Tuesday, December 23, 2014

129: Immanuel (the long version) (no, there is no short version)

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

That line struck me this year.

Singles, we know what it is to go through years of hoping. And simultaneously years of fearing what the future may or may not bring.

For thousands of years the world, the Jewish nation, had been waiting. Waiting for the Promise. Millennia on millennia until surely it must have felt like it would never come.

Was it a myth?

Something dreamed up to make them feel better about their lives? A coming Messiah to cure all woes?

Would He keep His promise after all this time?

How would they recognize him? Maybe he'd already come and they'd missed it!

And then, in a darkened cave on a hay sprinkled, hard dirt floor, all of history, Biblical and Ancient, converged and began to pivot.

He didn't come as they supposed. A conqueror to deliver them from Roman oppression. To save them from everything wrong about their circumstances and what made them unhappy with life.

He came as the Prince of Peace.

He came as the Truth.

He came as the Word of God, silently, so silently given.

The forgiver of sins.

He came and met their primary emotional need. The first need before every other emotional need.

Because, see, a change in their condition or circumstance was not what they needed or what would make them happy. Because Jesus is timeless. He is not for one situation or one people in one location.

He entered outside of time into time. And when He died on the cross to purchase us from our own consequences brought on ourselves, that sacrifice, in my unsubstantiated opinion, reverberated throughout eternity, and eternity was rewritten as if it had always been. He had always purchased you, in love. It was written even before the foundation of the world.

You might still feel under the oppression of the reigning power of lack and loneliness and hopeless desperation.

But in our dark street He still shineth. The everlasting light. And where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in and meets our soul's need for an Immanuel, a God who will be with us. A God who is with us.

He came, and He still comes, into our dark, gasping for change places. Was it His original desire for His people to be living as they did under Roman and religious oppression? No, I'm guessing not. But circumstances wax and wane. Even yours and my circumstances will change. Who He is, our Rock in a time of storm, the surveyor of all time and sovereign determiner of the kingdoms of men, the Keeper of our souls, will not change. He will be with you, always with you, pouring into you His peace and comfort and hope and joy whatever your current situation.

Guys we like will find girlfriends--or won't even realize we exist! We will cause pain with our fickleness. Relatives will ask us if we've found someone yet, and we'll use our self-control to politely shake our heads no--again. And yet . . . Immanuel. God won't turn away from us, won't stay right out of reach, won't unchoose or not choose us because we've messed up royally. Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father.

Is there a hope like this? There just isn't. It is the ultimate present all-year round.

His presence. Always with us.

Joy to the world!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

128: a short change of scene

Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy, 1940

"That chapter is definitely closed."
--Mr. Darcy in the b/w version of Pride and Prejudice

Guess what I just did?

I closed both my ChristianMingle and eHarmony accounts!

Granted, I haven't been paying for those services for awhile.

However, closing my accounts means I cannot go on ChristianMingle when I feel out of sorts and look at the plethora of profiles viewing my profile.

It also means I won't be waking up to e-mails that say...

So why did I close out my accounts?

I don't know. I guess I am finally ready to let go of my personal security blanket (which wasn't doing anything for me anyway) called my online dating profiles.


Hm, I think I need to change my blog description now. :-P

(I still stand fast by the opinion that online dating sites are great tools!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

127: takin' it to the Lord in prayer

I was getting ready for bed, thinking how it was getting late but I needed to spend God time, so I started praying as I washed up.

Lord, I pray--

I paused.

--that continuous, every day prayer.

I paused.

But that I rarely pray. Lord, I pray for a--

Any guess what comes next? It starts with hus and ends with band.

But I'm sure God was sick of hearing about that. Even if I actually don't pray for it very often. He hears my thoughts. He sees the constant theme and figuring out. I feel like I'm imposing, bringing it up to Him again. Like He'll tell me to drop it for once.

That is not God. Humans, yes. Humans reacting to that obsessive, teenage chatterbox in us that thinks the same pathetic thoughts over and over.

But God? Do I need to be ashamed to ask God about what I have already spent hours thinking about?

A friend shared the other day over potatoes and pancakes that she thinks the danger is not in what we think but is instead in not including God in our thoughts.

I can think and think and think, but the real action that can actually do something is stepping away from the drama on the lawn, running up onto the porch, and asking Mr. God about it. Yes, He sees it already and knows how silly some of my thoughts have been. But He doesn't reproach. He gives wisdom liberally to those who ask.

So even though the prayer for a husband and wisdom about boy-related issues might sound redundant and drama-ish and even stupid to an average human, I'm going to remember to feel free to take it to God anyway. He's been in my head for 29 years and still loves me. I think He can take my excessive wondering still.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

126: good guys

I spent this weekend with some really good guys, in person and via a Homeschool Alumni Skype chat.

Does that mean I'm interested in every single one of them because they are really good guys?

No. Because . . .

~Some guys have very different theological beliefs than I do.

~Some guys have different preferences/convictions than me, and I'm not comfortable altering my preferences/convictions to create a cohesive life together in the future.

~Some guys I enjoy their personality in a friendship but wouldn't want to be married to it.

~Some guys I'm not physically attracted to (although "attractiveness" in my mind is directly linked to personality as well).

I have six general things I look for in a guy (not necessarily in this order): Do I like him? Could I love him? Do I enjoy him? Can I trust him? Do I respect him? Will he be a spiritual leader?

I might enjoy and trust and respect a guy. But I cannot control whether I "like" him romantically (this drives me nuts sometimes). Or I might like a guy, but theologically I cannot go there.

That does not negate the fact that there are some genuinely good guys that I am proud to know and be friends with!

The Alamo...guess what we've been studying in class?

And that doesn't negate the fact that some of the good guys I know I could like and love if asked to go there with them!