Monday, November 3, 2008

Reason Enough

Here is a new song that I have been listening to a lot, by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, words below, and a video of the song at the end of the blog, if I did it right. :-)

Reason Enough:

1)You have walked me through the valley

Of the shadows dark and low

And that's reason enough to believe.

You have shown me endless mercy

Oh why, I'll never know

And that's reason enough to believe


So I won't wait for signs and wonders

To teach me how to trust

Cause You've already proven Lord

The depths of your great love.

You took the cross so willingly

And spilled your precious blood

And that's reason enough for me.

2) When I took your grace for granted

I was granted even more

And that's reason enough to believe.

With compassion You convinced me

I'm not hopeless anymore

And that's reason enough to believe.

It has been a struggle for as far back as I can remember for me to believe that God loves me and cares about me, and what happens to me. I think a lot of it is rooted in my getting picked on so much as a kid & teenager, I grew up thinking no one liked me, including God.

At times, it seems I have finally gotten a foothold in believing that this God who created everything and oversees all of Creation, does care about me, and actually love me, and then something would happen to pull the rug out from under my feet, and there I would lie in a flood of hurt and disbelief, thinking I had been right all along. God really doesn't care.

Needless to say, someone who struggles with this very basic tenant of our faith, that God loves everyone, does not have the most successful Christian experience. The crazy thing about it, is I think I could do a pretty decent job of convincing someone else that God loves them and that they are important to Him, so why can't I convince myself?

If everything in life is going wrong, and our earthly parents have the resources to help us out, but just sit back and watch us struggle, we would deduce that they didn't love us or care what happens. I have to admit, all too often that is how I have felt with God. He likened Himself to the father/son relationship so much in the Bible, and I have found myself wondering why He hasn't done what an earthly father would do, and bail me out. Impress me with a miracle. Answer a prayer in a powerful way.

At times, it has seemed I was drowning, feeling like I was going down for the last time, and God was sitting on the bank casually looking on, telling me to just have faith, and all would be right. Sometimes, I have wondered if I was so messed up with what I know is an incorrect view of God, if there was any hope that I could ever have a true relationship with Him.

The thing is, we cannot put God in a box. As tough as it is to believe, He always has a reason for what He does. Or what He doesn't do. He isn't a genie in a bottle who will give us whatever we wish for. He sees everything, past, present, and future. He knows what is best for us, and even though everything in us thinks it will be good for us, that we can handle getting what we want or think we need, God knows the end result.

I had been trying to sell my piano for some time. I would have preferred selling it before I moved back to Ohio, but that didn't happen, even though I had been praying that it would sell. Well, it finally sold this past week, and just in time to give me enough money for Christmas, which I had been worrying about having enough money for. Did God know what He was doing? It sure looks like it.

This new song, Reason Enough", has an awesome message, and is one of those songs that seemed to come along for just me, though I am sure there are many others who need to hear the same message. Just the fact that Jesus died on the cross for everyone - and that does include me, no matter how much it has seemed that it didn't. Kind of a ridiculous notion to believe that of all the people in the world, I was the only one that Jesus didn't die for, or love. Looks even more ridiculous in print!

What it boils down to, is the devil is out to destroy all of us, and he knows where we are weak. He will never work much at tempting me to steal, kill someone, drink alcohol - for he knows better. I have no desire to do any of that. But he knows there is a weakness in me regarding God's love and my believing in it, and it seems he has worked overtime to make that weakness my downfall.

The Bible still says that God loves the whole world. That He sees even the sparrow when it falls. That He takes care of the lilies of the field. There are so many things in the Bible that I believe as true, so why doubt Him on this one, yet major, issue?

I am basically a realistic person, and as encouraging as this song is, I know it isn't going to erase any doubts I have, but it has helped put a few cracks in the massive wall of disbelief and doubt that has been growing more and more solid lately. So, does that make me a sinner? I'd like to think not. Obviously, God wants His children to believe that He loves them, and when we don't believe that, or struggle believing it, it puts a strain and distance in that relationship. He never gives up on us though, and I have to believe that He doesn't throw us out as quickly as many of us have been raised to believe. And no, I am not going Calvinistic. I fear that we holiness people, in trying to distance ourselves from the once-saved-always-saved, have come to see God as judgemental and as a God who is just waiting for us to do something wrong so He can throw us out. Yes, sin is sin, and if we do sin, we need to ask forgiveness immediately, and not just go on our merry way, but many people have things we struggle with, that a trip to the altar doesn't just wipe out, and if I am going to have any hope of making it, I have to believe that God will be patient with me.

What Jesus went through for us, for me, should be reason enough to believe. What more does He need to do? The devil has tried to convince me that He has to do this or that to prove that He cares and loves me, but really, would it? God doesn't need to prove Himself. He did that 2000 years ago, and that is what I need to work on getting a grasp on. It is hard to imagine that the God of the universe really cares about me, but if the Bible is true, and I believe that it is, then He does indeed love me. Just as much as the next person.


Kim M. said...

A father who loves his child doesn't always give him what he wants. Sometimes he has to do the hard thing and with-hold things the child thinks is good, but that the father knows really isn't.

(ex: candy tastes good but it ruins the nutritious dinner).

The father sees the big picture and the child sees his own wants.

The father may see character flaws in his child that needs work. The father may make the child endure some hardships so that the child will "come forth as gold".

P.S. Why do we have to be "right" when it comes to the eternal security argument?

It's too simple to even argue about. A true Christian loves Jesus, so they obey Him. Simple.

"Getting away with sin" is not a true Christian.

A stern slave driver might beat me to death and I might obey him, but I wouldn't love him. That's not the God I serve and love and obey.

I just finished reading Romans 8. I would challenge you to study it too.

P.S. You don't have to publish this comment :-)

Cindy said...

Good stuff, Mark. Having spent many fun hours in your company, I know you to be a great guy. A little hard on yourself, but still a great guy. You have a great personality, and tons of potential. As I sometimes jokingly say about myself, "What's not to love?" But there's a bit of truth there. God made you, and He couldn't possibly love you any more than He already does. So stay encouraged!