Drinking Deeply

Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 2:42 AM

Fit to a T

I feel overwhelmed.

I feel like all the people that I would normally turn to have turned to me, and I no longer have anywhere to go. Things are happening, have been happening, will be happening, in basically every area that I've depended upon. What am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to say? There's so much I've been asked to handle, there's so much I've been asked to watch over. There's so much I feel like I should be caring deeply about that I don't, that I just let slip because I'm like that. There's so much that I'm called to, demanded to care about that I cannot find a speck of in my own heart.

On Tuesday at RUF David Jones talked about how he was always scared when people told him "well it's the heart that matters" because "my heart has done things even my hands have not thought of"... and it's so true for me as well. I see it in everything I do. It's all tainted. It's all colored. Nothing I can, have, will do can ever be satisfactory. "All have fallen short, no one is righteous"

For a person who always tried to live in accordance to an "unofficial code" (except when it inconvienced me) prior to my conversion, and then tried to live to an "official code" after, that's a tough truth to grasp. But it's the only truth that really matters right? I guess I'm really feeling the full weight of the "T" in "TULIP." I'm so broken right now and I can continue telling myself that that's exactly where I need to be, but it doesn't eliminate the growing sense that I'm right there on the verge of depression, on the verge of burnout, on the verge of not caring about anything at all.

But yet I feel like I can only say the answers. I can only say that my hope, my joy, my life is in Christ. I try to pray, I try to talk to people, I try to confess, but it all feels so empty.

I can reread Job's book and examine his faithfulness, his trust in a God that will justify in accordance to his own sins (which apparently he had not many), but all I can draw from that is the fact that I am no where near Job's caliber and fully deserving of any and all punishment God may lay upon me.

Today our message was on Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

From which there are a number of fundamental truths that I've been denying:

1. Trusting God - Just by being overwhelmed I'm taking a lot of pride in the fact that somehow the fellowship "needs" me. That it wouldn't operate properly without me. Where's the trust in that? Where's the dependence upon God? Where's my trust lie? Clearly only upon myself.

2. Leaning not on my own understanding - A direct corollary; when I take on more and more responsibility, more and more of me begins to think that "hey, my opinion is what matters. My opinion is what is necessary. My opinion is right" So stupid! So dumb. But so much of a part of me I don't know how to get rid of it.

3. Acknowledging Him in all my ways - ::sigh:: There is so much of me that I have a hard time giving up, have a hard time trusting with. There's a lot of me that is so distant. Every part of me is so far away from everything that it should be.

John Piper had a sermon about pride this last Sunday. Living Peaceably with All, If Possible.
There's so much in his words that shoot straight to the root of the problem. shoot straight to my heart that it hurts to read and I'm almost tempted to delete the email and forget about it.

It's so stupid, there's so much pride. There's so much of a part of me that is crying out, "look at me! I am important! Look at what has happened because of what I am doing! The fellowship (and God) needs me!"

But I know that is so wrong, but I cannot eliminate it. I know the answer is to confess, repent, pray, rinse in living water and repeat, but it's still there. My boasting is never in the cross alone, my joy is never in Christ alone, my hope and my desires are never in God alone. I am wrapped in self so much.

What do I do when I see the truth standing here in my face but I can't grasp it? "Trust in the Lord..."

I should confess. I should pray. I should repent. I should talk to people. But even afterwards I feel so fake, because I see myself sinking into it again and again. I see myself pursuing these transient joys, these transient loves, these transient experiences that quench my thirst much like salt water, for some reason always leaving me thirsty for more.

I was about to say I snapped today for the first time in months, but then I realized I snapped at my brother just 2 months ago. So immature. I feel like complete crap. I feel so selfish. I feel so stupid. I feel so irresponsible. How did I ever get entrusted with so much? I can't handle this. I don't know what to ask for, I don't know what to pray for. I don't know who I can talk to, who I can turn to. Who decided I was qualified to look after the freshmen? Who decided I was qualified to be the person that turns to? Who decided that I could handle these burdens. No, pick someone else. I'm too immature. I'm too young. It'll go to my head. I'm going to become prideful and that will be my downfall.

It's happened. I cannot do this. I cannot do anything right. It's all tainted. I don't care enough about people. I should be caring for my drawmates. I should be caring for my family. I should be caring for my home church. I should be caring for KCPC. I should be caring for the freshmen. I should be caring for the poor. I should be caring for the homeless. I should be caring for the weak. I should be caring for all these people that I said I'd be praying for. I should be caring for all those people that have questions, that are curious. I should be caring for all those people that just need someone. I should be caring for the TJ trip. I should be caring for the service that I try to go to but never end up getting involved with.

Ryan just stopped by. He's the guy that I essentially told to get his act straight or face God's wrath in the times to come. Well he took the denial route, but he was still willing to draw with me. I've done such a horrible job of trying to reach out to him. He's living in a different floor, in a different hall, with unknown roommates, he doesn't want to talk about it, he doesn't care anymore.... I have so many excuses and I feel so much like those people in Matthew 25

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Just one of many, many things that I've ... let slide.

The verse says to trust in God, but what if I'm so wrapped up in my own pride that I don't? What if I'm so sunk in my own denial that I can't?

Pray right? Confess, repent, pray... but I feel like it's not working. I feel like there maybe no hope. I can say that the hope is in eternity, the certainty that the powers that raised Christ is now working in me and is raising me from this death and destruction that I see within. That those sins no longer have power over me because they've been crucified with Christ. But yet their tie is so much stronger than anything I've felt before.

In the past I've always had different verses that reassured me when I was struggling:

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings for we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope; and hope does not disappoint us because we know that God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

Therefore, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Because we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let of throw off all that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us and set our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning it's shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Are they just words to me now? Memorized so much they have lost their meaning? I don't know.

Pray for me, that I would find rest, that I would find reassurance, that I would trust once more. Pray that I would not turn away but turn towards, that I would remain faithful and hold fast, ready to bear fruit in season. Pray that I would see the hope that I am called to, that I would care for those in need, even above myself. Pray for my heart as I prepare for a service missions to TJ. Pray for continual accountability and discipleship. Pray for trust.

Definitely something I'm not able to do on my own. Definitely something I don't see myself doing.

I'm guilty of "strength Christianity" so much. Guilty of "cat Christianity" guilty of Pharisitic thinking...

"all have fallen short"

gah

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Blogger cwu said...

you're not the only one...*sigh*

i'll be praying for you, brother  

~

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