Injustice

This is a word that I still ponder. Not that I ponder the meaning; I ponder the solution. Many people wring their hands and say how can a supposedly good and just God let injustice run rampant in the world? I don’t know. I usually come back to the idea that humans have free will, and God does not interfere with it. Therefore, humans do things that are wrong, things that cause injustice.

Can all my rights fix their wrongs? Probably not in this life. But how can I lessen the effect of injustice in the world?

Great question, and it’s one that I’m still trying to answer.

We discussed something very basic in our church’s Lenten Bible study the other night – the fact that one of the things that made Jesus’ walk on earth so incredible is that he respected everyone and cast no one aside.

I could not pour enough money into trying to fix world hunger, or all of my efforts to equip all students with necessary supplies, but if I have not love, what good are my efforts? What injustice does it really undo or assuage?

I think the biggest impact I can have on the world’s injustice is loving everyone and excluding no one.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

I Corinthians 13:1-3 NASB

 

Surrender

I’m not sure when it started, but I haven’t been writing with any regularity. That’s not to say that there aren’t exciting things happening in life, or that I’m not still as introspective as usual. I just haven’t been struck with an AWESOME IDEA for this AWESOME BLOG that everyone wants to read.. (has that ever happened?!). So, I don’t know, this is a smattering of my current thoughts that may or may not be coherent.

I would say I’ve “settled” into living with my husband again on a regular basis, though he’s taken three soon to be four trips in the past six months. I would say I’ve “settled” into my classes and work. I would say I’ve “settled” into a workout routine. Ha. Hahahahaha. Ish.

But I don’t think I’m settling. Because God is the way He is and wants me to be as much like Christ as possible, He doesn’t let me settle but for a minute, which I think is a result of the fact that I’m doing better with surrendering recently. Maybe it’s that I’m getting older and approaching my 26 1/2 birthday (OMG! October 22!)…

I think it may have to do with that, getting older. And the fact that I realize we have one life to live. That’s it. Then we become dust, less our souls. Eternity has to be at the forefront of our minds, and we need to live life as if it’s our last day. Ugh. So so so cliche, but… I want all my experiences to be rich, all my relationships to be fruitful, all my time to be well spent. And I think I’ve been doing better with that recently than maybe in my whole life.

Surrendering is painful but compulsory for life with Christ. It means that I don’t dictate every aspect of my time, money, resources, friendships, conversation, habits. It means that I listen and wait… and listen, and wait…. and when I can discern what the Lord wants me to do, I act on it in obedience.

One caveat to surrender: it seems a little ridiculous at first, giving up all this control. It’s my life; I should take responsibility! What if this and this and THIS don’t get done?? But, after the initial withdrawl (possibly ridden with side-effects) is where we find freedom.

The Lord has revealed to me one of the last things that I need to surrender. Well, He revealed this years ago but I’ve never acted on it.. my own desires and excuses have gotten in the way. Yesterday morning I woke up when my husband did, since he leaves earlier than me every day. I should have just stayed up, because I felt like I needed to pray… about people in my life, about my own life, about our future… and I didn’t. I went back to sleep, only to wake up a hour and a half later to a dog licking my face and feeling much more groggy than if I’d just gotten up in the first place.

God won’t ask us to do things if we don’t truly want to do them. I really want to start devoting a couple hours in the morning to work out and pray and read my Bible, a tithe of my time if you will. I really want to. So, I pray for a desire, for something to jolt me out of my complacency.. and I believe as I keep praying that prayer, the Lord will continue to nudge me, or maybe just rip off all the covers and kick me out of bed. I’m thinking the latter would be more effective in my case.

The battle over anything is ultimately won in prayer, in the spiritual realm. We can try as we might to accomplish something for good, but our works don’t get us anywhere without the Holy Spirit… we’re just a clanging gong or resounding cymbal (I Cor. 13:1).

Time is short. God is raising up missionaries to reach the last frontiers of His people who still have never heard the Gospel. If I am to be part of that, I need to get with it and surrender everything. While it seems daunting, I know in the end I’ll be the most free I can be to fulfill the purpose for my life.

>Back to training

>This week was my first real week back to running after the marathon. I say “training” because I think it’s a much more active word than “running”. I’m not quite sure what I’m training for, but I’m sure there will for sure be a race on the calendar once we get settled in El Paso. I got in the habit of recapping my weekly running while training for the marathon, so here ya go.


