It’s Not About You

From my 2012 Journal. After a client processes a painful memory, often his or her response is, “I feel so much better” or “the pain is gone” or “I feel lighter.” So it’s a little startling when someone comes out of a session exclaiming, “Jesus is so wonderful!” or “God is amazing!”

These words remind me a little of the responses from those whom Jesus healed while on earth. I suspect more of them exclaimed, “I’m healed!” or “I can see!” or “I can walk!” or “My leprosy is gone!” Very few responded with “What an amazing Healer!” This is not a criticism, but an observation. We most often respond based on how something affects us. It’s human nature.

In 2009, Angus Buchan, a South African evangelist, had a heart attack while speaking to a large crowd, and he was air-lifted away to a hospital. Feeling helpless, he heard God say, “It’s not about you, Angus. You’re just the messenger.”

Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom said that at her funeral she wanted nothing to be said about her—only about Jesus. Honestly, I’m not there yet. I want to hear what people would say about me at my funeral. Even in death, apparently, I want the spotlight to be on me. I pray that by the time I die, I’ll be ready to fade into the shadows and put Jesus center stage. After all, it’s not about me, but about Christ and what He did.

Photo by Marcelo Jaboo on Pexels.com

Does God Feel Pain?

God touched Jeremiah’s mouth and said, “Behold I have put My words in your mouth.”

From my 2009 Journal. The book of Jeremiah is his story, his testimony of how God spoke to him and called him to action. It includes strong imagery about the relationship between God the Lover and Israel who spurned His love.

  • I broke your bond and yoke to free you, but you shattered and snapped the bonds with Me.
  • I planted you, a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. But you turned into degenerate shoots of wild vine.
  • You wash yourself with much soap, yet your guilt and iniquity are still on you. You’re spotted, dirty and stained.
  • You’re like a female camel or donkey in heat! (Lots of lovers).
  • The images go on and on.

Donkey

God will not interact with everyone the same way. He’s too creative for that. But we can glean principles from Jeremiah’s life, truths that apply to us in this generation. It struck me today that God the Father experienced pain, rejection, and abandonment long before God the Son experienced it on earth. I want to live my life in such a way that I don’t ever cause Him pain, but I’m forever grateful that Jesus took all my pain onto His own body on the cross. 

How Big Is God?

From my 2009 Journal. Isaiah’s imagination wasn’t big enough to give us perspective on God’s vastness, so he put it in human terms: compared to God we’re just tiny insects crawling around our little world.

God sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in (Isaiah 40:22 NIV).

I think of the song “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” If the world fits in His hands, how big is the rest of Him? I can picture a standing giant who flings a handful of dust into the air and each speck begins to sparkle with a gazillion twinkling lights and the universe is born. According to verse 26, each star is numbered and named! Not one is missing or lacks anything. But those stars only come up to His middle while His head and torso tower above them.

Here I am on earth trying to understand this huge Being and all I can see is a shadow coming toward me. The little grasshopper has no perspective at all—everything is too immense. Perspective comes when you look at it from the giant’s viewpoint. And that’s what Isaiah was trying to convey I think.

This passage makes me think of a doll house: everything is miniature to me, but from a grasshopper’s perspective it feels spacious. The miniature logs in the dollhouse fireplace aren’t enough to give me warmth. The tiny loaf of bread on the dining room table would not begin to satisfy my hunger.

Another perspective of God’s bigness was captured  in the song “The Love of God,” by Frederick M. Lehman,  The third verse of the hymn, Lehman said, “had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave.”

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

How big is your God?

Universe pexels-photo