Why God allows what He does and intervenes when He does boggles my mind sometimes.

It often doesn’t make sense to me, but then, I’m a human being and God’s not like me. His ways are far above mine and my finite human brain doesn’t think like His.

It’s like God and I are watching a parade, but I see it from standing at street level and He sees it from above. I see only what’s in front of me, and I only know what’s already gone past me. But God sees what’s ahead and knows the very best way to make it all fit together properly. While He created the world and weather patterns, He doesn’t always step in to stop it, and I believe it’s because He sees more than what I see.

In the Bible, we only see Jesus calming one storm (Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41), but surely in 33 years, there had been more than one. Why didn’t He intervene and calm all the storms? Because when Jesus calmed that one storm, it was for a very specific purpose, to show His disciples that He was indeed God and that when you understand who God really is, you won’t fear even natural disasters.  If the disciples truly believed Jesus was everything He’d claimed to be, why would they ever for a moment think God would let a ship carrying Jesus go down in a storm?

So I don’t know what God’s purpose was for allowing these storms and not stopping them, but maybe through them many people will be reminded that there’s Someone bigger than all of us, and even bigger than the biggest hurricane.

Maybe it’s in the storms of life that we see God’s hand the clearest.

If every day was fair weather, would we look more to God and thank Him for His blessings? Or do we need occasional hurricanes and tornadoes to make us look up to Him and to realize how very helpless we are without Him?

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Yes, you heard me right. You aren’t worthy. Neither am I. None of us is worthy of anything short of an eternity in hell for rebelling against our Creator, the very One who gave us life.

The minute we see ourselves as “worthy,” that’s the moment we show how little we understand grace.
Grace is something many Christians talk about but very few understand or can explain to others. When I was younger, I learned the rote definition of grace as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” Not really. Or at least, that’s only one small corner of what grace is.

The concept of grace as we find it in the Bible requires us to be UNworthy. If we’re worthy, if we do something or there’s something in our being that’s worth it, then there’s no room for grace. It’s kind of an either/or situation. Either we’re worthy and don’t need God’s grace, or we’re unworthy and desperately need His grace, but you simply can’t be worthy AND need grace. It doesn’t work that way.

Paul confirms this idea in Romans 11:6 when he says, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” If our salvation were based on our works, then we wouldn’t need grace because grace is a gift given to someone who doesn’t deserve it in any way. If a person deserves something and receives it, then it’s no longer a gift, but a wage because we’re worthy.

In fact, one of the greatest verses about salvation reminds us of this. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NIV) Notice the distinction between wages and gift. The wages, what we’ve earned and are worthy of receiving, of sin is death. Death. The wages for our rebellion against the God who created us. This is the only thing we deserve or are worthy to receive.

If the verse ended there, we’d be miserable creatures, forever lost, forever only worthy of death. But we have a God who doesn’t just love, He is love. It’s who He is, an integral part of His character, and He was unwilling to stand by and leave us in this deplorable state.

Enter grace. “The gift of God (grace) is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the opposite of what we deserve, what our wages are. We are worthy only of death. But God steps in and gives us the opposite of what we’re worthy of. Eternal life. That’s why Paul uses the word “gift” here. A gift is given without any requirements or coercion, not because of the recipient’s worthiness to receive it, but purely because the giver chooses to give it.

The same is true with grace. If anything we are or anything we do made us worthy of receiving anything, then it wouldn’t be a gift to us; it’d be a wage.

So those who run around thinking they’re worthy of things in this world are those who show how little they know about grace in their lives. Grace is what swoops in to save us when we can’t stop our fall into death. Grace is God’s defiance of the human concept of conditional love. God’s love for us fuels His grace, a grace extended to those who realize how very lost they are and how desperate their need is for God to save them.

Our current culture tries to persuade us that there’s something intrinsically worthy in us and that we need to base our sense of self-value on who we are or what we do. As with most spiritual truths, they got a bit of it right, but the twist on it creates a fallacy that misleads many.

Humans have value. I’m not disputing that. However, our value has nothing to do with us. It only has to do with God. God chose to create us in His own image, which gives every human an incredible value that outshines all the rest of creation (and this is the major reason why I discount evolution as the origin of Man, God’s creation of Man in His image was a deliberate act, not some happenstance of millions of years of evolution).

Do we have value? Yes, but not in ourselves. We have value because the God who created us chose to love us. When our culture twists the truth and persuades people to find their value within themselves, people fail miserably (any wonder why the depression rate is so high?).

The truth, though, is freeing. Instead of looking within ourselves for some kind of value that doesn’t exist there, we look to the God of the Bible and see how He knows we’ve rebelled against Him, but yet He still loves us. And He loved us so much that He came to earth in the flesh and died on the cross to save us.

That’s a pretty awesome love if you ask me. We might be able to imagine giving our life for someone we love, but would you do it for someone you knew hated you? I doubt it. Few would.

Yet that’s what God did for us (Romans 5:6-8). His love for us isn’t based on what we can do for Him or based on who we are. His love for us is based on His character, on who He is, and that will never change.

No matter how we feel at the moment, whether we feel like a failure or feel unloved or feel worthless, we can rest assured that our value has not changed, only our momentary feelings. Our feelings can change, and often do, but our worth isn’t rooted in how we feel or in anything within us.

Our value is rooted in who God is—and that will never change.

And because we understand that we’re unworthy yet God chooses to value us, we can face life with confidence and assurance that our value will never change because our God will never change.

He will continue to love us, no matter what.

Always.

Regroup, Rethink, and Renew

Posted: June 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’m back from a short hiatus where I cared for my almost seventeen-year-old dog in her last days.  With my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, caring for her required all of my energies, so the blog had to take a backseat.  Kind of bad timing, in my limited opinion, because the political turmoil has never been stronger and the need for a conservative Christian voice more desperate.  But I don’t regret being sidelined for the past year.  It was a sad experience, but a learning experience that could never be accomplished by any other method.

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy gathering data from various sources and sifting through it with my conservative Christian worldview lenses, but I haven’t had the extra energy needed to transfer my thoughts into a coherent piece for others to read.  I also toyed with the idea of starting a YouTube channel instead of this blog.  (And yes, I do have the name and I will create some playlists, but no videos for the time being.)

God, however, had different plans for me.  For now, my focus is going to be on my Garden Devotions blog and the YouTube channel that goes with it.  I might add in some content to this blog during the summer, but it’s likely the majority of content for this blog will have to wait until the garden is gone.  I’m still trying to find a routine that will allow me to work within my energy levels and still produce content for both blogs.

For a quick update, the novel series has now grown to 5 books, and a 6th has started brewing in my brain and will be my NaNoWriMo novel in November 2017.  The contests are behind me and I’m doing the work to make them the best reads I can produce.

Life sent me a few curves, but it’s time to establish a new balance, a way of melding my existing energy with my creative goals.