Blow my mind and heal my heart.
My friend Jo Saxton recently used this line in a Facebook update about a preach she's doing on God's love in Christ. Turns out the prayer really hit home. I'm preaching on God's love and doing step two in the recovery series... 'we came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.' This step is related to step one a lot... because most of us spend our lives trying to fix ourselves. We even use religion to this end. We use God as a stepping stone to good behaviour. We use the Bible as a guide to good works and we try to keep busy doing all the right things to restore ourselves to sanity.
But God doesn't work like that and neither do we. There is a famous story in the Bible where God comes to Joshua the night before a key battle. Joshua responds to Him coming as a sign that He is on their side. God responds, 'I haven't come to take sides - I've come to take over.' It reminds the readers of one of the original patriarchs of the jewish faith and classically gifted sinners the 'grasper' himself - Jacob. When Jacob finally has his encounter with the living God he wrestles Him for a blessing. Still 'taking' God to get His life sorted. God ends up wounding Jacob... most likely to ensure that Jacob will never forget that God can't be used but will freely give. That should blow your mind, heal your heart and GIVE YOU A LIMP. :-)
God will not be used but He freely gives. This is because His very definition is LOVE. Step 2 is to guide us even further over the cliff of self-recovery. It pulls the boots out of our grip right as we try to pull ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps. Losing the grip we fall back which is our nightmare and we find a loving God catching us in the trust fall of our lives. The good news of Jesus is that there is not only a power greater than ourselves (a collective big sigh is appropriate here) but that that power is personal and loving... and is personified in Jesus. Romans 5:8 says it like this 'even while we were still sinners Christ loved us'. This is the truth that will blow your mind and heal your heart. I promise. It's doing that to mine.
Most of us can't let go. That's the deep struggle - the wrestle - that's the fear - that's the necessary place we need to get to... to actually let go of managing our own weaknesses... of hiding from our own deepest fears. Can we trust God? I've come to reluctantly agree that I'd rather walk with a limp and have a true encounter of God... than walk with no 'visible' weakness and with no authentic embrace. I think these are our options:
A do it yourself recovery program disguised as Chrsitianity - or allow God to take over and admit our own absolute and utter need of His intervention and help. Our limp will be more obvious but our encounter more real. I'm opting for the limp - going in for the wrestle - trust falling on Grace. You are most welcome to join me. And that my friends, will blow your mind and heal your heart. Merry Christmas.