Friday, August 15, 2008

Joy of Simple Faith

In pondering the changes we have experienced over the last year, I realize how the heavens have opened up for me and this may have been the most joyful year of my existence, other than in the times surrounding giving birth. We are in a joy-filled place. It's not a matter of family circumstances in and of themselves: Gary's job situation still has its uncertain aspects to it, which only reminds me of all the times in the past that God has been faithful. We have the same house which still has an overwhelming amount of work remaining to be done before we can put it on the market--which we want to do, to find a house that won't own us so much. This one takes more care than we care to care about. So it isn't job or house. We have the same kids, who still love (and at times love to provoke) each other, one of whom is still in college, one of whom is still homeschooling. So those things haven't changed. I am still an at-home mom, still beset (alas) by the same physical and character flaws more or less that I've had for some time; still not too gifted at that hasn't changed. The weather is still prone to be rainy throughout what is still supposed to be summer (though at the moment the sun is shining on my inexplicably crispy lawn).
Our faith is in the same God. Our Bible is the same Bible. Our church is...well, that is a change! That is a change, and we are helped. I can't put my finger on exactly what-all makes me rejoice in it...maybe because there are too many aspects and I don't have enough fingers to cover them. I love the congregation (though I did before as well). I love the dilapidated building (though when I first saw it, it gave me pause). I love the freedom. What freedom is that? I'm not sure, it seems that it's a feeling the source of which I can't exactly pinpoint. I think it may be the feeling that there's not a church standard, a church culture, apart from the Scriptures that I have to adopt and live up to. Instead, I am gradually learning to shed the cultural norms that I have adopted as part of my faith that really have nothing to do with it. And when we do something in the church, our pastor is quick to make sure that our motivation is right; he doesn't want us motivated out of duty, obligation, fear, guilt...for that I am thankful. It is a beautiful feeling; I feel unhindered, like I could fly, for the joy that I have these days.
It affected my Bible reading this morning. I was reading in the Psalms, and connecting with them. They have a magnified dimension, such a personal, heartfelt interaction.
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock, making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the LORD.
How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.
Psalm 40:1-5

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