Monday, September 8, 2014

The Greater Context

I know that you don’t feel well. I know that you are lonely, diseased, and poor.
I understand that you have addictions and that you have suffered great loss.
I wish things were different for you but they are not—and they might never change.
So, as I hold you, you hold on.
Hold on and listen, for there is hope.
Listen to me for I love you and what I am about to say is going to sound harsh.
Are you ready?

Your context is too small.
The parameters of your life are narrow. They allow only for your happiness and the happiness of a few others. And if you were honest, the happiness of these few is included only because your own selfish desires cannot be satisfied without it.

Stop! Stop trying to break free from my embrace.
Listen. Your suffering is real but your perspective is making it worse. Pain comes into everyone’s life—and yours has come into mine and compounds the burden that I am already carrying.
That is not a complaint on my part just a fact and that means that everyone around you is also bearing this weight. And the weight will eventually bring everybody down.
We all struggle under the circumstances.

But I am telling you to rise above your problem and the problem, frankly, is you. 
You have resigned your trouble outside the bounds of God’s providence.
You refuse to acknowledge the truth that “all things work together for the good to those who love God” and this is sad because it is such an important promise to all those who inhabit the kingdom.

The kingdom is based on a love that lead to personal sacrifice and that is why I hold you.
Our king gave his life for us and now he calls us to live for him and for one another and so to lose our own lives in these two pursuits.
The kingdom is the greater context, a place where you can only live by giving your life away.

Now, I can see how hard this might be for those who are healthy or popular or have great possessions, in other words, those who have much to lose. I remember something about a camel and the eye of a needle…
But you, my friend, what have you to lose, the desire to have more of what you lack? Would you be healed and then, healthily, give your whole life away?
Would that not place you out of the realm of being poor in spirit?
Is it not easier at this point in life to give it all away?

I implore you, give our king your illness.
Give him your pain, your addiction.
Offer to him the shards of your broken life.
Hunger and thirst for righteousness instead of just relief.

Remember, praying for his kingdom to flourish and to seek the right-ness of that kingdom in our lives puts our needs and desires out of our control.
You haven’t, you are not doing this and that is a problem worse than all the others you have.

Am I wrong to tell you this? If this indeed is the truth, then what kind of friend would I be if I did not tell you?

Leave then your pettiness.
Stop the weary rule of your personal kingdom. It is bankrupt of possibilities.
Rise above by waiting on the Lord.
I, and many others, long to see strength in your weakness.

The world needs to see what the king can do with chaos.
They need to see the beauty that his holiness brings to desert real estate.

And now I am going to let you go. I must.
As your dilemma has become part of my own I must keep my promise to our king.
You are now part of my ‘seeking first’ the greater context of life.
As I approach the altar to die once again to myself, my concern for you must be crucified too.

I will say, “Here Lord are all my concerns, dreams, possessions.
As you know my heart and mind concerning all of these…not my wishes but Thy will be done.”

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