Monday, June 13, 2011

Stronghold: the harsh god

It's so strange how one forgets things. The "harsh" God is a god I battled in the stronghold of my mind a while back, but when I wasn't looking the theif crept in unawares and stole my goods. Loosely: a thought that steals and taints the true idea of God from the house of one's mind...came in and affected my way of prayer by stealing the Word from me.

Aaargh! The birds of the air that steal the word just as one receives it are subtle but not as subtle as the thieves who steal one's treasure once one has it soundly and secure in one's house! Now, I could try to figure out how it snuck back in and barricaded itself inside my mind but I don't know how. These little foxes that spoil the vine are just so slick.

I got a little warning about it by a dream I had. It was a dreamlet. Dreamlets are wonderful things. I know some folks think little dreamlets can't possibly have meaning but they sometimes carry whole theological rebukes from God within them.

For instance, I once dreamed of a single image: a two-headed mermaid floundering in shallow water where very hot and very cold water met. I was confused for a while then I realized two heads meant double-mindedness and the two different streams of water meant lukewarmness.

Anyway, my recent dreamlet was: I was married but about to make love with Sam Waterston from Law and Order. I thought about it and saw that we are all married to God. But we still flirt with the Adversary/Prosecutor of Legalism.

Now, as far as I could see I wasn't very legalistic, and I hadn't been particularly attached to the law or judgmental of anyone. But the warning was there.

Then I realized today what it was. Quite simply I was afraid God wouldn't help me in something because I wasn't perfect. A powerful stronghold, that. In the US, the gospel is so mixed with the ethics of individual works and self-reliance that one ends up with a lot of Christians who are harsh toward the weak and who behave as if God Himself is harsh toward those who fall apart.

It is especially harsh when one has Christian friends and acquaintances who don't understand how overwhelming life has been and who have rigid judgmental hearts.

So here I was sitting all day and being weepy and crying and falling into despair because I was thinking, "God won't help me because I'm not sane and because I'm falling apart and unable to think right now." And then it dawned on me so wonderfully that  God is our Helper. He is a loving Father who understands our weakness. He remembers that we are dust. He remembers that we live a confused life without the ability to see the light, that we are like sheep without a shepherd, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps....and that he was not judging my confusion or my emotional and physical and spiritual paralysis.

Those who have offended me or been offended by my weakness are not the ones who matter. The people in heaven who know God's Fatherly love are the only one who matter. Knowing this and finally getting back in sync with the incredible love of God, I'm able to pray with more trust and ease again.  It's very hard to pray when one feel God is shaking His head at one. Our Father stoops to help the fallen, and doesn't judge us...even if we were stupid or careless. How wonderful that our God is not like all those proper well-behaved "careful" Christians. 
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