It often feels to me like there really are no safe or reasonable assumptions in life. I think my feeling is based on the experience that hurt happens and people die and flowers grow and the supreme court makes people angry.
I don’t want to change my assumptions based upon my experiences. I want to choose my assumptions based upon the values they cause me to embody.
I assume (based upon the suggestion of scripture) that God is a comforter. This causes me to become a comforting influence to others that I’m in relationship with.
According to life experience alone, some people may say that an all-powerful and loving God is nothing more than an assumption. Whether or not this is true, God really isn’t all that bad of an assumption in my opinion.
Pride is the uncritical (and often emotional) choice to indulge in our pet assumptions under the guise of “common sense.” The blind spots in your critical thinking are the areas where pride is most likely to reside.
Pride is the true enemy of community. Beware of the seed of pride.
It’s important to remember also that when it comes to relationships, the non-verbal questions you pose to one person may be answered by another. Sometimes the person that you receive back from is God Himself.
Perhaps the real problem with gratification is not that we’re unable to delay it for good things, but that we’re unbalanced in the things we gratify. The only way to truly gain mastery over an emotion is to delay indulging in it.
To delay indulging in an emotion, you must speak kindly to yourself. You then become able to “try on” a different emotion or attitude that might help you better than the one you’re tempted by.
One of the biggest things that comes to mind in closing is that God often shows up in the places we least expect. I find that fear and sadness don’t really seem like great options after all.
This summer has been new: new house, new opportunities, new challenges. Most importantly (IMHO), I’ve come to experience a new season in my relationship with God. I’ve become aware of communing.
Through all of the transitions this summer related to moving and all of the uncertainties about going back to school, I’ve come to a place where I find myself wanting to do nothing except be still and know that He is God. (Ps. 46:10) There is turmoil in my life: waves of doubt and mountains of impossibility. I know that if I had faith as small as a mustard seed, I could tell the mountain to be cast up and thrown into the sea, but in my overwhelmed state of human frailty, I find myself lacking even that small seed. All I can do is quiet my soul like a weaned child (Ps. 131) and press my ear to the threshold of heaven and listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.
When I take time to commune with Him, do you know what He tells me? He tells me that He loves me, and that He has a plan for me. He tells me that His grip around me is so tight that nothing can steal me out of His hand. I believe that He wants to speak the same kinds of things into your life as well. You just have to stop and acknowledge Him. Quiet your soul, empty out your anxious thoughts, and speak softly to the Spirit of the Living God. As a believer, He lives in you, and He is there to comfort you.
Some days I wake up and I feel good. Those days are special to me. Often, I wake up and I feel a lack in my heart. There’s really no easy way to put it into words. At least, there wasn’t until tonight. There was an open mic at our school’s chapel service tonight. I listened to many, many of the students that I live with on campus give their testimonies of how God has been working in their lives, and a theme emerged: community.
The word seems so strange to me. For all of the hard times I’ve faced, for all of the challenges I gone through, for all of the lies I’ve confronted, for all of the joys I’ve cherished, I cannot say that any other person has been there with me, save God. So, now I see the fruit of my lifestyle (the only way of living I’ve ever known so it’s understandable, and I certainly don’t want your pity, but I hope that I can still change). I have no community. So I watch people give testimonies of the support they’ve found in relationships founded on love and trust and wonder how anyone manages to find such a thing. Yeah, I’m wallowing in self-pity right now and half the things coming out of mouth probably aren’t even slightly true; I should probably stop. I’m sorry, forgive me.
In response to these feelings of hopelessness and lacking (I cannot be blamed, guilted, or shamed for feeling them), I choose to cling. I cling to my relationship with God because He knows exactly how I think and understands my inner turmoil completely. I know that He has ordained all of my days, and that He is using my lacking to establish His glory in my life somehow.