Monday, 18 May 2009

needing Your church - but fearing re-imprisonment

May 4, 2009

Good morning Papa, Jesus, Holy Spirit (Sarayu!) Thank You for waking me early! I NEED, NEED, NEED this quiet time with You. There are SO MANY interruptions and distractions once the day gets started.

And it is tempting for me to just lay tyhere in bed, start a little "prayer" (or even a real conversation) with You... but fall back asleep... and really not get back to it later... meaning to, but losing focus, track, remembrance... the TV blaring, people's needs to be met, projects distracting....

Okay, so what I meant to say was, "Dear Jesus, could You please go and pray - talk to! - Papa for me this morning?" The thing is, I am feeling the need to be prayed for - and encouraged and uplifted - and I need Papa's wisdom. I know that is why You have given us Your body, Your church... but right now I feel terribly disconnected ... in the "wilderness" as that article put it. Sometimes I am tempted to run back to Your people (at least to "our church" ... You know what I mean)... Okay, please listen: I do want to be with Your people: but I really don't want to be tied up, imprisoned, worked to death in.... well, You know, prison-bar scaffolding (politics, "working for God," striving to be a "leader," so much knowing about You... but so often so little knowing You and Your family... etc...)

Do You still love me? I know Youdo. I suppose it's like that old saying: "If you feel like God is far away, guess who has moved!" But I don't know if it really is that, exactly. I can't really put my finger on "me moving away" (although there seem to be plenty of symptoms...). Okay, listen: I feel like I'm in a void, like I need someone to assign me something to do! It's like I'm "missing" rules and regulations and paycheques and time schedules and curriculum guides and obligations-and-responsibilities, policies-and-procedures (and the "rewards" : human approval, goals met, money in the bank, etc)... and other people around me also "working together," "building Your kingdom"... it's hard for me to not be "in the forefront/ deeply involved/ leading/ pulling together as a team" ... it seems lonely (is that an evil thing to feel???)... lonely to "just sit back" and let You build Your church and kingdom... and let You do Your work (with me just walking alongside and being part of it as it happens, as it unfolds...hmmm? Papa?).

The thing is, I've been reading Romans and now 1 Corinthians... and on the one hand, we're "free from the curse of the law," but on the other hand we are "fellow-workers" ... and I can't seem to find that "fellow-worker" place, Lord. I really do feel as if I'm stumbling around in an arid, dusty, dry wilderness, while the Promised Land is right there, within eye-sight, but I can't get in. Yes, I know... in Christ, I am "in" (And I've been "in" for a long time... and yes, there have been times when I've feasted on the milk and honey and those incredible clusters of grapes - and the new wine pressed out of them - and the hundred-fold grain! ... but it feels like there is something wrong right now).

(I wonder about Paul, sitting there in prison... or house-arrest, whatever.... and there were times when he was deserted and feeling so alone... and yet in those time he had YOU there with him... and others did drop by sometimes... and he communicated with others in writing, sharing Your Word and Your love (and his own father-in-Christ-love! Wow!) with them... and with all Your family throughout time and place! Is this a word of encouragement from You to me, Papa? Thank You, I know it is!).

(I hear You telling me, "Just a little longer, My child. I have it all under control. I am working out My plans and My purposes - perfectly - and not only will your turn to be "part of my work" come ... but you are already, right now, part of it... only you don't see it right now. I am with you... and you are with Me. You are! Just trust Me. Keep abiding. Don't you think that maybe it's a good thing that you "can't see" how I'm "using you" in My plans? For, can't you see, the temptation to become proud isn't there dangling itself in front of you! And isn't that a good thing, Norma, my little child?")

(Yes, Father... You speak so kindly and gently... You know my weaknesses so well... and it is so kind of You to keep me out of their pathways... like little Christian looking at that lovely green path running parallel just over the fence, while Your road was dry and dusty... and how could he - and Faithful, I think it was - possibly get lost if they spent some time traveling parallel?? ... Father, sometimes what looks to us like the Promised Land really isn't, is it? And sometimes (often...) what looks like the wilderness is the narrow way, Your way... and sometimes it seems awfully lonely... but You are watching our every step... and You do send along Your helpers when we truly need them... and You do bring us into places of rest and refreshing... but Father, they are YOUR places... not the ones that the world (and enemy) dangles before us... and oh, dear Papa, please help me keep my eyes on You, help me to cling to the old rugged cross, to never set down my "scroll" for one instant...)

Papa, I love You. You love me. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You!

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