Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The Object of His Affection
Bo, in Greece, about 50 years ago.
My kids will probably say that this blogpost is "too religious" but there are times when God puts something in my heart and I just have to share what I'm thinking and feeling. I love the way Mike is preaching at COAH, because he points us as Christians to the cross, to the cross, to the cross. That is our true north, you know? I was listening to Mike's tv recording at City on a Hill Church as he talked about our requirement as Christians to follow Light rather than darkness that is dressed up as light, and I was thinking about his description of us as objects of God's affection. I think it is hard for some of us to believe that we are the object of His affection. If you have ever endured hardship or tragedy, it is hard to believe that God in His love and affection would allow tragedy into your life. There is, in that moment, a paradox. I love God, therefore I believe He is my Protector. But the same God, My God, My Protector, will allow me to lose everything for His purposes. It's a really tough dichotomy. God shared with me not too long ago that He had given me wisdom for our family that I needed to share more openly with my children. As my kids have begun their adult lives, I've let go more in that arena, wanting them to build, deepen, and find water for their own spiritual growth. I have felt both fear and confidence in "letting go" --acutely at times. At other times I've wanted to reign them back in to tell them what to believe. I think the reason we have all had a hard time believing that we are the objects of His affection goes back to losing Bo. Children are not supposed to lose a parent in childhood. Children are supposed to have a mother and a father who watch over them all their lives. But the world doesn't actually work that way. I look at the friends we have who've traveled around the world to adopt orphans. I look at the friends we've invited into our home who've lost both parents through death, divorce, or desertion. And I understand that because we each have free will, and sin, that there is no guarantee regarding the path we each take on this earth. I know there is a future and a hope for us that far exceeds our expectations. We have to grasp something really important. It is not enough to seek God, we must follow Him. So I want my children to gain a deeper understanding of what love our God has for us; knowing that the more we understand this love, the more likely we are to trust Him, to seek Him, and to follow Him, no matter what happens in our lives. I want them to understand that in His mercy, He allows hardship. But again, there's that paradox. The thing that allows us to understand this and believe this is faith, and I can't give that to anyone. So every day, I ask for a renewal of my faith, and my mind, so that I may discern, and my children may discern, the will of God for their lives, even when that Will involves sorrow or hardship or challenges or trials.
Romans 12:2 ESV says --Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Mike showed me today that as God perfects His will in me, in us, we are the object of His affection, and this perfect Father will never leave us, forsake us, abandon us. In fact, He loves us with joy.