Can you be a person if you don’t belong?

Who am I?

Does this question ever rock your conscience? Do you ever look at yourself and feel like you’re not getting the full picture: you see a couple of main facets that seem to mean very little because there are yet a host of details to be filled in.

How can this be the case? Where is the rest of us hiding? Maybe its in the place you’d least expect…

There’s not too much to find that’s encouraging if we merely look inside, but there is much to discover if we look outside. Up there and out there is everything that we’re connected with and everything that we belong to. It is not that we are so much by ourselves, but that we ourselves are connected to so much. There’s a difference. Here’s what it looks like.

We are connected to God (this fact makes us significant because God is significant). This connection represents the fact that God created us and loves us. Yet, to the extent that we reject this connection–reject the One we’re connected with–we reject who we are and try to be connection-less. (Which makes no sense, by the way).

But, to the extent to which we long to be connected, we are dependent on Someone to connect us. We are not connectors, we are the connected. This is imperative for us to know. We cannot establish who we are, we can only submit ourselves to who we’ve been made to be. If we’re not submitted, (which, in case you didn’t know, is the route we’ve all taken from God) we are only living as disconnection persons–disconnected both from God and from who we truly are.

What an insecure place to be! What a mess of identity and conscience! We must be delivered. And, most surprisingly, we have been given the right to deliverance. Have you heard about it? Has it gripped your heart yet?

God, God of the universe, came down to reconstitute your identity. The only way to do this was to re-partner it with His identity. Staging a renewal of partnership with you at this juncture in your relationship was quite a step of humility for Him. There is no pride in a holy and just God connecting with a sinner who has rejected Him. But, there is a glory in revealing His love’s delight in returning sinners to Himself.

His heart chose to award the consequences, the great debt, of your disobedient actions to Himself rather than you. He didn’t excuse you, He didn’t assure Himself that you still had a “good” heart. He trusted, instead, in His own good heart to make your heart what it should be.

I don’t share this with you in an attempt to quickly satisfy all your questions; in fact, the reality above still hasn’t settled all my questions. My desire, instead, is that you will embrace the truth that the gospel holds out to you that you may be reconciled to God. When you do, you can feel free and eager to go ask your Father who you are. He can tell you more than I can, more than you can discover on your own.

Is lying a losing proposition if you’re trying to win on God’s turf?

So what is wrong with lying?

I mean, come on–what kind of harm does it really do? These things only hurt if you get caught, right? And, honestly, when is that?

Isn’t the command that we avoid lying just something the self-righteous among made up to try making themselves feel more superior next to the rest of us? Isn’t all this just a hoax?

I mean, why would God condone something that could support that sort of treatment by its followers? I mean, He’s fair, right?

Well, first we must ask what is His assumed fairness based on? What does God believe is fair? What are the rules on His playground–and how far does that playground extend? Does it just include His followers or everybody?

Does He make rules so that some people will win and others will lose? Is He biased–a heartless fan of the fair and beautiful? Or does He have more in mind than even the players themselves and how they play or what they get from playing the game?

All these questions are important when we consider God and how we relate to Him. I don’t think I should be the one to answer them all for you, but I will say this:

God made the game, He is the One you should ask about the rules. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. His greatest goal in having you in the game is to know Him, so don’t lose any time!

All these little things that stand in my way!

Do you miss the little things in life because you are convinced that you might miss the big things that might be ready to come your way?

Have you noticed all the “might”s we have here? It seems to me that it is better to stick with the sure things involving others that are happening right before us rather than holding out for what will just benefit us.

Perhaps it is better for us if these things never come to pass! We could use more than solitary excitement; it would be better for us to concentrate on sharing the fleeting moments of excitement that are already there for those around us.

He discredits my every complaint

Complaining. I don’t know about you, but I like to complain. I like to believe that I have that freedom, and that my words can have a significant influence on my unpleasant circumstances.

For example, I hate being alone when I haven’t chosen solitude. When I have to adapt to my circumstance I wonder: how this will help and not hurt me, especially when I’ve already passed several days of this restriction? Must I again accept this when I believe I could benefit so much more from talking and hanging out with my family and friends?

I look at occasional days that pain augments my ongoing fatigue and question the appropriateness of being further burdened.

I beg for only the bare minimum in the intensity of these endurance tests.

On particularly hard days, when one more thing must be given up or is taken away from me, I ask: Lord, how much do you think I can take? I am human — I can only endure such a restricted lifestyle, diet and community. Am I really learning that much more than I would if I could still have some of these things?

And God’s response is, Do you think that I am not enough? Do you doubt My wisdom in leading you down this path of hardships? Do you think that you know so much more about living than I? Are you so opposed to dependence on Me that you would refuse walking so closely with Me to delight yourself in lesser and lighter pleasures? Is your food and life not contingent on more than bread and basic human relationships? Will you think I am worth it enough to reach out and take My hand, believing I walk through all the hardship with you?

My child, I am showing you that you don’t know how to live this life. I am bringing you closer to Me, so I can lead you, teach you, and, yes, enrich you. Like My servants Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah on My diet — My provision — you will emerge from My tests radiant and glowing. And You will lead everyone around you in praising the Name of Your God who has created through extraordinary means a difference in you that will enhance the vision of His glory in your world.

Oh, how can I complain when my Father holds me so close like this; when the hardships He walks me through are for a purpose so much higher and loftier than I?