Monday, July 09, 2007

Embraced by God

Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until
I have done what I promised you." (Gen 28:15, NAB)
These words leaped out of my Bible this morning as I read them. They were to me an embrace from my heavenly Father. It was another assurance of His presence, His power, and His plan for my life.

There are times when I wonder if God is really concerned with me. I do not have the faith of the hemorrhaging woman in the Gospel today, faith which saved her from all her shame and pain after touching the tassel of his cloak. Like her, I have lingering ailments that have yet to be cured. I hope that when the opportunity comes, I would also grab it like she did, ignoring rituals and propriety, and thus be saved.

There was someone who disappointed me during my adult life that had affected my relationship with God more than I expected. She was instrumental in my early days as a renewed Christian, and yet when I started to mature, I noticed how vastly different our responses to God were. I had to look at God's promises from a new light and to find my faith on my own. It was a good growth experience for me, to be able to stick to what I believed and to move away from the shadow of somebody else's faith.

Now, when I think about God's promises, I check myself as to what those really are, and not try to second-guess him or to read between the lines too much. His ways are not my ways, after all. And His ways are always, 100%, better. I've fallen flat on my face countless times just because I assumed God meant something other than what I heard Him telling me during prayer. I'm learning to wait on Him. It's a process.

But to know that He's always with me, protecting me, and leading me to His promise, is wonderfully comforting at this point. Left on my own, I could waste my life on things that don't last and worship other "gods". There are so many dangers and pitfalls in the world, and I don't always recognize them. Having a God who won't let my foot slip and who is determined to see me through gives me confidence to walk.

That sounds like a faith statement. It may be pea-sized but hey, Jesus said it's enough to move mountains. I've seen some mountainous obstacles moved in my lifetime, so I keep going, one by one, step by step, until I see the Promised Land.

And it's not what I think it should be. It is what is meant to be.

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