Friday, November 16, 2012

Unorthodox Orthodoxy?

I was going to title this "Unorthodox Solution" but even as I typed, I thought, "No, this is pure orthodoxy. I'm just applying it oddly." So I changed my mind. You can decide if I was right to do so.

This weekend was good in some ways and bad in others. The same cycle of anger, depression, irritability and apathy caught up with me eventually and lasted into the work week. That was unacceptable. Something had to change.

I've listened to Christian radio through all of this (American Family Radio, if you're curious), and whenever a sermon came on, I listened. David Jeremiah is preaching on forgiveness and "leading into temptation" as taught in The Lord's Prayer. The late Adrian Rogers spoke about how the mature Christian needs to suck it up and endure all hardship as God's best for us. I listened resentfully to that one. Michael Yousef had some things to say about forgiveness, too. Sensing a theme?

The bones are there. I have a problem with someone. I feel betrayed. I'm not getting anywhere with being upset about it. It's time to forgive.

I have Biblical backing for this decision, as all those pastors will attest. Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy times seven times the brother who sins against him and repents. Jesus said when you're bringing your gift to the alter and remember you have something against your brother (or he has something against you), go and be reconciled and then return to make your offering. Jesus prayed, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

Can you tell I'm at the gospel portion of my chronological Bible reading?

OK. Forgiveness. That's not about feeling. It's about will. I must make up my mind to forgive and then do it.

So I did. I sat down with God and told Him I forgive Him and I want to move on. We went back quite a ways, too. All the slights I've held onto for the past 10 years or so. I forgave Him for all of them.

Now, how can I forgive the source of all forgiveness when He's the reason I'm upset? (I'm going to set aside for this moment the question of whether I should be upset with God. The fact is I was and it was getting me nowhere.) Good question. Here's my thinking. By forgiving Him, I remove the barrier that has prevented me from leaning on Him for the grace I've been missing. By practicing His teaching, I'm putting myself back into His will. A stretch? Maybe. Blasphemous? I hope not.

All I can say is a difference appears to have been made. My mantra when those old recriminations surface is "I forgave that" and we move on. My mood is lighter. The change was so noticeable my Best Friend who saw me before and after asked, "Are you really happy or are you faking?" Trust me, I don't "fake" that well.

Unorthodox? Only in the subject matter. The process is absolutely what's He's told me to do.

I have made an appointment to see a doctor and be sure I don't have something chemical happening, too, but the mind leads the body and my mind has been in a very dark place. I'm finally seeing a light. Its Jesus-shaped. 

Oh, and while I was going to keep this to myself because of the oddness of the application, Mom heard a sermon this week about how God breaks us so that we can "share" with others. So I'm sharing. My apologies if it offends. Please forgive me.

6 comments:

  1. I find no offense in your entry, nor is it blasphemous to be angry at God. It's normal, and you can't hide it from him anyway. Like I always say: God can take our wrath.

    It's honesty and a willingness to talk to him regardless of our feelings that he wants.

    When my son tells me he's mad at me and tells me he doesn't like me anymore (usually when he doesn't want to go to bed), I don't punish him for saying it. I do, however, force him to go to bed regardless, and tell him how much I love him even when he doesn't like me.

    If anything, I appreciate his honesty, and it's my constant prayer he'll always trust me enough to always be that honest -- even if it does hurt for a bit.

    Thanks for sharing such a humble moment. It shows perfectly God's unwavering patience, love and grace.

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    1. Chuckle. My adult brain told me I was throwing a temper tantrum. I just couldn't get my baby emotions to stop it until I applied the principle of forgiveness. I couldn't have done that without Him, though.

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Andra.

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  2. I know that this is an odd way to be introduced to someone, and I generally prefer to get to know someone around the shallows before I tread into deep water. But I came here assuming that you were the author of _Star Of Justice_ (now that i come to the site on my desktop I see that you are) and I'm loving that book so I wanted to know more.

    It isn't blasphemous to be angry at God. It's part of a relationship, and since God sacrificed to be in a relationship with us, I assume that God expects anger and frustration from us.

    I'm going into all this because I'm a testament (?odd word choice, I guess) to being broken by God and living through the anger and frustration of it.

    Ten years ago I got incurably sick, incurably disabled. I was 32 and couldn't have the children I always wanted, could no longer hold a book in my hands to read, could no longer drive a car or go on long walks or sleep through the night. My life has been a long stretch of pain for quite awhile. And I was angry and frustrated and confused.

    But I have to say the longer I've been this person in this body--which reminds me of having a lemon car--I realise that God has reasons for the "cripples, bastards, and broken things" (as George R.R. Martin so beautifully put it. And then there's Leonard Cohen--"there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"). Over the years I've found a real peace and a unique relationship with God as I explore alongside God what reasons there are for me being how I am now.

    I am certain you'll find those wonderful gifts too.

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    1. First, I'm glad you're enjoying the book. I know I like it. *grin*

      Second, thank you for your testimony. As I struggled with the decision to forgive, I thought of Joni Erickson-Tada and how she has lived so long with such purpose.

      I don't understand God at all, but I believe He is the only option, and He has a better place and person He wants me to be. It's just - most days I'm not sure I want to be that person. I guess it's up to Him.

      The one thing you will find on this blog is honesty. Whiny baby honesty. I do try to keep it funny most days. Thanks for checking me out.

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  3. And this is WHY I should never post a comment on the first entry I read. I didn't realise the catalyst to your current dilemmas was a lemon car. I swear, I wrote that line without knowing. I was in no way meaning to make any sort of commentary on the details of your situation.

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  4. You were that accurate without prior knowledge? Chuckle. You *do* have a special relationship with God.

    I bear you no ill will, nor did I infer any particular judgment on your part. To my thinking, a "lemon" of a van is far easier to deal with than a "lemon" of a body.

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