Tuesday, April 18, 2006

This is better than anything I can come up with.

Sarah sent the Following to me by e-mail. I didn't ask if I could just post it, so Sarah, I hope its okay. This is great encouragement and a humbling perspective. Sarah is just beginning her blog--you should stop over if you get the chance. (I'd put it in block quotes, but that always messes up the wrap around feature on blogger--does anyone else have that problem?)

Leslie, here is the passage I mentioned the other day that I read from Streams in the Desert and thought of you:

(referring to Hebrews 11:8) "Abraham did not know where he was going--it simply was enough for him to know he went with god. He did not lean as much on the promises as he did on the Promiser. And he did not look at the difficulties of his circumstances but looked to His King--the eternal, limitless, invisible, wise, and only God--who had reached down from His throne to direct his path and who would certainly prove Himself.

O glorious faith! Your works and possibilities are these: contentment to set sail with the orders still sealed, due to unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the Lord High Admiral; and a willingness to get up, leave everything, and follow Christ, because of the joyful assurance that earth's best does not compare with heaven's least.

{This is my favorite part:}In no way is it enough to set out cheerfully with God on any venture of faith. You must also be willing to take your ideas of what the journey will be like and tear them into tiny pieces, for nothing on the itinerary will be happen as you expect {that applies to life in general, I'm thinking}.

Your Guide will not keep to any beaten path. He will lead you through ways you would never have dreamed your eyes would see. He knows no fear, and He expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.

Leslie, when I first read this I felt like it asked the impossible, but the more times I read it, it's almost like a cheer--kind of a battle cry to take into the unknown. The details and task lists are probably so overwhelming, but in a matter of weeks this part will be over, and you'll be starting out on such an amazing adventure. Part of me envies you! {a little part, but a part nonetheless}

Thanks, Sarah. I just sent The Pressure's Off by Larry Crabb overseas with my husband (he'd better bring it back because it is overdue at the library--don't want the feds tracking us down in the Outback over this). The overall lesson of the book is to not confuse the Blessor with the blessing. A close personal relationship with the living triune God is the ultimate blessing. It is not that it is a bad thing to pray for blessings, but it is wrong to try to manipulate God in order to get what you really want. Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, John--all of these men spent time in the desert (okay, I'm going to Sydney, Australia--hardly a hardship I know, but stick with me) and all of them said in either word or deed they'd rather have God than blessings. Abraham, in the sacrifice of his son, seemed to take this to extremes. I'm not sure in what way I need to take this lesson right now, but I do believe I need to take it.

One other thing, while the spackling dries in my son's room, I like reading something in scripture, or in a book, and then I hearing echoed in a word from a wise friend. It makes me think that God is giving me a little bit of confirmation about what he is trying to tell me.

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