Friday, March 13, 2015

Finding the Pearl in the Field

As you've all known I've been on this theology kick lately for about 5 months which is a pretty long time for this ADD, OCD person to be focusing on something but I find it fascinating, and that has kept me hanging on.  Mostly because my concepts about Jesus, the cross, and Christianity have been pulled into a sharper, more focused view of what I believe, how it changes the world, and how does it apply to my life in general.

Before I started this journey, I was a confessing Christian and have been for about 16 years now.  More than half my life.  I have fallen in love for over a decade of the idea that an Omnipotent, All Powerful God would send his son, a piece of himself and his heart, and die for me on a cross 2000 years before I even came into existence.  I should never get tired or be familiar to this idea ever! But just like any ole romance, I started getting bored with the notion.  I wondered if this relationship was going places, was there something greater?  And if this relationship was even a good thing for me.

In the middle of this flighty kinda notion/relationship with God, I gave birth to a baby girl.  And at my lowest point of Faith, I wondered if I would even raise her up to be a Christian.  I was bored, tired and though still a professing and believing Christian, something just didn't seem right about our relationship.  Something was left out, lucid and needing to be fixed.  I thought it was God.  I thought he didn't make sense in someways still.  Why was he so shrouded in mystery.  We had been in a relationship for 15 years and yet he seemed far away and I just didn't understand the things he did, why he did them, in some ways he had portrayed himself in his "beloved" book, he just didn't seem very grace filled to me.  I questioned his motives late at night and on days where purpose just didn't seem to be anywhere near me.

Church was a continuum, I wasn't going to give up what we had so easily.  Years invested in our covenant and I wasn't just going to walk away, I wanted to fight for what we had even if it was slipping through our fingers.  I was still learning, still worshipping, still leaning in to him somehow, hoping maybe he would change, or change me.  I was dry without knowing I was dry.  I was desperately seeking him without knowing it in the forefront, if that even makes sense. My heart whispered everything was fine, but my spirit was withering.  What was happening, didn't happen over night and it happened without my mind being present.

And then one day I had a breakthrough. It happened in the most unexpected way. Jesus came to me and I was not expecting it, but I was desperate and just enough open to receive him.  15 years into our relationship and he showed me his heart.  He had been trying to tell me all these years but I was so blind to his truth. The times when I was wealthy, happy and full, I had missed him entirely but he came as a result of my weakness.  My doubts, accumulated one on top of the other and he came to set the record straight.  He came and corrected in me what I couldn't see wrong, in the most non-shameful, compassionate way.  His Holy Spirit picked me right up and just loved me and I wept.  I still weep with what made him come to me.  I think of myself as the unworthy woman who washed Jesus feet with her hair and yet I wasn't even worthy enough to use perfume, just tears. And he loved it.  He thought my questioning and searching, asking why's were the most beautiful things he seen.

He laughed at my naivety and I laughed too.  How could I had not seen what he was trying to tell me before.  He wanted to invite me into his Kingdom but I thought that Kingdom came with blessings.  I was wrong it came with desperation, with letting go of any notions but what Jesus was telling me.  It was a Kingdom founded on His Love for us.  When I finally saw this Kingdom, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I knew I could never go back to where I had been before, and I was at Peace with that.  I was entranced by the delicacy of this Kingdom, I didn't want to miss it again.  I had to keep ahold of this Kingdom and not let myself or my ideas get in the way of this Kingdom and it's movement.

This Kingdom doesn't come by coercion just love, you can't invite people unless they are desperate enough to see it.  If they like their life, they'll keep their life, but if they are willing to lose it and everything that goes with it, they will find it.  In finding this Kingdom, I realized I had to be very open. When the contents of my heart laid out, I realized there were things there I had not seen before.  Idols, greed, comforts in other things, control, pride, selfishness.  Jesus took those things, spilled out on the floor that night like the contents of my purse.  He smiled, he knew these things were no match for the love I had just witnessed by him.  He stood up threw them out and I never saw them again.  Sure they come up every now and then but as long as I keep the principles of the Kingdom found on Love, they have no match for him.

This Kingdom, God showed me, is no match for this world.  It's an immovable Kingdom found on Self-sacrifice and try as it might the World does not conquer it.  It's power doesn't work within these walls of the ones who know they are fiercely loved.  Our weapons aren't guns, or swords, or violence, gossip or slander.  Our weapon of choice is love and love for our fellow man.  We fear no man and set up camp right in the midst of the other Kingdoms. Our Lord doesn't make us timid but gives us Power, Love and self-discipline.   Our strength comes from humility, our acts of servanthood.  We are most happy when we can bless others. We speak boldly in our silence and our prayers are an echo of his greatness.

This Kingdom is always progressive and always ahead of us, not behind.  And one thing I've realized is this Kingdom wants to keep me moving forward in it.  It won't let me be still and find comfort in my surroundings, it keeps me trusting in Him, and Him alone.  I find it invigorating and exciting to never know where I'll end up and to lay my cares upon him.  Jesus said you have to be like a child, open to him without question of your next meal or where you will lay your head.  Just resting in the present, full aware of His goodness and mercy in everything.

Many others profess they have found our Kingdom but beware for they are not the enemy but if they have not our fruits yet, they haven't found our pearl in the field.  Don't condemn them, just love them for they too are searching like I was, on a long journey in the midst of him and when they get desperate enough to lose everything, they will find him. I found him in the sleepless nights of feeding my daughter, in the times of sitting in silence, pondering my ideas of him.  Why did he die?  What did killing Jesus do exactly?  Was he sent to die or was that a result of our misunderstandings?

In these questions, I searched out the answers, I questioned scriptures and I found Jesus.  He pointed the way to life for me and the way to the Father.  I learned the Father's heart through Jesus' actions.  I learned from his actions and I found life in the way he lived.  I found a truth greater than what a book could tell me.  And in that truth I found a Kingdom, a place I thought could only be found in Heaven was in our midst and I had unknowingly chartered into it's territory. I found Hope and Joy in the mundane ways of life.  Everywhere I looked was a sign of his Goodness not devastation but restoration.  My hopeless (good intention) fearful doctrines I had grown up with were no match for the peaceful reign I felt in this Kingdom found on a fearless, trusting, belief in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In his ways alone, I had found my strengths and they showed up when I was honest and open in my weakness.  When I admitted I didn't have everything figured out and wasn't about covering those weaknesses with a desire to be "right."  lol, actually I find Him in my wrongness, a nudge when I try to be superior over others or push my way onto man.  His nudges come with a realization of my weakness and in it he makes me stronger. Please don't give up hope if you haven't found this Kingdom yet.  It's right there in the midst of each one of us, we just have to be open, humble and willing trusting like a little child.  Don't lose hope, friends! Love is coming to set you free!

“Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’a

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. -Jesus (matt 13)

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