Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spirit and Humanity

Dear Gentle Readers,

I have been reflecting on my experiences over the past weeks. They have been both full of gratitude and faith…and punctuated by moments of despair and feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances. But does this human journey of despair and concern overshadow or negate our trust and faith in our God? Does being thankful and full of faith mean that we experience no human emotion? I don’t think so.

You know by reading my posts, I believe in “but God.” I think that the “but God” ultimate core belief is the stuff of which faith is made. Just because we have moments of despair does not make us less fit for the Kingdom. Consider Jesus.

How often was Jesus discouraged? Did he not call out to his Father and ask for another way to fulfill what he was called to do? In Luke 22:42, Jesus was praying because he was overwhelmed by the circumstances. He well understood what was to take place in his earthly life and his humanness came to the forefront. Jesus wasn’t afraid to be honest with his Father. He wasn’t all “happy, happy, joy, joy.” And he knew that his human response to the coming sacrifice wasn’t an affront to God. What was his ultimate response? “Yet I want your will, not mine.” Jesus submitted his humanity to God’s Spirit. His submission brought about the victory. But his humanity was not sinful or offensive to God.

I am concerned that we, as the Church, have created an atmosphere that doesn’t allow for human weakness or failure. I hear us saying, “Praise the Lord,” because it is acceptable and expected. We don’t, however, express our honest humanity by saying, “Oh, God how can I cope?” Have we created a place where, unless one expresses superhuman joy and faith all the time, we look down upon and condemn others as less holy or a failure in their faith walk?

We must remember that God, in His infinite wisdom, made us human. But God also put within us His Spirit! That combination of humanity and Spirit is what gives us both the humanity to fail and the faith to overcome; to see ourselves and others as God sees us.

Even though we are spirit, we are also human. The Spirit strives to be like God; full of faith and holy character. But we are human. We will fail. We will hurt others, albeit without meaning to do so. We won’t always get our prayers answered the way we expect or desire.

But God…

God says we are a holy people, chosen by God.* Therefore, allow for humanity. Let us not judge another’s faith walk. Let us not presume to know what is in a person’s heart. But, let us be the hand of God that reaches, encourages, and lifts others up, knowing that we all have our humanity. That allows us to be transparent before our God! That allows us to have a deep, abiding relationship with our God.

So, in conclusion, today take some time to look beyond a fault or failure and encourage someone in your life. Love and support them, and in so doing be the hand of God in your world. Be that royal priest called by God to show acceptance…not rejection.

May God richly bless you this day and may you experience the wonderful overcoming power of the Holy Spirit as you seek to be like God.


* I Peter 2:9-10 “But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you---from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” The Message Remix


Jo said...

I love your reflections. As I sits and thinks, and whines about my owies which I know are hardly anything (I pulled an ab muscle yesterday)...I so often forget to think about other peoples. Thank you for your gentle reminder.


DEAC777 said...

You always seem to know exactly what's on my heart and in my mind. I thank you so much my dear sister for sharing your inner most self with us,with have NO IDEA how much this has really touched my heart...Today as I sat in the car..blindly staring out the window thinking that emotionally I feel about as bad as I did two years ago,feeling overwhelmed, I'm going thru the motions......then as the day wears on I continue on because I begin to recall that I am no where near the person I was two years ago. That by God's Love, Mercy and Grace and for the beautiful wonderful people like you ,He's put in my life...........I am delivered,that I am saved............that He has lifted me from the depths of sin and despair and dragged me into the Light and Love of Our Beautiful Savior Jesus Christ, to forgive me and not forsake bring me into the Kingdom to give me a chance to serve Him and all of be ALIVE in His Kingdom on Earth preparing for His kingdom in heaven.......the chance to live in His will and the times when I say 'but God' and He knows and He still loves me and accepts me............this once wretched creature, now filled with His Love.....thanks again for sharing reminding me that He put me in AWESOME company...thank you Lord for this wonderful sister in Christ and for "Whosoever" else you have blessed my life with......I Love You Les and blessings, Deb

Kim said...

I would like to see this explored further, this delicate balance of humanness and faith. We so very often see teachings of "great faith" and "strength" in your faith. This implies that any show of human emotion, such as depression or anger or simple discouragement may possibly be a sign of weakness...such as lack of prayer strength, or not total belief that God will overcome. I know in the deepest part of my heart that God will overcome, and yet I still feel these human emotions, especially whan bad times come along. Look at Job, and what he went through. As you say, not all "happy, happy, joy, joy". Being christian is to be human.