Coded for Worship

“…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

Posts Tagged ‘God

Rock [Me] Hard-Place

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I have a problem.

It’s one I’ve had since I was a young boy.  A problem I’ve always known about, yet have failed to fully explore.  There is really no one person or occurrence to which I can point the finger of blame.  No, this problem is a by-product of my life.

I was born to a couple who had very little in common.  She was 25, he was 50, and an age difference of 25 years were the least of the differences my parents had.  My mom wore her heart on her sleeve.  My dad was a man of little emotion, except for the times that alcohol took the proverbial wheel.  My mom wanted the best for me, as most any loving mother would.  My dad seemed as though he did not care about the future — he lived for the here and now.  My mom taught me to cook, to clean, to care, and to always stand up for myself.  My dad taught me nothing of value — at least not directly.

The relationships that I had with my parents were rather skewed.  Emotions that should have been shared were squelched instead.  Emotions that had no place being expressed to a child were exclaimed throughout the entire house.  With my dad, actions that should never take place were common place.

I just want to be loved…to be accepted.  I’m your son, you know.

Looking back, I see my dad, and I have no clear memory of him expressing fatherly love to me.  On occasion, the alcohol would take over and with his eyelids half shut, clouded by cigarette smoke, he would tell me he loved me.  Yet, my mind would go back to him holding a shotgun over my 5-year-old body as my mom held me tightly, screaming for help.  I would remember cleaning up both my dad and his vomit, only to be told that it never happened.  He would tell me he loved me, but I never saw it, never felt it … as though his “love” for me never existed.  Even in 2004  (the last time I saw him) he told me I was still the same fat “kid” I was when I lived at home and expressed his severe doubt that I would ever make anything of myself.  He died a year later.

Now, as I see my third decade of life on the horizon, I look back over my life and realize that I’m still trying to gain that love, that acceptance.  I tried throughout elementary school.  I tried throughout middle/junior-high school.  I tried through my high school years.

I’m still trying.

The problem that I have is that I try, either directly or covertly, to “help” people like me, to “help” people accept me, or to “give” people some sort of reason to love me.  This is a flaw.  This is not how love works, not true love, at least.  This would not be such a big deal normally — however, I’ve transposed it into a spiritual issue.  Yet, not in the way one might initially think.  I’m not trying to make God love me.  I know this to be futile.  God’s love for anyone is based on His grace and His grace alone.

Finally!  I’ve found the love and acceptance I’ve longed for all these years!

Not quite.  You see, I fully believe that God loves me.  I fully believe that I am acceptable to Him.  I believe all of these things based on the truth of His word — yet, I only believe them with my head.  My heart, my emotions, they refuse to let me fully embrace these truths.  It’s almost as though my heart is saying to my Creator, “No.  You don’t love me.  There’s no way,” and with that, I write-off the idea of God’s love — of my Father’s love for me.

A few years ago, my wife and I were working on growing closer, communicating better, and understanding each other more than we did at that time.  Angela asked me, “Do you know, fully know, that I will love you no matter what?” I answered her with honesty, not with what I knew she wanted to hear…

No.  I don’t know what it is to have that assurance.  I don’t know how that feels.

Years and years of a deep, aching yearning to have acceptance and love with no conditions.  Yet, when I finally am given these things, I refuse to believe that they are real.  It’s not my wife’s fault.  She has expressed and lived-out unconditional love on countless occasions.  It’s not my dad’s fault, as it was not his role to love me unconditionally — and if it was, he was a flawed human being who failed like so many others (including myself).

No, this is my problem.  It’s one I hope to, one day, see solved.  My heart still needs a lot of work, and while my gut tells me that the Holy Spirit is continually tending to that — my head, my flesh, screams obscene doubts and instills fear.

The truth is this, however: even if I live a full life and die an old age, my problem may never be solved.  Yet, even if it isn’t, it is my lot.  God’s nature does not change, He does not falter, and the love that flows from Him is true and firm.  No-matter-what.

Written by Andy

September 21, 2008 at 4:24 am

Posted in Life and Living

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Piper Worship

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I can’t add a lot to this, other than to say that I, along with many other people who listen and follow Piper’s teachings, really need to meditate on Marcus‘ take on John Piper.

Excerpt:

I think the best thing about John Piper’s teaching is not that I learn a great deal about God from it (although I do), but it makes me want to spend my life for God’s glory among the nations, and it makes me want to be able to put Jesus Christ before people’s eyes in more clear and powerful ways than I am currently capable of. The value of great teachers is seen by the next generation whom they train and help, even more than it is seen in the content of the teaching itself.

(via Digital H2O)

Written by Andy

May 23, 2008 at 6:52 am

Posted in The Gospel, Worship

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Change

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Change
(Photo © ONE/MILLION)

It has been said that people don’t fear change, they fear the process of changing. I’m not sure I agree. Nonetheless, my 5-year-old daughter was not afraid of either today. For the past two weeks, she was attending the elementary school where I am an employee. However, due to a recent promotion, I will be leaving said school in two weeks. So, we made the decision to withdraw her and enroll her at the school where my wife is a teacher. She didn’t seem phased, for the most part. There was an initial blip on the radar of emotions, but she quickly got over it as we began telling her about her new school and reminded her that some of her church friends went to this school as well.

This morning was the beginning of her time at her “new school” and it is our prayer that she be able to stay there for the remainder of her elementary school years. As a child, I moved from place to place so often that I nearly had a different school every year. It was not pleasant. I pray and hope for the opposite for my daughter.

My job change comes over four years since I began working at the school I am currently at. Over the past four years, I have seen so much change in my life, both professionally and personally. Working at that school has absolutely changed my life. However, I have felt a slight discontent over the past 18 months or so, and that makes this change a lot easier. I can myself being in this new position for a few years to come. However, all of that is in God’s mighty hands and I rest in that fact. I can see myself in so many different places in the coming months and years, yet I rely on His grace and seek His will and for now, that means leaving my current position and taking on this new role — which is such a blessing because of the increased benefits. God is so good to us all (Psalm 145:9) — and He has been good to us over the past year, even when all I felt was stress and worry.

That is one thing that I know will never change: the awesome and wonderful character of our God!

Written by Andy

August 27, 2007 at 9:15 am

Posted in Life and Living

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