Butterfly Sparks Designs

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You're getting on my nerves.

I promised to be vulnerable in this blog.

So this is officially my first confession.

Since only about 2 people know about this blog as of today, chances are if you are reading this, then I love you and love having you in my life. However, you should know that it’s probably also true that I have been frustrated or annoyed with you lately. You've really been getting on my nerves. But it’s not just you – it’s everyone. And you haven't done anything to justify my feelings. It's not you -- it's me. It's my junk.

I have been struggling lately with a general sense of frustration with people in general. There’s something sort of hard about my heart lately. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, because this is an unusual state of mind (and heart) for me. I generally walk around with a “warm fuzziness” about people. I mean, sure, I get annoyed like everyone does at times, but generally, I’m an open and affectionate “I love you” sort of person. Usually, my heart feels especially at home when I’m encouraging or counseling someone. I usually want to know people on a heart level, to see them from the inside out, and to build intimate connections. Yet for some reason, lately, I don’t feel that gooey “love” thing about people in general like I usually do.

And that is simply not acceptable. So I have been wrestling with this for a few weeks now, laying my nasty, ugly self before God and praying that He would search my heart, and change it. And He’s revealed some stuff about why this shift has taken place in my heart. Ouch. I’ll save that for another post.

But for now, I thought I’d share what happened today:

In my Bible Study and prayer time late last night and this morning, I was reading from the book of Romans. I covered up the study notes on the bottom of the pages so that I could read them and listen to the Holy Spirit speak through the verses to me instead of reading them academically.

I landed in Chapter 5, verse 10 and was totally paralyzed. I have read this chapter many times. And I have quoted Romans 5:8 more times than I can count -- to myself and also many times to encourage others. We know it by heart, right? "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us..."

I have always approached this chapter from the idea of reconciliation and justification. God has reconciled us to Him and we are justified in Him. I get that. But this time, I found new life in these verses when I got to verse 10: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son..."

I never really caught hold of the word "enemy" until last night.

Read it again. “… when we were God’s enemies…”

I was God's enemy.

We were God's enemies.

Here I am, having trouble operating from a place of love for people -- not even enemies (I don’t think I have any enemies), but just people in general, perhaps because their habits, mannerisms, response (or lack of), or behavioral traits get on my nerves.

We were/I was God's enemy. Not just like someone who got on his nerves a little bit or had a slightly annoying quirk -- but his ENEMY!

But still, He chose to redeem us. He chose to save us. And He loved his enemies so much that He sent His Son to die for us.

Here's what really got me: He chose to see His enemy in Himself and not in our sin, and then He gave us Jesus.

Before He gave me Jesus, He first looked at me and saw me in Himself.

And that's what I want to do...

To see others in Himself...No matter where they are...Through His eyes and not my own...And give them Jesus.

And I can't give or show Jesus to them until I see them in and through Him.

I love how God defines Himself by doing every single thing that He has called us to do.

He gets it when I pray and struggle with this sometimes. And He allows no excuses.

He had enemies – me. I was His enemy. And He chose to love me. And to save me. And if He can do this for His enemy, then certainly I can love the people whom I encounter. After all, He created me (and us) to do just that.

Thanks, God, for showing me You understand, and for reminding me what is possible when I fix my heart on You, and not on myself.


Rick said...

Isn't it awesome to know that God loved us that much? Even when we were sinners and his enemies, we were on His mind. Wow! Great blog. Keep them coming.

Hunter said...

good stuff!