Thursday, January 16, 2014

What is Life All About?

Have you ever wondered, "What is life all about and why am I here".  My friend use to ask me this all the time.  "I just don't know what I am doing here," she would say.  We are told we will be known by the way we love one another.  That loving God and loving others sums up the whole law.  I knew the words to the song but I had not begun to hear the music or experience the dance.

It was about supper time. The kids were at the kitchen table doing their homework. My dad had come to visit. Either he wanted to come see us or mom needed him to get away. lol He had been diagnosed years earlier with schizophrenia and I know how difficult that can be for the family to deal with. Lee was on my hip and I was preparing dinner, multitasking to say the least.

The phone rang. It was Danny. He wouldn't be home for dinner again. That time of the year I guess. The back door rang and the kids took off running and hitting each other into the wall. One began to cry. As I went to the door and told them Danny was not home, I took the kids back to the table. The supper was now beginning to burn. I served them all as quickly as I could. Dad looked at me and said "Debs, this is the best time of your life". My dad could aways see straight threw me.  I knew he was right. What was wrong with me.

I went into the bedroom, shut the door, began nursing Lee and began to sob. I knew my dad was right. This should be the best time of my life and it wasn't. I vowed then to find out why I was so miserable. Life from the outside seemed so good. What was life all about anyway?  We had all anyone could want. A beautiful home, with swimming pool, dealer cars. Lee had been diagnosed with seizures earlier and he seemed fine but something was bad wrong. Something getting my outside life in order could not fix.  We cannot obey without it being from the heart.  "God wants our heart, then our obedience", Rick Thomas.

My pastors wife and he knew I had been struggling. They decided to ask their relative who mentored young women to come and talk to me. I sat down with her and for an hour,  I told her how I tried to be this good wife and mother but I was miserable. What I was really saying was Danny is not meeting my needs. She said, when I had finished, "Deborah, I think you have sin in your heart, bitterness, resentment and anger". I thought, haven't you heard a word I have said. I am the one trying here. I hurriedly left and got in my car and once again the tears streamed down my face.

Then it was like the very Spirit of God convicted me and Peggy was right. My heart was full of the very things that were destroying me. God brought me to repentance and I began to see that Danny could not make me happy. He was unable to meet the deepest longings and needs of my heart. Only Jesus could do that.  I had a peace and joy I had never had nor did I understand at that time.  I just knew I had experienced love and I had to tell it and I did.  I had not felt this way since I first accepted Christ as my Savior but it was about to become a way of life for me.

I then saw the gospel, Jesus, was not just for becoming a christian, it was also for living the christian life. It was one of changing direction, a change of heart and allowing the Lord to change me inside and out. This was just the beginning of a journey I was about to go on of learning to live a life of faith. One of loving others and not so concerned about what I could get, but giving of myself. Of trusting God with the people and circumstances in my life.

All this time Danny thought he was being a great husband and dad. He was giving us a life of wanting for nothing. Neither of us understood what life really was. But over the next 20 years God was going to be faithful in showing us. A man cannot meet a woman's needs and a job cannot meet a mans needs. We think if we find the right mate or find the right job we will be complete. Only Jesus, Father and Spirit can give us true peace and fulfillment and worth. We are only complete in Him. It is when we look to Him to meet the deepest needs of our heart sick soul can we even begin to love another person in a selfless way of putting God first and then our families and then our jobs and ministry.

This is something I hope to pass down to my family and friends and to you, I don't even know. Jesus is the end of the beginning of a life of joy and peace. He is the life. It is only through Him, trusting Him even in the hard things, can we know who we really are and what life truly is about. Loving God and loving others.

Now I hear the music of the gospel.  I know what it means to enjoy life and my family and people.  By no means is my life still perfect.  We have a big family and it seems there is always a struggle with one or more of us.  Even though I don't stay there I know when the music has stopped.  I know how to throw myself into the arms of the lover of my soul, like in Hosea.  I have had many lovers that I thought would satisfy my heart but only Jesus can truly give us the desires of our hearts and meet our every need.  Then we are free to love in radical and abandoning ways, we never thought possible.  It is a life of absolute freedom we long for.  Only when we are free from the chains of thinking other things or people can meet our need for belonging can we go out and love not fearing rejection and a need for them to do for us what only Jesus can do.