Friday, April 04, 2008

It Was the Winter of Our Discontent



Sometimes we have to live with some uncertainty and chaos before a new order can take shape.

This speaks much into what is happening in our neck of the woods weather wise, it’s officially according to the calendar spring, but we’re getting rain mixed with snow, and this has been more on than off lately. So much of the long range weather forecast has and continues to be below the norm.
One season seems to be in contention with another, fighting to hang on while another is replacing it, catching us in a vortex as it were.
The season we are in as a re-birthed person is the season of (or dispensation) grace, and it has replaced the season (or dispensation) of law, and yet using my weather illustration here we are caught in between or the middle of something that seems to make no sense.
It’s supposed to be (grace) spring time all around us, but it appears as if we’re caught or stuck in the (law) winter scene.

To quote A. Sparks here, “Supposing the deepest purposes of God can only be realized by His hiding from our flesh all that that flesh craves for its life, and - more - supposing His work in us, whereby triumphant faith and obedience reach their highest form, necessitates His concealing Himself and accepting the risk of being considered to have been unfaithful?”

This seems to be a constant at least in my growing and learning of Him.

To quote my friend
Dave here in one of his comments to me this morning in our processing this, ‘So we're so often left feeling more like a shattered piece of glass, a scattered bunch of puzzle pieces, than something that has it all together.’
I replied back, if we are in fact this whole new creation, and all of the old has passed away, and everything has becoming new, then why do I feel and see myself this way yet? Maybe it’s because one season does not go without a fight.
Dave went on to say, ‘Right... because, maybe because, we're LIVING in the midst of the storms, the transitions of winter into spring, and it looks like all hell is breaking loose.’

There’s a verse that sheds some light on this in the life of David a man after God’s own heart, and a king in the making, ‘There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.’
As in the life of David, he too was living as it were caught between two worlds in opposition to one another, which only compounded his hurt and confusion. As Dave said, ‘yes.... and maybe David had some days wondering what the heck is this God that he's trying to follow, doing in his life. Sure don't look to good.’

It’s not the weather, but whether we are going to be able to begin to see through or past that which seems to have immobilized us, and this is crucial (imperative) to our moving into the higher purposes our Father has awaiting us.
This ability to start seeing past-through our present circumstances is not going to remove us from the nasty-now-in-now stuff we’re facing, but I believe there will rise up within us an ability to know His control in the face of all that appears to be out of control!
There is so much more I could say here, but my intention is not to turn this into an epistle.

Rich

Here are some thoughts from Austin Sparks that accent the meal I’m putting together here.
For further reading.

It can be truly said that a great deal of what we are, and therefore of the effect that we have in this world, is the result of our seeing. There is much truth in the saying that we become like that upon which our eyes are mainly focused. This can be seen in national characteristics. The arid, austere, hard, cold, and colourless regions of the world produce a hard, austere and matter-of-fact type of people. The colourful, verdant, soft, warm and fertile realms, where nature has not to be coerced but only guided, produce colourful and easygoing people with more artistic and sentimental natures. Small and restricted surroundings produce small minds, with limited interests and understanding. The dwellers in the spheres of far distances and massive dimensions are venturesome, bold, and generous, with enterprise almost audacious. This is a general rule with occasional and particular modifications or variations. It points to the effect on an individual or a community, consciously or unconsciously, of that which is continually before their eyes.

There is more that shows that that final 'beholding' will have a consummating effect in putting the final touches to the work of 'conforming to His image'. So, from first to last, our salvation, transformation, and glorification are vitally related to our eyes, our spiritual seeing. 'The pure in heart shall see God' (Matt. 5:8).

But, when I set out to pen these lines, I had other things also in mind. Our eyes are so much confronted with conditions that are contrary to Christ, and this constitutes such a battle-ground for our eyes.

2 comments:

Ruth Lang said...

Hi ya Rich , i like how you were talking about how it's spring time but we still appear caught up in winter. Our spiritual union with Him is complete even despite the struggles we face, i think that the struggles often teach us to continue to rely on Him and seek out His heart and draw life from Him, in whatever is happening. life that is not dependant upon the now. Did you read Oz today - "There is nothing more certain in Time or Eternity than what Jesus Christ did on the Cross: He switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God." WOW Because of what He has done and how complete it was, we can keep looking to Him !

Rich said...

Ruth,

Yes indeed, especially to what you said here, ' Our spiritual union with Him is complete even despite the struggles we face, i think that the struggles often teach us to continue to rely on Him and seek out His heart and draw life from Him, in whatever is happening.'

It is in these very struggles that I am seeing that the perfectness of our union is being used to have Christ FULLY formed within us.
It's these dynamic tensions I am learning to delight in more and more. :)