My relationship with the Lord has grown exponentially in the past three years.
It's in that time that I've become aware of my tendency to try and earn salvation rather than simply sit in grace, because it's already finished.
This realization--I say realization, it's more like God constantly whopping me over the head saying, STOP IT, JESS--has truly made the difference in making my salvation about ME vs. making it about GOD. (My coach, Diana, recommended a great book on this topic.)
Someone asked me the other day, "What do you want to accomplish with your writing? What is the point of your blog?" After I stuffed the urge to throat-chop them (just kidding, I get kind of defensive about writing), I really thought for a second.
It's always my goal for this space to be everything I would want to share with my best friend. This means sharing what I'm learning, what I'm struggling with, what I'm loving.
But this also means it's a two-way street. I want it to be a space where I ask you challenging questions in an effort to make you think, too. I want to encourage you to grow.
UNFORTUNATELY, growth isn't always easy.
So, with that said, I thought today I would just pose a question, and see what kind of answers you all share!
If you had to give it all up, in your mind, would God still be good?
When do we hear people talking about "God's blessings" the most? In reference to wealth. When someone gets a raise at work, when an offer goes through on a new house, when they're getting married, having a baby, etc. It's always the adding-to that receives the attention of blessings.
But what about the other stuff? I'm talking about the stuff we'd rather just skip over, but that actually plays a larger part in our overall sanctification than maybe even the add-to's do.
What about the things that take away our ability to control?
What about the things that challenge us to the brink of our ability, the ones that expose our humanity so much so that vulnerability is no longer a choice, but a daily reality?
What about when we are stripped of our support system because we move away, or they move away, or we drift apart, or things just change?
I know sometimes when we are on the other end of these things, we see them as blessings, but that's generally when the pendulum swings back up to visible blessings.
So, do you have the ability to see the process, the middle, the hard-stuff as blessings?
If not--which, quite frankly, I struggle with on many occasions--you might want to examine your view of God. I'm finding that too often I see God as a high-functioning, ethereal vending machine. If I put something in, I get to choose what comes out. Those are my "blessings." But it really just does not work that way.
(I know all of you are smarter than me, and are like--um, does this chick really think that?)
It's not a conscious thought, but it is definitely apparent in the way I've operated in faith in the past.
From my YouVersion Bible Plan the other day:
"Christianity is not a plan of protection against the brokenness of the world but a relationship with God in the midst of it. Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, 'Sin is an unwillingness to trust that what God wants is our deepest happiness.'"
So, do you trust God to know your heart? Your deepest desires? Are you in relationship with him? Or are you treating him like a contract worker from a high-profile security company? As long as you do your part and follow his lead, you'll keep the goods safe.
Let's start a conversation, below. A real, heart convo. And, if you see that someone has already commented, I challenge you to comment and encourage them, too!