Each genre of literature that we pass through as we study the Bible enters a new mini-era of circumstances in my heart and mind. The spiritual lessons I learn correspond.
So you may imagine my being wary to enter into studying the prophets.
Most people love Isaiah. I don’t know why this is, I am one of them. For years Isaiah was the only book in the Bible I felt comfortable reading. I may find out next week why that is so (since we are studying it next week).
What do you think of the prophets?…
We get lots of good sayings from the prophets. For example, today we are studying Micah. This is where you hear “do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” That is good stuff for sure. But do you ever read a prophetic book in one sitting and come away with understanding? I feel really excited to have the history in my mind as I read the confusing poetry. These books really need to be understood through the lens of the audience who originally heard and read them. Then they can be applied to our modern world- since all of these books have timeless truths about God and man lodged throughout.
Without the historical background one is left confused or delusional.
And maybe this is exactly where I am sitting. As I am getting closer and closer to the end of this school (just two months left!), I feel the weight of decision looming. I also feel the threat of burn out… which makes the path ahead a precarious one.
I want to end well. At the same time, I am coming to realize that my own good opinion of myself is not what is at stake here. We all want a happy ending but I’m coming to see that there is so much more involved than The Ending. There is this invisible path between diligence and childlike trust. Vulnerable honesty and selfless strength. Freedom from rule following and showing love through obedience.
At the point where I begin to get overwhelmed by this path, I realize that God likes me. It’s like He’s saying, “breath, Peggy, be.” He loves me and daily sends me reminders of this.
A quote of C.S Lewis has been stuck in my head for a week or so since I read it, “Nothing gives one a more spuriously good conscience than keeping rules.”
If you read the prophets you may be tempted to believe that God is waiting to exact harsh punishments upon you for your plethora of failings. But what if what He holds out in His hand is not firey judgment, but miraculous transformation? What if messy is the road to wholeness?
The way I used to clean my room (back when I had the time to do such things) was to throw everything in the middle of the floor and then start, in random fashion, to put things away. For those of you who are organized by nature that probably sounds like a nightmare, but it is exactly how my brain works. With everything in a heap on the floor, I see the surfaces of shelves and counters clean and I know where to put things back. The clean spaces immediately visible inspire me to keep going… to make it all shiny and good.
What if breakdown is the road to breakthrough?
Currently my mind and my heart are pretty messy. It may be the constant theme of this blog. Whatever kind of crazy I may be on a consistent basis, God’s consistent mercy keeps me going.
I want to say I’m so grateful for the people around me who are constantly showing me grace. Thank you.