Last night I picked up “Love Beyond Reason” by John Ortberg and was reading bits and pieces of it. There were a couple of passages that really stood out to me:
p.121 – 122 ~ “Desert times are those times when I don’t get the promotion, house, success, reputation, or even health I wanted. Then I find out whether I love God for God’s sake, or simply because He gives me milk & honey. What do I do when I keep putting prayers in the coin slot but nothing comes out?”
Wow. I’m going through some “desert” times right now, and it really has felt, quite often, like I’m putting “prayers in the coin slot but nothing” is coming out. I’ve ranted at God, asking why He’s putting us through this again. And, the only answer I can figure is that He’s growing our character… He’s ~ as my friend, Magnanimity, put it yesterday ~ “proving” us. Hard & painful, but ultimately still for our own good.
p.168-169 ~ “Sometimes when you are afraid you may be tempted to think you’re all alone. You may think no one sees or cares, that you are on your own. When that happens, I want you to remember…that Someone is watching over you. You may not be able to see or hear Him. But you are never out of His sight. You are never out of His care. You are the beloved of God.”
Too often I tend to think God is off doing something else, or caring for someone else, so He isn’t currently caring about what I’m going through ~ I forget that He is everywhere all at once (omnipresent), and that He never leaves my side. This passage in the book just finished describing a scene from the movie, “The Bear“, in which a mountain lion tries to attack the baby bear cub… but papa bear (a giant Kodiak) is standing right behind, ready to swipe that mountain lion right out of the picture. I really liked that vision of God, standing behind me, ready to do battle for me. 😉
p.170 ~ “What would my life look like if I lived in the settled conviction that because of God’s character and competence this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be?”
This is a good one for me ~ the worrier ~ to ask and ponder! If I really, truly believed that God had my back, and that this world was “perfectly safe” for me, then I would worry a LOT less! I could let my children do things without being an overprotective, paranoid mother. I could get on an airplane (or, even just go NEAR an airport) without going into a panic attack. I would be able to rest, and know that, even if something “terrible” did happen, it’s still okay, ’cause it’s something God allowed in my life for a reason — for His purposes to be played out.