Tuesday, February 11, 2014

When the Wait is Hard, Ya'll

The wait is hard, y'all.

We know the right way despite the draw of our flesh towards sin. It got me thinking about the way I look at my own sin.

I can deposit my paycheck laying in bed Friday night. Immediately, some of the money is at my disposal. Instant gratification defines our culture. That's why we watch sex on the internet instead of waiting. It's how we justify the removal of a baby and call it unwanted tissue. It's why every single year, women are bought and sold at the super bowl. It's why I drive through Chickfila after a long day instead of heading home to cook dinner. Our culture wants everything now. Instant gratification. 

I believe it seeps into our waiting, it sinks in deep and carves out crevasses. It hardens us to the promptings of the spirit and weighs us down. Cracks form and pieces shatter and we are so blinded by the here and now, that the future seems bleak at best. Hope drifts. Joy fades. And suddenly the sure foundation wobbles around a bit. And so also, do I.

It always drives us to despair. To shame. To fig leaves. When we let it.

But like many things, sin is a choice right? What we believe to be true is too.

I've been frustrated and saddened by the way my sin creeps back in, even after all these years of knowing what sets me free. I've followed the twelve steps, logged thousands of hours in counseling sessions, worked my rehab programs, and committed endless scripture to memory on the topic. And yet it hasn't disappeared. The thoughts and desires creep in like the thief in the night. Often.

Sometimes they lure and entice me into action. Convince me of a different worth then that which is found in Christ. We war, continually. And it can be confusing and consuming.

I think we all desire to be free. We want to feel it, to live it, to know it. We don't desire to be entangled to those former ways of ignorance. My former ignorance-- an eating disorder, among a colorful palate of other sin for sure. But you fill in the blank. It's all the same.

So why are we so often finding ourselves back there?

"I'm realizing that having a normal relationship with food is not the end goal here--holiness is. And my holiness is ultimately not contingent on the reversal of my dysfunctional thought processes about food or myself." 

God decides which thorns stay and which thorns go, for His glory. This might be a battle I fight the rest of my life on earth. There will be change, of course, as I dethrone food and replace it with God's holiness. I know I'm not so enslaved as I once was. I don't find much gratification in hanging my head over the toilet like before. I am attentive to the separation brought by my sin. And yet there are moments when the lies still latch on and try to persuade me otherwise. This is the slow process of sanctification, and really it must become an inevitable change of knowing Christ. Though it might or might not include complete release from my eating disorder in this life on earth. And I forget, even this is for His glory to be more greatly manifest in my weaknesses.

And yet I am neither driven to despair nor found behind a fig leaf ONLY because of the fact that life on earth isn't in fact the end. There's more. And that is where my hope is found. This body is always going to let me down. To lie to me. To lust after everything but Christ.

Thus, I have to choose where I will SET my hope during this waiting.  

Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Christ, Peter urges us. Don't be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but be holy like Jesus. (1 Pet. 1) It's hard for me to imagine that the fullness of grace won't be totally revealed until Heaven. I am so dependent on it now. And He gives more and more. And yet, it's like we ain't seen nothin' yet!

We have to long for THAT day. By thinking rightly about reality.

I think I'm learning that means glory over gratification. And even grace over grief. 

And it's hard. But I don't see hope anywhere in this world apart from Christ. I've looked. Everywhere. And had never been nearer to death then in that searching.

The search ended and life began when Jesus revealed Himself to me, in His death for me.

His glory is not magnified in my sin or shame. His glory is manifest in His redemption of my life. And as such a recipient, my radiance is reflective of Him not me. And praise Jesus for that!

So now I let Him pluck the thorns as He may (or may not), because the end goal is no longer about me. It's just about His glory, His holiness, His power which will be most greatly magnified in what is to come. Eternal, forever, never-going-back, free, joyous redemption.

May we wait with hope as our eyes are fixed on such things.

No comments:

Post a Comment