Friday, October 7, 2011

What is your label?

Church "Lifers" have a few got-to labels about people from the bible that we've absorbed without really thinking about the reasons for, or maybe lack of reasons for them.
Such as, what comes to mind when you see.....

Thomas or better known as Doubting Thomas. Yes, this is easy, the disciple who doubted.

Simple enough, what about Lot's wife. Ohhhhh, the woman who "looked back" on her sinful life, who is now a pillar of salt somewhere.

Here's another. Job's wife. What did she say, "Curse God and die." Not such great advice I guess. Here's one that are a bit harder, King David. The man after God's own heart AND the Adulterer.

Here's a tougher person to label, for me at least. JosieRae. What comes to your mind?

As I stood in church on Sunday, I was overwhelmingly filled with thankfulness that my past doubts have been forgiven. Just awestruck at the awesome work God has been doing in my family despite my unfaithfulness. For you see, just a few months ago, I was begging the Lord to send another man, one who could actually love me. A year ago I was pleading with God to kill me or my husband, thus freeing me from this stupid vow of "till Death do us part" and all the pain that came with it. Several years ago, I was asking God why he let me follow my own path. And almost a decade ago I told God, that I loved him, but wasn't "into" serving him right now. And that I'd be back, but first I needed to spend some time on my own. Dark words for dark times. These were not my only prayers, they were my prayers of doubt.

There were other prayers too, prayers asking for forgiveness for my selfish choices, prayers of love for my husband and prayers of thankfulness for the blessings God has given me. But do these prayers make me a faithful follower? Or does the list above label me as a doubter.

Think on the people listed above.
Sure Thomas doubted, but if you read a few paragraphs up, ALL the disciples deserted Jesus in the Garden. And only 2 disciples went to the grave with Mary and Martha when the ladies reported an empty grave. All were hiding in a locked room when Jesus did appear. It was Thomas, who asked for a little proof, so we labeled him the doubter. Peter denied Jesus 3 times right before he was crucified, yet he got the lucky label of "the Rock." That sounds a lot better than Peter "the Deny-er."

Let's look at Lot's wife. Seems to me that it was likely they had lived in Sodom for some time (which, I'm sure Lot had nothing to do with, right???) and probably had a few friends, and maybe some family that she loved in the city. Can you claim you've never looked back on a few of your favorite past sins longingly. Maybe you've even indulged in them a time or two, only to be reminded of how ugly they were.

How about Job's wife. Now if Job was such a faithful guy, don't you think he'd have a faithful wife? It's possible he didn't, but if we look farther and see that before she muttered the infamous words, "Curse God and die." 10 of her children were killed. Maybe not all of them were hers, but it's possible that  at least 1/3rd of 1/2 were. Either way, 3 or more of her children were killed in one brutal blast of the wind. Personally, I'm pretty sure I'd Curse God and hope to die also. That pain couldn't have been easy to bear.

So, it stands to reason, that all of us have two names, like King David. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and truly seek him, we can  become men and women "after God's own heart." Yet watch out. David got a little lazy and spent a little time with a woman he shouldn't have, and suffered much pain as a result.

So here I stand, constant sinner, often doubting, forgetful, un-thankful, lazy, undeserving, often judgmental, prideful and self serving.

Yet God, he works. He works in my life, my heart and my desires.

Thank You Lord for hearing my Prayers and changing my heart and that of my husbands. Thank you for loving me, despite my faults and for never giving up on me!!!


And if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against us.