Saturday: Race for the Cure 5K in 27:56! PR! 
Sunday and Monday: rest
Tuesday: 2.5 miles with Tim in the 90* heat.. refreshing in a weird sort of way… maybe only runners will understand.
Wednesday: 5 mile bike ride at the gym with leg exercises.. I was definitely feeling my legs on Thursday
Thursday: 2 miles before worship practice
Friday: rest
Saturday: Gabi and I have a 5-miler scheduled and we are going as long as it isn’t a deluge of rain or thunderstorms.


After killing it last Saturday in the race, I think my legs were just worn out. I couldn’t seem to get them going any faster than a 10:15-10:30 mile. It was also hot and humid this week, and I’ve been used to training in 20-40* weather. 


I run the Washington Cherry Festival 5K with Amelia at the beginning of June.. I’m interested to see if I can break 27:30 or even 27:15 after my muscles are totally recouped from the marathon.


My attitude towards running has been much more relaxed. Even though I don’t have to go out three times a week and run, I find that I want to. This afternoon I had an overwhelming desire to go out to Detweiler Park and run repeats barefoot across the grass. I also have not been taking music with me this week, for two reasons: 1) I like to chat when I run with partners and 2) it’s a pain to remember my iPod armband and to put it on. It’s just one more thing to carry around when it’s this warm.


I thoroughly enjoyed my bike ride at the gym. Maybe it’s the fact that my legs are long and now strong, but biking is not challenging for me. I’m hoping this, along with swimming in the blazing heat of Texas, will jump start some sort of training for a triathlon. I want to do a sprint tri first to learn how to transition. My ultimate goal is a half Ironman tri… maybe I’ll hit that before age 30.


I’m excited to continue living a life of fitness.. being active gives me something to look forward to in my day.. a sense of peace and calmness (sounds like yoga, haha).. and a way to glorify God with my body. 

I Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

>Being sifted as wheat

>It’s not a fun process. It’s not easy, not painless. But it’s totally necessary. Just like Peter, we must be “sifted like wheat” in order to solidify our oneness with the Father.

The Lord doesn’t let us go through hard times to punish us, as many have been taught. He loves us, and just like a parent loves a child, He loves us with a tough love sometimes. Fortunately, His love is absolutely perfect and drives out all fear (1 John 4).

I have been convicted of unbelief in the last several months. When we don’t believe that God can do what He says He can do, we are calling Him a liar and attesting to our arrogance that we can actually do it without Him.

Truth is, we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5).

How am I being sifted? By having to be totally reliant on the Lord for my strength, joy, comfort, and peace. No human can provide all those things in perfection to me. No one can provide enough physical comfort, least of all my husband who is over 6,000 miles away. There is nothing else I can do but cast all my cares upon him (Ps. 55:22, 1 Pet. 5:7).

I feel like I am like Peter right now, telling the Lord that yes! I will never deny You! But then I deny Him every time I don’t believe that He can do “the thang” (Beth Moore speak). Just like the Lord predicts Peter’s denial, He knows that I will fail in my weakness time and time again. My perfectionism will do nothing to save me, only the grace of God that is sufficient in our weakness (1 Cor. 12:9). That verse goes on to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Man, it’s a good thing I don’t and can’t do it on my own. Why in the world would I want my power, whatever that is, instead of Christ’s power?

I need to seek Him, to call out. “Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). I looked up “call” in my Hebrew dictionary and it gave synonyms such as, “cry, invite, mention, read, say, properly address by name”. It seems like a simple command, but sometimes it can be complicated to put all else aside and truly call out with fervor and humility.

In Isaiah, God asks why we spend our money and labor on things that do not satisfy (55:2). Why do we? We are filling a void. It’s much easier to be passive about life and fill our lives with things that do not satisfy than take the initiative to shut out all others and focus just on the Lord in our prayer/study time. It’s much easier to let life happen.

That verse goes on to say, “Listen carefully to Me and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.” He will provide for all our needs according to His riches. HIS riches, not the world’s!

I guess this is a jumble of all the thoughts going through my mind this evening. I love it when Scripture comes together in a seamless way, and I love how I am reminded of verses throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament. I can’t always remember exactly where they are, but I know they’re there.

There is no doubt that this is a time of sifting, just like with Peter. There is obviously something great that the Lord has planned for me and my husband, and it will go beyond anything I could ever imagine for myself. Whatever it is, I knew it would take preparation and maturity.

There is pain in the offering, but it’s an offering. I’m not hiding my difficulty or emotions, or hoarding whatever strength I can claim as my own.

It’s all laid at the foot of the cross, exactly where it should be. In the end, I will know what it is to call out to God, to listen, to live by His precepts, and to truly find His strength in my weakness.