Who I Want to Be (Part II)

Friday, June 1, 2007

Yesterday I posted a thinking-type post that has been in the works for a while. It seems somehow unfinished.

"There can be no shame for me in living before Him, complete in Christ."

The question haunts me: what does "living" look like? I don't think it has much to do with binding myself to a structure of rules and acceptable identities.

Psalm 148 calls all of God's creation to praise: sun, moon and stars, sea creatures and all depths, fire, hail, snow, and clouds, wind, mountains, trees, beasts and fowl... Yet these have no mouth to "worship" in a worship service, no voice with which to "praise" God. How then do they answer this call?

"For He commanded and they were created."

They simply are. They exist. They were created, as He commanded. Later in this passage, the psalmist calls all kings and princes of the earth and all people to praise the Lord. I think in the context, we are being called to live as He created us.

Last week, I picked up my Bible to read a bit about Jeremiah. I didn't feel like getting into his whole book of prophecy, so I started "light" in Lamentations 3. I've never really read that entire chapter. Jeremiah begins the chapter by listing honestly and painfully what the Lord has done to him and to Israel. Suddenly he switches to explain his faith that it is "by the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed," and ends by calling God to vengeance on his behalf. This one passage demonstrates Jeremiah's dynamic relationship with the God of the universe.

Jeremiah is not attempting to find the "lesson" in what God has brought him through. He is not attempting to give an "answer" to ease the suffering. Nor does he try to "offer grace" while he is calling his enemies to account before God.

Every time I read the Old Testament, I encounter imperfect human beings who had faith enough to live their lives believing that His righteousness was enough to redeem them. God truly did not choose the "wise and learned" when He chose to reveal Himself. He didn't fill His Word with object lessons for us on how not to make mistakes. He filled His Word with people who were people, people who were often foolish and impetuous, people who needed all of Him to be anything.

We go through the Old Testament and pat Abraham on the head for listening to Sarah when she told him to sleep with Hagar. Of course he should have known better. We shake our heads and cluck our tongues at David for sleeping with Bathsheba and murdering Uriah. Tsk, tsk. We know not to do THAT now, don't we? We look at Adam and Eve and think, "I would have done differently!"

Our hindsight is 20/20.

God's hindsight is beyond our comprehension. Hebrews 11 brings His perspective on these people to light.

"And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us." (Heb. 11:39-40)

We have that something better. We have received the Promise in the person of Jesus Christ. And yet it seems we squander it, missing the forest for the trees.

The song with which I began my last post asks the question, "This is your life, are you who you want to be?"

I can't be a good Christian. I don't even want to be. I just want to be an incomplete person who remembers that I am complete in Christ. The Cross cannot be a given. Life in Him cannot be a list of shoulds and shouldn'ts. My own inadequacy demands my shame for not "measuring up." For the first time in my life, I am realizing that I don't need to have a grand adventure or a huge mission to bring Him glory. I'm a wife, and a mom, and a sister, and a friend. It's okay if I don't save the world.

I want to know I am free. I want to live each day, even the most mundane parts, praising God by just being the woman He created. Passion and all.

So I guess all of this rambling brings me to a point I didn't know I'd come to--that I am who I want to be. I asked God once who I was. He took me to the end of 2 Corinthians 5. "You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus."

I guess that ought to be enough for anyone, even me.


Amy K said...

Hi Kelly! Good to find your web page, I'm glad you left a comment on mine. Most of the links are back up on the page now--I know you said you used it for linking to other pages so I thought I'd let you know!

Take care,

Naomi said...

ok...it's late and I'm tired from an insanely long day and . . .I don't know what else, but I have to comment.

Thank you. Lamentations 3 is absolutely incredible and has taught me...immeasurable amounts of gratefulness for God Himself.

Love you, lady.

PaperYarnGirl said...

Kelly, what you wrote is beautiful. It expresses my heart, and dovetailed very neatly into what Father and I were already discussing this morning :-)

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