Friday, September 14, 2007

A Time for Reason

Hello friends,

Probably the hardest thing I do in life is to keep silent. When I brandish my opinion, especially when I believe that I am right, I always get sick. My body and my emotion are entwined much like two wire fences. In a short amount of time it is impossible to distinguish the two. I seldom get angry. No. Really. Except when I see something as unfair, selfish, or cruel. It doesn't matter if someone is manipulating people for "the sake of the state" or "for the sake of religion," (their words, not mine), when I see that, I get beside myself with anger and outrage.

I will often complain to God, sometimes at the top of my lungs, as though I have the answer to life's complexities. I'm simply stunned at political leaders who fail to look at the lessons of history; and religious leaders who pervert the Word of God, for money, gain, or power.

Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? King David often felt like a stranger. In Psalm 39:12, he says to God, "for I am a stranger with You," as he entreated God to answer his prayer. In Psalm 69:8 he tells God, "I have become a stranger to my brothers," for the Lord's sake. David is not afraid to approach God with a reasoning argument. And then in Psalm 119, in the first verse, "I am a stranger in the earth." Wow! How often I have felt this way.

David says, in effect, "Look, God, this is what I have done, only for You. And look what is happening to me. Friends, family, and even the world itself treats me like a stranger. Aren't they supposed to want me? Aren't they supposed to love me? Aren't I supposed to feel like family? So, why do I feel so different; so alien; so like a stranger? As though I don't even belong on this earth."

All through the Bible we run into people who cried out to God, "I feel so alone! Help me!" That's often the way I feel. So then, I look to the Words of God, to tell me what He said about this very issue. In the first Chapter of Isaiah, verse 18, God says to His people:

"Come now, and let us reason together,'' says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

I will often read it like this: Come, Jaye, let Me reason with you. You be reasonable, says God. For I am filled with reason. I receive so much comfort in God's passionate pleadings with His people. Continuously He pleads for His people (me) to understand Him. Love me, He begs; for I will not force you to love Me, at the point of a sword.

Man forces. God pleads. God's passionate love fills me with joy, peace, and love for Him. There is no soul beyond His reach. There is no peace He cannot give. And the peace I seek can only come from Him. It's the only way that I can face the next five minutes on this strange and often awful world in which we live.

Blessedly, I have a loving husband and two beautiful daughters to share my journey. I also have four dogs, a cat, and an acre full of critters who make my heart beat warm, in the process.

So, now, in spite of me, I reason with God. Why have you given me this happiness? And the answer I receive is this: "Because I can."

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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