Tuesday, June 19, 2007

invitation to refreshment

sometimes, when i'm down or i've sinned, i doubt God's love and forgiveness. i fear the wrath of an angry God. (yes sis, i'm not immune.)

i worry about what God would say to me if i were to meet with Him. i hope that He would comfort me, forgive me, hug me. but i'm afraid that He would judge me, condemn me, reject me.

last saturday, we started our class on Pastoral Leadership with a meditation on Matthew 11:28-30:

"come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

and these were my thoughts (best read, in my opinion, slowly and thoughtfully):
- He loves
- He accepts
- He forgives
- He unburdens
- He sets free
- He redeems
- He gives rest
- He teaches
- He transforms
- He harnesses
- He works: in us, thru us, with us.

may i remember this next time i'm down. and i hope that you were refreshed, as i was, by this sometimes-too-familiar passage. =)


irene said...

Actually, nowadays I'm just numb. I no longer get scared that God is angry and I also stopped agonising that He doesn't seem to talk to me. I'm in the numb zone where I'm just like, "Oh, whatever." I'm not even trying particularly hard not to sin. Wonder whether my conscience is deadened already or what.

siehjin said...

hmmm... sounds like a rather dangerous place to be eh?

i was reading the first couple of chapters of 'surprised by the voice of God' the other day... it's written by jack deere, the same guy who wrote "surprised by the power of the Spirit"... seems interesting, and worth delving into for anyone who wants to hear God's voice... hv u read it? i can't read it yet... waiting for umeng to finish it so i can borrow =)

as for trying not to sin, i find that i don't generally have to expend alot of energy in that area... it's only one or two particular recurring sins ('besetting sins', i think they're called) that i'm having to struggle with. which gets rather frustrating at times, but i'm prepared to fight this battle to the very end.

i was just reading something this morning about religious development. what the author said was that we start off with a childish religion where we try to control God by prayer, petition, and good works. then we move on to adolescent religion where we try to control God by understanding Him - thru speculation and conceptualisation. finally, we reach the stage of mature religion where we no longer try to control God; instead, we trust Him, and die to ourselves.

this is the way he puts it: "the childish impulse to control God by prayer and works and the attempt of the adolescent mind to control Him by speculation and understanding must come to an end. the fundamental anxiety expressed by these 2 attitudes must be rooted out. the energy expended in the emotional need to control God must now be transformed into trust; the intellectual obsession with reducing God to one's categories of thought must now give way to the act of faith...in their mature form, faith and trust imply a death of the child and adolescent self."

interesting, eh? maybe u're transitioning into that last mature stage. what do u think? =)

irene said...

Hope so, but the lack of emotion is a bit worrying lah. I don't feel a great deal of negative OR positive emotion. Like very blank liddat. No passion or excitement or joy, and also no guilt or fear or doubt. Just... blank. Like a straight line, you know.