Weakness introduces Strength in a most attractive way

Could this God

be enough for you?

Will “yes,” bring

more disappointment

than hope at its end?

Is there reward in seeking

more than you could

gain by yourself?

 

Sometimes I wonder.

Sometimes I want to believe

Just the whispers of

My weakened self,

Not the silence

of His Grace.

 

He is at horizon

Beckoning me

To come see His

Son rise.

But I quickly

look away.

 

“Me?”

I ask

with

quaking

voice.

“Have You

seen me lately?

I am here because

I can’t get up.

I don’t think You

Realize how impossible

It is to meet You like this.”

 

Then He begins to speak:

“I am not mistaken

When I call your name;

I know that you are weak —

Don’t forget that it was I who

Have made you this way.

I understand you’re afraid —

let Me remind you why

you don’t need to be.

I don’t want you

to miss this,

So I insist:

Come!

Yes, even as you are;

And if you find that you still cannot,

My child, take as your own My strength.”

What else can I choose…but joy?

Sometimes I feel so down and distraught, that I wonder how I will ever be able to stand again. After all I’ve gone through, when I finally see the other side of this trial, will I want to rise? Is it worth it?

If you are in that place, I ache for you. Some of Jesus’ most endearing words come to mind for you:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.”You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Matthew 5:3-12

It is interesting that before the Bible tells us these things it says: When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside…[and] Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.

God’s ministry to us through Jesus

is not about

ignoring pain,

but bringing meaning

to it.

And we who are closest

to Him —

Those…apprenticed to him,

the committed, as the Bible says —

climb up that hillside of the forgotten with him (verse 1).

There He shows us that we belong

with Him,

even in our deepest heart-ache.

Not because of how well we “take” everything,

or how unmoved we are by troubles,

but because He came to make known

His compassion for us —

that we would be assured of

how close we are

to His heart.

The meaningless mystery of unexplored life

Just how balanced are the two?

This weekend I spent some time exploring the philosophical tenants of Yin Yang. Now, I won’t pretend here, I did find it more than a little disconcerting. If you are unfamiliar with this worldview, let me share with you some of what I read (I have chosen to include a lengthier portion of the Wikipedia article so that you may be as informed as is immediately possible):

the concept of yin yang…normally referred to in the West as (yin and yang) is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other

Yin yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time…

There is a perception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to evil and good. However, Taoist philosophy generally discounts good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments, in preference to the idea of balance. Confucianism (most notably the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu, c. the 2nd century BCE) did attach a moral dimension to the idea of yin and yang, but the modern sense of the term largely stems from Buddhist adaptations of Taoist philosophy.[2]

In Taoist philosophy, ying and yang (☯) arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (i.e. you cannot have the back of a hand without the front). A way to illustrate this idea is to postulate the notion of a race with only men or only women; this race would disappear in a single generation. Yet, men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive. The interaction of the two gives birth to things. Yin and yang transform each other: like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. Thus, a seed will sprout from the earth and grow upwards towards the sky – an intrinsically yang movement. Then, when it reaches its full potential height, it will fall. (emphasis mine; material cited: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang)

As interesting and plausible as any of this may seem, it does not agree with the witness our Creator has given us of this world we dissect. This theory is surely a comfort for those of us who have no frame of reference for why evil exists and how we are subject to it. So long as we are in confusion we will seek for ways to simplify. What gore threatens us we will subjectively redefine. Without the keys to engaging these mysteries we will consistently manifest fictitious realities that we can approach with confidence.

The problem with each of these approaches is that they never free us to fully investigate life. Ignoring the Cause of things forces us to covering up mystery does not make it less of a reality, it just reinforces our fear of the truth. There is no question the truth is unnerving and sometimes exactly what we don’t want to hear, but it can never be said to bind us. Truth leads to more truth, freedom to more freedom, while lies and half truths keep us bound in a specific pattern that we might not disturb the whole.

We were meant to be free and unfettered. Although some will say that God is the Only One who can keep us from such an existence, quite the opposite is true. In fact, without God the idea of someone having any freedom at all is a myth.

Then what is the truth and how does it free us…

and how does it contain God all at the same time?

The truth tells us that we are broken,

that this world is to hard and evil for us,

but even though we are part

of the problem,

we discover

freedom

for

the first time

in knowing

we don’t have to

stay here.

Forever God —

who is good and

Oh, so full,

full of mercy —

is reaching out to us;

He wants to calm our fears

to bring to us healing help

known to us

only when

the residence of His presence

claims our hearts today.

He will hold nothing of

peace and grace

back from us,

so long as we

open our souls

up to Him —

our Generous Father…

God.