Saturday, November 21, 2009

shadrach, meshach, and to bed we go

It's Pre-Turkey Day today, and right now everyone in the house is running around and everything is crazy and I've got a whole ton of macaroni to make later. John Mark McMillan is playing and more than anything I just want to go somewhere quiet and close the door and just be there a little while. We're going to have probably forty or fifty people packed into the apartment and it's all gonna be crazy and loud and everything going on at once, and part of me knows that yes, this is where good things happen. And I'm excited for that. But right now I just want to go somewhere where I can be quiet without people asking me what's wrong.

I'm thinking about the story in Daniel, the one where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego get thrown into the furnace, and it's not really related at all to right now except that I'm thinking about it. I had a roomie date with Alicia Thursday night and we talked about it, and my staffworker and I talked about it a couple of weeks ago, and all I can think is wow. They said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:17-18) Even if he doesn't save us, our God is still big and mighty, he is still our God.

I was thinking about how when I mess up, or I'm in hard place and I need God's help, but I got there because of my own sin, I feel like I can't go to God with that. That I got myself there by being disobedient, and I'll have to get myself back out. And that is not true at all, that is a lie. Keeping in mind that, while I understand grace in that I can explain it someone else, I do not live out of the fact that I live under the constant grace and mercy of my King. And this is bad news. Especially when I don't go to him with things because they're my fault. I've said it before, and I am forever learning it: if he's the God of my life, then he is the God of my whole life, of the parts where I'm not deserving (all of it) and where I'm not good enough and the parts that aren't clean and pretty. And the good, too. Really, all of it.

I don't know when I'm going to get it through my head (read: through my heart) how freeing that really is. The thing is, even though I know I can't, I want so badly just to please my Father, to be good for him, to bring him something worth all this love he has for me, worth him saving me. You see this? As if I could earn it, and I can't, I know it. But there it is. I want to be good enough. I want to hear 'well done, good and faithful servant.'

I think the word in there I need to hear is faith. Just trusting God with all of it. Being able to stand and say, my God will save me! And even if he doesn't, he is still my God, the God of my whole life and everything else is just.. what is everything else, anything else next to my God?

That is how I want to live, out of what I want to live. Not out of shame or guilt or laziness or bitterness. I want to live out of complete abandonment to my God, my King.

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