02 February 2014

Waiting on the Lord is worth it.

“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. 

“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” (Luke 12:35-40 NLT)

What master, upon arriving home in the wee hours from an amazingly great time, puts on his work clothes and sits all of the servants down who were waiting for his return so he can then serve them a feast of their own? (Have you ever waited at table? It's hard work, especially for a group of any size.)

I love this about my God: His promises turn every worldly hierarchy, every expectation of the flesh, every pattern of human-directed status on its head. He has promised some crazy stuff: the first shall be last, and the last shall be first; that we can be washed clean in the blood of the lamb; that if we want to rise to meet Him, we must abase ourselves and become the servant of all. He is God of all creation--all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, holy, just and GOOD. And yet He wants a relationship with us that's mother, father, sister, brother, and best friend rolled into who He is. He wants intimacy. He wants to have a long and rich history of interaction, He wants us to accept Him, to be comfortable with Him (i.e. for us to QUIT beating ourselves up already!), and accept His incredible grace, so we can be comfortable with him, imperfect and unfinished as we are.

That's what grace IS. Jesus' victory won for Him a place at our sides. It meant that we are no longer separated from God by law, but by choice. And it means that we don't have to achieve anything to walk with Him. We just have to open our hearts to Him--really and truly, without reserve and without guile--and suddenly, we'll see how close He is, and how close He has always been. We've just been walking with our eyes & ears closed, utterly oblivious to His presence, His entreaties, His love and His offered help. Blessings rain down around us continually . . . but we're all so busy hiding from God (who sees us anyway!) that we don't see them, can't receive them. We condemn ourselves, and therefore reject blessing.

God wants our hearts. He wants us to love Him, to think of Him, to open our minds and spirits to Him so He can teach us, lead us, renew our minds and show us how to be remade in His pattern, the pattern of God. He wants us to stop condemning ourselves for our mortal state. He absolutely wants us to improve, and work hard . . . but without accepting what He did, and all He is, we're stuck where we are. We damn ourselves with our refusal of His infinite gift.

God, my Father, I want to walk with You. To walk in Your will. To follow Your lead, and to follow ONLY Your lead. Not my will. Not anyone else's. Just yours. I pray for clarity, and grace, to show me what to be, and what to do, so that can be possible. I praise You for all You've done, all You Are, all of Your love and the incredible gift of walking in repentance back to You. Just show me, Father. Show me the steps to take, the things to choose, to make that happen. In Jesus' name, so be it.