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Into the Depths: On Withdrawing

Monday, November 06, 2006

On Withdrawing

I read a friend's post this morning and it sent me into a tailspin of contemplation. I began to leave a second comment but after about three paragraphs I realized it would probably be a little, only a tad of course, too long for a comment. So, here we are.

Assuming you just read said post, you have the premise of my contemplation. So, I was thinking about withdrawing and why we do that and the fact that so very many people do it. Most of us, when feeling threatened, whether by a real or assumed threat, we run. Maybe not physically, but definitely emotionally. It's self preservation, I think. So, since it seems to be such a common issue, I thought, in a very non-cliche way, what would Jesus do.

My first thought was Judas, then Peter. Any of the disciples would work for this lesson, I think, but we know more about those two. Jesus washed Judas' feet then told him to go and do what he had to do. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Jesus three times that very night, then asked him to go and pray with Him during what had to be one of the most painful, vulnerable, gut-wrenching moments of His life. When Judas came to kiss Jesus, He did not run away, He did not turn, He did not punch Judas in the face, He simply let Judas kiss Him. Jesus didn't run or withdraw when He was faced with the opportunity of rejection or ridicule. Beyond that, He didn't run when He knew the betrayal was imminent.

I suppose we could even go a step further, God and creation. God knew of our impending and repetitive betrayal and yet, here we are. So then I was thinking, why would He do such a thing? Because He thinks we are worth the risk. And, I think that is the point to which we must arrive. We have to believe that the relationship, whichever it may be at any given time, is worth the risk of pain we are sure to endure. Why are we sure to endure it? I'm human, you're human. As sure as you are to, at some point, hurt me, I am just as sure to hurt you.

I'm not there yet. I don't yet think it worth the risk. I don't even want to get there yet, because I hate pain. Even so, I want to want to. I want to be in the place where I am so secure in the love of Christ, that the unavoidable pain of this world no longer threatens to destroy me. That's it, I think, why we are so afraid. We are so afraid because we are expecting something from that other person. There is some place we are looking for them to fill. Some hole, some need, some desire. Some place that they simply can't fill. If we were truly filled up by God, daily, we wouldn't need some other person to do the filling for us. Of course we would still need connectedness, but remembering that all those that we are connected to are just as frail as we are, I think that would take some of the pressure off.

This is why I am not a preacher, I have begun to ramble. That's ok, I got something out of it, and it's my blog, so that makes it ok. ;)

4 Comments:

Anonymous Beth said...

Stephanie,

I think you are trying to find ways to not believe in God sometimes. I believe your view of God is not quite accurate. You see him has someone who sits up there and laughs at our failures and enjoys watching us suffer. I wish you could see that God is not like that. Satan is. And I think Satan is using your doubt to make you see God in this way. God created us with the intent that we should live perfect, pain-free, sinless exsistances. But in his wisdom, he gave us free will. There is not point in having your creation worship you if they don't choose to. What's the point in that. Adam and Eve caused sin in this world. Not God. Sin is what makes people hurtful. Sin is what made your pain. Sin and Satan are the reasons our world is dying. But God gave us Jesus, who paid the price for those sins so we could be free, if we choose it. God knew that we were struggling and that's why he gave his Son. I would really like to see you start seeing God in a different light. You attribute so much evil to him and I think that's what is causing your heartache. So my question is, do you want to be well? Do you want happiness? Because the only way that is going to happen is if you change your thinking when it comes to God. There is no darkness when God is there. He is light. In order to bask in the light, you have to be willing to face the darkness, wade through it, reach out and grab the Hope that ONLY Jesus Christ can offer.

I hope you don't take all this the wrong way. I just feel like you are so willing to believe that God hates you when it is utterly impossible for Him to do that. I believe you know this, but you have a hard time with trust. But the healing can only begin when you surrender it all at the foot of the cross and walk away from it.

As always....you are in my prayers!!

November 07, 2006 10:03 AM  
Blogger LiteratureLover said...

Your "preaching" brought me to tears. And I mean that as a good thing. My heart nearly burst when you were giving those examples of Jesus facing rejection and not turning away. I needed to hear that. Thank you. You can be my preacher anyday. :)

November 07, 2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Bttrfly1976 said...

Beth, while on many a post I would completely understand where you are coming from, did you actually read this one?

LL, I am so glad that it spoke to you. It was your post that sent my brain in that direction. I actually made myself laugh when praying for you because as I was saying things to God, I distinctly heard, 'uhhh, look who's talking.' I love your posts because they always seem to get me thinking, and on good things. Well, except maybe the one about dog poo.

November 07, 2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger heartsjoy said...

If that is preaching then bring it on! You hit me hard and it is so true! Thank you for the post/sermon!;)

November 08, 2006 4:08 PM  

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