Monday, April 28, 2008

Life of Praise

It's been over a week and I suppose that I should write about the last thing in the world I would want to write about.

For months now I have been squaking about my application to the Samaritan's Purse internship program, of the possible opportunity I would have to quench some of this fire burning within me to save some small corner of the world and, in doing so, save some small corner of myself. For months now I have been riding a see-saw of confidence and doubt in my potential acceptance. For months now I have felt like I have arrived.

I have not arrived and I have not been accepted to the program. And, as I said in the beginning, I don't want to write about this; but not because it brings me so much pain and bitterness, rather because I'm not exactly sure how to put my jumbled heap of emotions onto the proverbial page.

I believe my exact quote at the very beginning of the whole application process was, "Praise God if I'm accepted and praise God if I am not." I am holding to that. And I am going to use a quote from Casting Crown's "Life of Praise" to exemplify part of what I'm feeling:

"I will love you Lord always
Not just for the things You've done for me.
I will praise you all my days
Not just for the change You've made in me.
But I'll praise you for you are holy, Lord.
And I'll lift my hands for you are worthy of so much more."

I want to draw attention to the last two lines in particular. As Christians, we praise and serve God not because of the blessings He bestows, but because, as sinful people saved by grace, we have no other response but to worship. He deserves our praise not because He makes us feel good, but because He is a holy God. As the great apologist J.P. Moreland states in his book, Love Your God With All Your Mind:

"Theologians describe God as a maximally perfect being. This means that God is not merely the greatest, most perfect being who happens to exist. He is the greatest being that could possibly exist. If God were merely the greatest being who happens to exist, it would be possible to conceive of a case where a greater god could come along (even if such a being did not actually exist) or where the real God grew in His excellence. In these cases, our degree of worship ought to increase and, therefore, a God who just happened to be the greatest being around (and who could be surpassed in excellence) would not be a worthy object of total worship. Fortunately, the God of the Bible is a maximally perfect being; that is, He is the greatest being that could possibly exist. It is impossible for a greater being to supersede God or for God Himself to improve Himself in any way. Thus, God is owed our supreme, total worship. This is why Scripture calls idolatry the activity of giving more dedication to something finite than to God. God is worthy of the very best efforts we can give Him in offering our respect and service through the cultivation of our total personality, including our minds."

This should be reason enough for me not to pout about my non-acceptance to the Samaritan's Purse. But, while it seems foolish to human intelligence, I trust the God of the universe explicitly. This means that no matter what happens, He is in control and I am at total peace leaving the details to Him. His timing is perfect. He has never dropped the ball in the past, why should I think He will start now? Truly, He is faithful even when we are not.

For those who know me as the independent, self-motivated, won't-take-crap-from-anyone woman that I am, it may seem pardoxial that I am surrendering all of that control to a God that many claim does not exist.

Ahh, there's the rub. The Christian life in and of itself is a paradox. Give to receive. Loose your life to gain it. The last shall be first. The weak shall become strong. And yet the beauty within it is that it is only after true and complete surrender and sacrifice of our own personal gain that there will ever be any fulfillment. After 24 years, I have finally transferred this head knowledge into everyday life.

So, while I am still disappointed that my dream of Sudan, Chad, Kenya, and Malawi is put on hold indefinably, I am more excited to see what amazing adventures are in store for me while I am still waiting on good ol' Cape Cod. And let's be honest, there are worse places to wait than Cape Cod.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I love you so much. I am glad to hear that you are making peace with the situation. There are a lot opportunities in life and I know that you will take advantage of whatever God gives you. I wish you the very best. At least now you have more time on the beautiful Cape.

I miss you. I have referenced you more times then I can count in the past few days... that is a for sure sign that I miss you.

I love you.