Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)
TITLE: Is Fire In Our Bones?
By Gail Koop
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I was so tired of talking to my daughter about this. After four years at college she was now back home and we were readjusting to this new chapter. A deep inhale and exhale tempered my frustration. “Honey, it’s not the glasses in the sink. We’ve been over this a zillion times. You’re not living in a dorm anymore. You’re an adult now. And until you can get on your feet, you’re welcome to live here. But you need to start acting like an adult and respect the minimal things I ask you to do. Cleaning up after yourself is what shouldn’t be the big deal. To use your language, you’re “dissing” me, and it’s disrespectful.”
“I’m not dissing you, mom. I was just in a hurry and had to get to work.”
There was always an excuse. I became gripped by the inability to understand why my my sweet, honor student, heretofore well-behaved daughter wouldn’t do what I repeatedly asked. I’d walk around the house doing my chores asking, “God, what’s going on here? Why won’t she listen?” Then one day, in a revelatory clarity that only the Holy Spirit can bring, these words struck the bulls eye of my heart: “How do you think I feel?” As if I were lifting in a helicopter, my myopic perspective widened, and I felt the heaviness of the heart of God.
We generally don’t think about God getting tired. On the contrary, we picture Him as described in Isaiah 40:28: “...the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary...” And within the context it is written, about trusting in the Lord versus man-made idols, that is of course true. But in another context, talking about Israel’s unfaithfulness, God says in Isaiah 43:24: “...you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses.” In a similar vein, God says in Jeremiah 15:6 (NKJV): “You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting!”
When God crashed my pity party, He gave me a new understanding of the lyrics in the song “Hosanna” that say, “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” Because if we get upset that our children don’t listen to us, how do we think God feels looking at our our nation today? You’d have to say that we are “dissing” Him. Prayer has been removed from schools, Christ is on His way out of Christmas and the sanctity of marriage has been compromised. Even life itself has been declared meaningless: over 50 million abortions have been performed since 1973. That number represents a population greater than any state, greater than California (36 million) or the next two largest states,Texas and New York, combined (23 and 19 million, respectively).* Similar horrors occur worldwide. “To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your fathers” (Jeremiah 44:10). Sounds pretty apropos today, doesn’t it?
The Apostle Paul says that we are “...Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us “ (2 Corinthians 5:20). If so, why are we not speaking out more strongly against these things? Why are we afraid to speak the Truth? Why do we fear what people will think or say about us? It’s safe enough in this forum, we’re predominantly Christian writers. But I am resolving to, as the cliche goes, stop preaching to the choir. Because this revelation was like my personal road to Emmaus. My heart now burns within me.**
As I experienced a new chapter with my daughter, so I am experiencing a new chapter with the Lord. And my prayer is that all of us become more like Jeremiah. So that when we’re afraid of how people will react or what they will think of us if we carry out our duties as ambassadors, we will say, “...his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9).
** Author’s paraphrase of Luke 24:31
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture from NIV
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