Rescue not relief.

24 05 2011

Yes, that is what I long for.

“What often keeps us from recognizing the grace of God

is that we long for a “different kind of grace”.

In the middle of difficulty we long for the grace of relief,
while what God is bestowing us with is the grace of rescue.

We want the trial to end because we don’t like the pain,
while God wants the trial to remain in our lives
until it has completed its work in us.
We don’t rejoice in suffering like Paul did in Romans 5
because we would rather have a comfortable life
than the character that God-sent-difficulty can produce.

Yet God loves us too much to relent.

He didn’t shed the blood of his one and only Son to leave us to ourselves.
He didn’t reveal his truth to us
only to have us lost and confused in the middle of our own story.
He didn’t give us the Holy Spirit to have us paralyzed and unable
to deal with the significant struggles that come our way.

No, we have been and are being rescued by an activist Redeemer.
He does not get discouraged,
he does not get tired,
and he is never distracted.
He is intently focused on finishing what he has started in us.

It is very important in darkness to recognize the grace of God.

If our definition of that grace is too narrow,
and if what we expect that grace to offer is too limited,
we will be crying out for grace at the very time it is being showered on us.

It is quite possible to be the focus of divine love and rescue
and at the same time be interpreting what is happening in our life
in a very different way…

What we have to do is let the goal of grace define our expectations of
what grace looks like.”

-Paul Tripp

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The Red Balloons.

3 05 2011

Dexter turned two on April 17th and we had a little celebration.

Now I do love to throw a party–it’s the ultimate creative opportunity–but this year my heart was in a different place and I was hyper aware of my thoughts, feelings and motivations.  This party needed to be small and rather low-key. It was a busy day and there were just a few guests but it felt impossible for me to really make it as simple as I had hoped I would.  The party was to celebrate Dexter but honestly the details were more about me and my idols.

If he remembers anything about the party at all it will be the cake and the red balloons…the two things I had nothing to do with…oh and maybe the red lollipop.

But this is what I’ll remember…

Likely this will be the last cute party I throw. When they turn three they have opinions about what they like and want, and they don’t usually provide good inspiration for whimsical party themes. But…I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of opportunities to sort out the difference between an idol and a creative outlet.