Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop


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The Shoemaker is My Father


One day I noticed that my own faulty thinking was sabotaging my joy. When something wonderful happened I couldn't fully participate in the joy of it because my mind immediately began telling me a story that went something like this:

"Wow! That is really great! I wonder what I did to deserve it. Actually, I probably don't deserve it...  I can't relax into this happy event because surely a 'shoe will drop' and crush me in no time at all. I must keep my guard up and stay alert! We never get something for nothing. I wonder what this is going to cost me." 

Yep, that became a self-fulfilling prophecy -- and I just love being right, don't you? 

 

So where is God in all of this? My religious upbringing told me that God is merciful and forgiving -- but what He really values is humility and self-sacrifice. Oh, and don't forget -- He is very judgmental, so don't get too cocky... or, too happy. There must be some suffering or self-denial involved at all times. (I know now that that is not the truth of God's character. That was bad religion and deeply flawed theology -- but I mustn't get ahead of myself.)

It's all about fear and lack of control. In fact, our biggest fear is lack of control. And so we "worry" -- the king of all fears.


We can easily become just as fearful of the blessings in life as we are of the difficult things. We realize that we control nothing. We judge ourselves and then heap fear of God's judgement on top of it -- and then wonder where the joy in our Christian life went.

We were never meant to live like that. Scripture tells us that "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). His love for us is perfect. And He IS in control. He is also mysterious and omnipotent (Isaiah 55:8-9).

The answer is not a "reason" -- it is a person -- and that person is Jesus.

 

God is the shoemaker. So at least if the shoe does fall -- it won't crush you -- it will serve you. He promised that "all things work together for our good" (Romans 8:28) and that we are not alone (Matthew 28:20). He also tells us that He is good, trustworthy and cares deeply about our troubles (1 Peter 5:7).

If you want to fully embrace that perfect love, give yourself an early Christmas present and just give up the need to know "WHY?" about anything. It is unknowable, so just stop it. Trust His love for you, especially when you don't understand the reasons. Let heaven and earth collide inside of you and then relax into Him. He sees around corners. We don't!

I'm just saying... 

If I feel compelled to worry about the shoe-thing, I now ask God to make the shoe a lovely one -- maybe with a red sole (or, for you guys it might be an Air Jordon) because His work in our lives is always beautiful -- even when it is wrapped in earthly suffering. It gets so much better on the other side.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! 
I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

I have a song for everything.
"Stay and Wait" by Hillsong United
"I Choose to Believe" by Phillips, Craig and Dean



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