptive heart and do the things in us that were never possible before, even selfless love.

“Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

You say, “I will love unconditionally and without reservation. I will give my soul to it whole and I will follow John 13:34-35.  I will, I will….”  But you can’t do it perfectly without God interjecting on you behalf.  He is our Love when ours falls short.  I really do think, as a disciple, we WANT to love.  We WANT to use it all up.  We won’t ever, technically, not even on our premium spiritual days.  Protest this, if you want, I don’t care.  Grace testifies to what I am saying.  Yet, if we give our hearts completely to God, He, Himself is the way to Loving Fully.

…if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

John 4:12

Love Always (and Fully)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underwater

This was the  poem/prayer I composed at 3 am this morning.

It would have been so much easier to have converted from human flesh to a spiritual vessel, at the point of being born again.  But that didn’t happen.  So, here I am, still stuck in this flesh.  It’s a constant reminder of the weakness of my humanity.  It is also the reason I am heavily dependent on Grace. The last few days, though, I’ve so wanted to be inundated by God; to have Him be the barrier between me, and the rest of this world, because I am tired of the barrage.  It’s non-stop bombardment.  It gets tiresome.  I know the only reason I will ever make it to the end is the presence of Jesus and His Spirit that sustains when the rest of me just wants to go.  It’s not that this life isn’t beautiful.  It is.  Very. But it also is rife with so much that isn’t.  I had this thought:  If we could drown in God’s Goodness, then we would be completely surrounded and we’d swim in Him.  The sound of the rest would be muffled.  That is exactly what I want.  Do you know why?  Once we become new in Christ, we are incompatible with the earth and yet ironically we inhabit a very earthly body.  I am hoping that with this prayer, I will experience an immersion into God that will give me the shielding and the life environment that I need if I have to stick around here for a while.

“If His Grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking…” How He Loves, David Crowder

That is the truth. So, if He is all encompassing, then I’m saying, “Do it, Lord.”

God uses water as a symbolism of washing, renewal, and life.  It’s everywhere in the Scriptures.  The culmination of water as our Hope is in John 4:14.

–“Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

That is it right there; The never-ending coverage of water that can keep us alive here and then, forever.  But right now, I’m waiting on that submersion so it takes out a lot of the things that I don’t necessarily want to deal with right now.  The sinful things, overwhelming things, the temptation and the things that seem untouchable.   You know what I mean.  Drown me, Lord.

 

Love Always.