When I was a young adult, I had no problem stepping up and jumping in when I saw an injustice.
I remember boycotting General Mills and other brands who donated to pro-choice organizations. I remember going to a pro-life rally 70 miles from my home.
But it wasn’t only big causes. Plenty of times I found myself protecting anyone who I thought was being treated unkind or unjustly. This included someone I knew and someone I did not know.
And sometimes, I had to swallow hard, because I couldn’t protect the kids who were being yelled at by their mother in the store.
Growing up, for various reasons, I was not able to cultivate my strengths of leadership, perseverance, and productivity. I was not confident whatsoever and typically deferred and trusted what others thought. I retreated, content to be quiet and do what I was told.
Throughout the years, I have been allowed to mature in what had been dormant; who I was and how I was wired. Not with be-true-to-yourself memes or singing Everybody is a Star. with Sly and the Family Stone.
But finding worthiness in the strengths I had through knowing what God thought about me. When life threw some serious curve balls, and I said, “this is how you love me God?” – I still knew I had to trust him. Just like the disciples who once said, where else could I go? You have the words of eternal life.
We all grow and mature apart from God. But will we allow sanctification? It is a process one has to want. Our strength can be our weakness. Books and such are great tools, but God’s ways are not our ways. He uses life to not just tweak our strengths but clean them up and make them solid.
While this sanctification process is occurring (which ebbs and flows throughout life; some seasons more challenging than others), it’s the loving hand of God our father who is guiding us.
Just like a child who wants his/her own way, a loving parent will set up the boundaries.
Why? Because of love. Because of protection. Because it is ultimately for the child’s good.
The Bible is not a list of do’s and don’ts. It is crafted by the Creator of the universe, a loving God, who left us, for now, with his presence and guidance. If you see it only as commandments and rules, you miss the love God has for you.
The Bible is parental guidance to help us in this frustrating, painful, confusing, difficult world.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
When I was a young Christian, book smart and knowledgeable, I had misplaced zeal.
Don’t misunderstand. God never, ever forgets our labor of love. A toddler who picks a bouquet of long awaited perennial flowers from your garden and hands them to you is rewarded with a smile.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t teach your child what is allowable and what is not.
Peter resonates with me when he cut off the centurion’s ear prior to Jesus’ arrest in the garden. He thought he was protecting Jesus when in fact, he did not understand.
It took Peter three situations to bring him face to face with what he really thought: “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!”
Jesus did not rebuke Peter. He did not disown him. He did not reject him.
God loves us and is patient with us.
Yet, he will teach us what is allowable and what is not.
God’s heart is not to harm you but to give you hope and a future. It will not always look the way you thought or the way you want.
We all have a light we depend on guiding us through life.
What is your light?