Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taught and Caught

This doesn't relate to the sermon, but it was a freeing experience for me.

Backstory: Last night I posted something on a forum that made sense to me, but apparently to no one else. When I discovered that this morning, I felt ashamed. Whenever I have a strong negative reaction, I ask Jesus to show me the lie behind the shaming. In this case, I felt afraid that the other members would think that I was ignorant or ridiculous and didn't belong there. This is at the heart of one of my deepest fears, that I don't belong. I watch closely and hope to fit in wherever I go, trying to figuring out how the group works so I can blend in. I realized this morning that I am worried about being exposed as a fraud, cast out, or rejected. (Like my forum question, this post may not make sense to anyone else, but it did to me.)

Fast forward: I'm sitting in church listening to the completely unrelated sermon on financial giving when a thought pops into my head. "It's not that you're not ______ (ignorant, ridiculous, or whatever other imperfection I have when compared to God), but that you are and it doesn't matter. You still belong." We sang a worship song with the phrase "I am His portion" and I realized that He's not complaining. To Him, I am enough. He's not going to leave me as is, but He does love, accept, and like me right now.

And some thoughts from the sermon:

"Here's what God has done for you - He has set you free."

"You can't outgive God because He's given you everything."

"How can I continue to grow in this area?" (aw shucks, I'm never going to arrive... to be able to check something off the list and say phew, done with that! Patience. Check. Ha ha ha.)

"Trust that everything has passed through His hands before it got to you." (This wasn't exactly from the sermon but a paraphrase of something I read somewhere else.)

"All suffering is a surrendering of our own will." (Not from the sermon, it's from here, but it also stuck in my head. I would change it to: we suffer until we surrender our own will. I think that once we have surrendered, the circumstances might not change, but the mental anguish should give way to His peace.)

"We don't want God to love us more, but less." C.S. Lewis in the Problem of Pain

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