Monday, December 22, 2008

Reflections on Life

"Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can fully share its joy."
-Proverbs 14:10, NLT

There has been a deep sense of restlessness in my soul this past week. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past month and lots of things have also been the same.

It is interesting to think about that it is just us that experiences life in the way that we do. I mean, sure, people can relate to other people's experiences but that does not mean that they experience the same things that other people do in the exact same way.

It is cool to think about me being the only "me" in the world. God has planned things for each of us that only we could ever fulfill because of the way that we were made. So how God designed me is for a purpose that has been set apart for me from before I was born.

This is something that is both exhilarating and lonely to think about. We have this dimension to where we connect with others in deep and meaningful ways but we also have a part of us that is desperately and distinctly separate from others; a part of us known only fully by God and partially by ourselves.

I think of the many ups and downs that I have heard from various people in these past few weeks and am praying for them and their situations. Part of me wants to know what they are going through on a deeper level so that I can better care for their needs. Part of me is also glad that I do not know what they are going through on a deeper level, as I do not know that I would at all want to experience the things that they have experienced and are going through.

Issues with people's sexuality, moral failures, marital strife, divorce, death, loss, betrayal. The list is endless.

Fortunately, I do not have to know what all people are going through nor do they have to know what I am going through either for us to engage with one another.

Sometimes there are no words that we can give to others nor can we do anything to ease their pain. Sometimes we care deeply about other people and that they are experiencing pain, but we have no real connection to understand what they are going through other than that we have all experienced pain and the devastating effects of sin, something we know we do not wish for anyone to experience.

I kind of wonder if God made us so that we know other people and their struggles but in ways so that we do not "know" other people or their struggles so that we will seek Him.

He is the only One who understands the things we deal with in life, as Christ Himself experienced these things on the earth, and yet fully knows us in ways that we cannot imagine despite not being us nor we being God.

I cannot say that I have any clear sense of direction for my life or even for this week (or for the rest of the evening, for that matter) nor can I say that I relate or understand what others are going through. I cannot say that other people know what I experience either on the deepest level.

What I can say with absolute clarity is that I need God. I sometimes don't want Him, but I NEED God. And other people do too.

That is the one thing I can do for others and what they can do for me, point people to God.

Along with the Psalmist, we can say: "Whom have I in heaven but you?"

I praise God that although we cannot understand life at times, He has made the world in such a way that when we see clearly, we have an awareness that we need God because of our human frailties and we see that we have a God who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
- Psalm 73:25,26; ESV

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