Our small group is reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. When I read a great book, I can't help thinking a lot about. That's the whole point, right?
On page 40 he begins writing about how most of us live life as if it's about us, when in all actuality it is all about God. I'm not going to quote the entire section, but here are parts of it.
He starts with this command: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" -Phil. 4:4
"Do not be anxious about anything." -Phil 4:6
"When I am consumed by my problems - stressed out about my life, my family, and my job - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities."
Yes.. Fancis Chan used the word disobey in regards to what we're doing when we stress.
He goes on to define worry and stress.
"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives."
I recognized this lesson in my own life during Luke's cancer scare this past summer.
"Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control."
This part about stress really hits home with me. All too often I am impatient, lack grace for others and am fighting for control. I am disobeying. Ignoring God.
He writes: "Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small, indeed."
He corrects our "all about me" thinking through an accurate biblical timeline.
God created the world.
The people rebel against God and God floods the earth.
Several generations later, God chose 99 year old Abram to be a father of a nation.
Later came Joseph and Moses and many other ordinary adequate people to do His work. God was the one who picked them, directed them, and worked miracles through them.
Next, God sends judges and prophets because the people still refuse to obey Him.
And then, the son of God is born and lives among the people that God still loves despite all of their shortcomings.
While in this world, the Son of God teaches His followers what true love looks like. The Son of God dies and is resurrected and goes back up to be with God.
........Eventually I was born.
And when this amazing story ends, everyone who ever lived will no longer be living on earth. Those who believe in God and have accepted his son Jesus as savior will have the honor and privilege of finally meeting the Creator; the Author of all things. We will see God sitting on his throne, in his throne room. We will all worship Him, for He alone is worthy to be praised.
"From start to finish, it is all about God. How is it possible that we live as though it is all about us? Our brief lives fall somewhere between the time Jesus ascends into heaven (Acts) and when we will all worship God on His throne in heaven (Revelation)."
"We have only our two-fifths-of-a-second-long scene to live. I don't know about you, but I want my two-fifths of a second to be about my making much of God. First Corinthians 10:31 says, 'So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.'"
All that Francis Chan writes hits me right between the eyes. So much of my life revolves around me. If I'm being completely honest, so very little revolves around God. I fight, beg and plead for my will quite a bit, and much of the other time I try to assert my will without even considering Him.
Several years ago I was reading a friend of an acquaintance's blog. I know this girl from around church, but I do not know her at all. Her post was a rewrite of a previous journal entry she'd made the year prior. It went something like this:
"I want to love God so much that it makes me weird."
I knew exactly what she meant.. She wanted to be one of those people who lives a life wholly devoted to Him. One who seeks him first thing every morning, throughout her day and last thing at night. One whose actions reflect Him. One that says "use me" and "yes, Lord". One that says "praise God" and means it.
I have said this before in my life... and today I recommit myself to it. I want to love God so much that it makes me weird.