As my son packed his belongings for his adult world adventures, he handed me a book and asked, “Can you get this back to Pastor Ken?”
”Sure, honey.” I read the title. “No, honey. I have to read it first.”
Now my daughter has it, I think. Sorry, Pastor Ken, we’ll get it back to you soon.
I Didn’t Sign Up For This
Several years ago, I threw myself on my bed (well, not exactly threw, more like plopped in exhaustion) crying out to God, “I didn’t sign up for this!!!! When I became a Christian it wasn’t for THIS! I’ve been duped and I don’t like it. Can’t I get back to why I became a Christian to begin with???”
“How do I resolve the tension between the ideals of the gospel and the actuality of those who profess it?” pg 120
Why did you become a Christian?
“Why did you become a Christian?”
The thought floated like dust on a breeze. You couldn’t quite see it, but it was there.
At 20 years old, I was lost, alone, unsuccessful at my extremely futile attempts of being a good girl. I needed help. And I wanted to know You, God.
Then, what’s the problem?
That’s not what Christianity is about now.
It’s not? I didn’t change.
Oh. Maybe I did? Maybe I took the reigns. Or worse yet, maybe I handed the reigns to other humans.
No, not maybe. I did.
No Wonder My Soul was Crushed
No wonder my soul was crushed.
But God kept wooing me to Himself, to His Word, to His presence. He put people in my life who gave me space, time, and love enough to keep me buoyant while I sought Him.
In that seeking, I found a safe place to once again give Him the reigns, which He handles with grace not beatings.
I was feeling alive again. Restored.
Souls Like Mine
A few weeks ago, my son handed me Soul Survivor, in which I found a company of believers who had doubts, a company of trust-ers who had misgivings, a company of faith-filled who had questions.
“[Henri] Nouwen demonstrated that flaws and faithfulness do no supplant each other but coexist.” pg 3
I found I am not alone.
God wants me to survive. God wants my soul to survive.
“… I realized that I had been approaching God like a sick patient – as if the Creator were running a complaint desk. I anguished over the tragedies, diseases, and injustices, all the while ignoring the many good things surrounding me in this world.” pg 72
You Are Not Alone
He wants the same for you.
You are not alone.
If the world – including the Christian world – has beat you up to the point you want nothing to do with God or His people, read this book.
- Seek God.
- Ask Him questions.
- Tear your soul on His altar and let Him heal you.
- Give Him a chance to show you Himself, strong on your behalf.
You will find you are not alone, but neither are you left alone. God is still wooing you, still seeking you, still loving you.
Nouwen said, “You have to move gradually from crying outward – crying out for people who you think can fulfill your needs – to crying inward to the place where you can let yourself be held and carried by God, who has become incarnate in the humanity of those who love you in community.” pg 307
The Key He Will Not Wrench from Us
How do I know He is still loving you?
Because the Bible tells me so. God is no respecter of persons. He woos me, He woos you. And He woos, I’m telling ya, He wooooos.
We hold, however, a key that He will not wrench from us:
We must be willing to set our fears at His feet and be wooed.
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