Sunday, October 31, 2010

We Must Choose

Why is God landing in this enemy-occupied world in disguise and starting a sort of secret society to undermine the Devil? Why is He not landing in force, invading it? Is it that He is not strong enough? Well, Christians think He is going to land in force; we do not know when. But we can guess why He is delaying. He wants to give us the chance of joining His side freely. I do not suppose you and I would have thought much of a Frenchman who waited till the Allies were marching into Germany and then announced he was on our side. God will invade. But I wonder whether people who ask God to interfere openly and directly in our world quite realize what it will be like when He does. When that happens, it is the end of the world. When the author walks on stage the play is over. God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror in every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing: it will be the time when we will discover which side we have really chosen, whether we realized it or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever. We must take it or leave it.

- C. S. Lewis, The Business of Heaven

Thursday, October 21, 2010


There are a lot of things in life I don’t understand. And truthfully, I will more than likely never understand some things. And I’m becoming okay with that. It’s funny in an ironic way how long it has taken me in my life to learn some valuable lessons. For example…pain.

I don’t get pain. I don’t understand the necessity of feeling pain. I’m talking about heart pain, emotional pain. I hate that sometimes life sucks and sometimes I experience pain. I don’t like pain and I hate the necessity of it. That’s right, I said necessity. What I’m learning is that pain is, at times, necessary.

Once upon a time, I ran from pain. I ran from life actually, well real life. I shut my heart off behind walls and a tough exterior. Truth be told, inside those walls I was dying. My heart was suffocating. But I didn’t know that. I thought this was the only way to deal with things, with painful things. I would take those little pain nuggets and stick them in a bottle. Then I’d cork that sucker and put it on a shelf way back in the back of my heart…never to be looked at again, never to be discussed again. And man, were those walls around my heart high and thick. And there were a lot of little dusty bottles on those shelves.

I remember the pain that engulfed me when my sister Katrina died. That was a pain that I cannot begin to describe to you. And yet, it was that exact pain that God began to use to wake me up and very slowly begin to work on those walls. But I would not go quietly into His peace. Behind those walls I raged and worked to put the bricks back up that He was annoyingly beginning to take down. I mean, what was I without my walls?! If those walls came down I was vulnerable. Inside those walls, that “safe” little world I had created, I was in control.

And I was dead.

A couple of years ago, things changed forever in my heart. I was abruptly confronted by the wild and passionate love of Christ and those stupid walls around my heart came crashing down. He set me free, he set my heart free to be who I really am in Him. How liberating it was and is! How painful it has become.

See, He promised to set us free and He promised us life. What He did not promise was that it was going to be easy and pain free. Look at the life of Christ here on earth. He was free and completely alive and yet His time on earth was racked with pain. His earthly death was an excruciatingly painful ordeal. And never once did He whine about it. Oh sure, He prayed to His Father that the cup would pass if possible but followed it right up with ‘Your will be done, not mine’.

I’m learning, painfully, that life hurts sometimes. When your heart it awake and free, it will lead you places that will be wonderful. And it might not always end well or be pain free. But, I’m learning that to be free means that I can live without fear now, without the walls, without those dusty bottles. I’m learning that this might hurt a little but, despite the pain, He has never left me. He has always been here, walking the path with me, crying with me, laughing with me…living life with me.

Wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, know this: Jesus is right there with you, holding your hand, feeling your pain. Don't shrink away from it. Learn from it. There is healing but you must receive it. Open your heart to His love and let Him carry that pain for you. His burden is easy and His yoke is light.