I usually try and stay away from religion and politics in my posts because those are two of the most controversial topics out there. i prefer to stay on an even keel with those of you that read this. the exception of course is if i feel really strongly about something. usually that means something about the military or soldiers and nationalised health care. looking back through my blog, those tend to be the only controversial things i write about. and i feel VERY strongly about both of them. Soldiers should always be respected because they deserve it and nationalised health care sucks.
and today i am faced with yet another truth that i feel just as strongly about.
almost every time i feed my baby i think about my relationship with God. He created us to have free will, to make our own decisions. Yet HE clearly states that He will never leave us nor forsake us (joshua 1:5) so regardless of the fact that we are more than capable to make everyday decisions for ourselves, He is always right beside us, leading and guiding us. All we have to do is ask. and He is always faithful to answer us, pointing us in the right direction.
funny thing is, more often than not I dont ask. I dont seek out Him and His will for my life, I just bumble along in the dark, wondering why things are not working out or going smoothly. and there He is, right in front of me, just waiting for me to ask for His help. See the thing is, since He gave us free will to make our own decisions that is exactly what He lets us do...make our own decisions. so how ever foolish or damaging our decisions may be, God is not going to hit us over the head, telling us we need to be doing something else. but He is always there. looking over us even when we are pursuing the wrong thing, heading in the wrong direction. He has more than enough grace to welcome us back each and every time. He never holds our bad decisions against us. He always forgives, always accepts us back. He is always willing to help us out, no matter how many times we have screwed up before.
so what does this have to do with feeding my baby you ask?
every 3 to 4 hours when Big E wants to eat, she makes the cutest little bird face. she purses her lips, makes a little sucking noise, and starts trying to suck on anything. seriously anything. it ranges form her tiny, little fingers, to an arm, to a shirt, to the burp cloth. anything and everything she sees, she goes for. even though i am right in front of her with what she actually wants, more often than not she ends up getting a mouth full of cloth instead of her much needed nourishment. sometimes she doesnt slow down long enough for me to give it to her. she is too busy trying to find it herself.
just like me.
sometimes i am so busy trying to find the answers myself that i dont actually slow down long enough to realise that God is right there in front of me with exactly what i want and need. and i am eternally grateful that He has enough grace to welcome me back each and every time.
and what brought all this on today? this article from the BBC News Homepage.
In case you dont go to the link and read the story, here is a summary. An 18 year old muslim girl has just graduate from jihad training camp. she is training to be a martyr. whenever she is told, she will strap a bomb to her waist and blow herself up; hoping to take men, woman and children of her opposition with her. suicide bombers are not a new thing. its something we have heard about for years. so why this story? because of the last sentence. All through out her interview she spoke of how this was an honour, to serve her god in such a way. and she concluded the interview with this...
"There are many duties to preform before we are ready to face god. I am trying not to make any mistakes so that i do not miss this opportunity"
and that broke my heart. She is serving a god that not only keeps a record of what she does and doesnt do, but one that also holds her wrongs against her.
one of my favourite verses is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9 "My GRACE is sufficient for you for MY POWER is made perfect in WEAKNESS" What a beautiful example of the power of God. His power is not made perfectly evident when we are super strong and doing everything just right. His power is evidenced the most when we are at our weakest. when we are truly dependent upon Him. and to me that is wonderful. It no longer is about what i can do; how many good deeds i do in a day, how many prayers i say or religious acts i complete. Instead it becomes about God evidenced in me, in helping me when i can not do it on my own any longer. Sure He gives us free will, knowing that sooner or later we will remember that we cant actually do it without Him. and that is where His GRACE and POWER come into play.
i am so thankful that i dont have to live in the fear of making sure that i do enough things; pray enough, fast enough, wear the right clothes, talk to the right people, preform enough of the right tasks...and having the fear that if i dont do enough of those things then i will "miss out on the opportunity" to serve my Lord. To me that is not a faith that offers hope, a religion that has a promise of a better tomorrow, or a God that is trustworthy.
and so even though this post turned out to be incredibly long, and potentially controversial, i feel strongly enough to write about it. so there you go.