Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pause and think of that.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make His face to shine upon us, Selah

that Your way may be known on earth,
    Your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
    let all the peoples praise You!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for You judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah

So last night we talked about Practicing the Presence of God and what it would be like to live in that sweet spot: I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite.
And we talked about the renunciation of Brother Lawrencefor the love of Him, everything that was not He; I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world.
 But in this psalm it seems that this delight of Brother Lawrence, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with GODis not so much for our joy, but rather that His way might be known in all the earth, and His name be praised among all the peoples.
 So we wondered if is it wrong to keep our soul focused wholly on Him? Does this lead to selfish isolation? Is this a retreat from our calling to be His reconciliation in an aching world?
 But the truth be told, as Kathy articulated with such clarity, is that what pulls us (me) out of His presence is my inclination to think of myself as god, the one who controls and (micro)manages all around me. Poorly.
 And one of my Two Truths and a Lie is that we have favorites. I know that a huge anxiety filled me as Heather’s birth neared. How could I possibly love another as much as Little Nicole? I fretted. But the moment the midwife slid that waxy wetness onto my bosom I knew, each child is my favorite. And my heart leapt with delight when that little pink light blinked on in Navojoa, Mexico and Pastor Enrique sang a song of welcome to Andreita.  

And if I, in all of my bad thinking and brokenness, can have three favorites, He is all of His splendid grandeur can hold each of the peoples of the world on His bosom, on His mother’s breast.

It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence; to whom I find myself often attached with greater sweetness and delight than that of an infant at the mother's breast: so that if I dare use the expression, I should choose to call this state the bosom of GOD, for the inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.

And perhaps that is why David calmed and quieted his soul like a weaned child. This is enough. And let Jesus take care of the rest. Remember He is the vine and I am the branches. It is the act of abiding that produces much fruit.

Apart from Me, you can do nothing.