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Monday, 13 August 2012

Why so downcast within me?

Alan and I started reading through the bible again.  I never made it fully through last year when we tried.  Not sure if he accomplished it or not.  But this time I can't seem to get enough.  I'm about ten days ahead of the prescribed program which Alan doesn't like because he thinks we should stay together but - really, how does one read Esther without reading the whole book at one go?  One chapter at a time?  Nah... can't do it.  I just have to see what's going to happen to Haman (even though I've probably read Esther a dozen or more times in my life!) lol.  We started in I Chronicles (lovely place to start), Psalms and Matthew.  This plan has us read through the Old Testament once, Psalms twice and the New Testament twice in a year.  Pretty good I think. 

As I've read through Psalms and now I'm in Job I'm reminded that it's ok to complain to God without sinning.  David complained, Job complained.  Now mind you, David had Saul and his whole army after him trying to kill him and he was having to hide in caves and Job well, he lost everything of any value including his family, had three not so friendly friends trying to explain to him why he was suffereing (gotta love unsolicited advice and insincere "concern") and boils all over his body.  So... they had a right to complain.  But do I?  Not really, no.  Most of the junk I go through I bring on myself.  I don't have any true friends here in Germany because I'm a loner and stick to myself.  I don't trust people including my husband because well, that's a long story that most of you know.  Alan and I argue because we're around eachother too much probably and I like to have more control in our relationship than I probably should have.  My motivation is nil some days because I lack the discipline and enthusiasm it takes for learning German and really emersing myself in this country.  I get so frustrated sometimes that all I want is to go and live in my old house in Georgia, hang out with my nieces and friends and give it all up.

I've been discouraged by the sheer amount of selfishness I see in the world - in myself, in non-Christians, in many, many fellow Christians.  I think we as Christians should be really transformed by the love and power of Christ and really, really on fire for God.  But are we?  I don't even have to ask really.  I know the answer because I see it every day.  For the great majority - 99% of all Christians if I'd venture a guess, we are unsatisfied with ourselves, our current condition, the world around us, the sheer amount of stuff we want to do but for whatever reason never do.  We have small glimpses of contentment and peace but it doesn't last.  We're upset about the Presidency but give little to nothing to missionaries around the world.  We love our own families and close friends but care little to nothing for our neighbors who are dying in their sins (yes Obama counts as our neighbor).  We say unbridled to our fellow Christians that if God took everything of value away it wouldn't matter, but are we being honest?  Take away someones computer for a day and you'll see whether that statement is true or not. 

I sin. We all sin.  Every day.  Multiple times a day.  We hear the voice inside us telling us to love but instead we do everything but.  We know we should be less selfish but the "me first", "what about me", "look after oneself" attitude permeates everything.  We hear the voice saying reach out but instead we sit fixated to our computers or tv's or game consoles numbingly passing the hours trying to think about nothing at all.  In all our attempts to stay more social we have given up real relationships which can love on us, hold us accountable and encourage us.  We fight our battles on our own, not with an army behind us as it should be.  That's why we get taken out so easily.  We go to church but hurry to the door after the preacher is finished without really connecting with the people there.  And the devil laughs.  He has us right where he wants us.

Why are you so downcast within me, oh my soul? Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

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