16 September, 2009

Finally back!!!! :)

Not sure how to start this, and it might not make much sense… just gotta try to sort out some thoughts… I’ve kinda realized a few things lately…

Firstly, think I’m starting to find my heartbeat again.. I’ve missed that for quite some time. It has felt like I was just getting by, not knowing why I did what I did anymore, and it was really wearing me out totally. Won’t say I’m totally back yet, but I’m so on my way, finally. Lately I’ve though a lot about the whole issue of injustice, poverty and stuff like that, and I’ve realized there’s really not much else that gets me fired up like that. We just had an election in Norway, and this brought up the thoughts in me again. And yes, I’ll be the first to agree that we do pay way more taxes than I like in this country and there’s a whole lot of things that could have been way better, and I would like a change in the government. But still, Norway is, and has been for many years, one of the richest countries in the world, and even though it’s far from perfect, I think it’s a really good place to live. No one needs to die of hunger here, you’ll get help if you really need it, and most of us have way more than we need (and maybe way more than what’s good for us…) Sometimes I think we’re just a bunch of selfish people up here. Where did our gratitude go? I’m just realizing again and again that I have so, so much to be grateful for, much of which can be summed up in one thing, I live in Norway! Don’t know about you, but I really needed a focus shift. It’s not really about me anyways…

Secondly, I’ve been reading a book called “the shack” (“skuret” in Norwegian, highly recommended!!!) And then I’ve been reading the first part of Hebrews 4 a lot lately. It started when I read it in the message last week, and some things just jumped out at me, and it’s been spinning in my head ever since… what jumped out at me was this thing about resting in Him. And I’m starting to realize that if I’m not resting, it actually means I’m not trusting in Him. A challenging thought, at least to me.. if I really trust in God, I won’t have to struggle to try to make things happen myself, I’ll rest in Him instead. This whole summer, at least the part when I’ve been at home, it’s been really difficult for me to take time to read my Bible, and pray and stuff like that. And I’ve been struggling a lot with that. Here I am, the worship leader, the youth leader, etc., and I can’t even seem to be able to spend time with God! At least not as much as I know I need. How then can I be the leader that I need to be? I’ve been struggling a lot, and I’ve known what I needed to do to snap out of it, but I can’t seem to be able to do it. And it’s been difficult. But then I read these things, and some other books, and I think that’s what started this line of thoughts… I came to a point when I finally could pick up my Bible and read, not because I knew I needed to, but because I wanted to be with Jesus, because I started to long for a deeper relationship with Him. I’ve heard things like this a thousand times before, but I think it’s finally starting to move down to my heart. Christianity is really not about me, about what I can do, about me being a good girl and read my four chapters in the Bible everyday and stuff like that. I can’t even manage to do that all by myself. It’s really all about Him, and being in a relationship with my God, my Dad, and my BEST FRIEND!!! He really is! When I really realize that it’s all about the relationship, I can pick up my Bible and read my four chapters in the Bible (at least most days…) but not because I’m being a good girl, just simply because I want to hang with my best friend, my Dad!! Then I can manage to rest in Him, trust Him to fix all these things that I’ve been trying to fix myself. And I’ve realized that lately, I’ve been more relaxed about a whole lot of things, and I’m finally being more me again, I’m starting to be the Maria that I like again, not this insane girl who reacts in ways that I don’t understand. And when I start to relax and just enjoy being me, and being with Him, everything else seems to fall more into place… Maybe it’s not been so much everyone else’s fault that things haven’t seemed to be in place, maybe it’s just been because I haven’t been resting in Him, trusting in Him… just a thought…

Finally coming back.. 

Hebrews 4:1-13 (msg)
1-3For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God's goal for us, we need to be careful that we're not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn't do them a bit of good because they didn't receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we'll experience that state of resting. But not if we don't have faith. Remember that God said,

Exasperated, I vowed,
"They'll never get where they're going,
never be able to sit down and rest."

3-7God made that vow, even though he'd finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it's written, "God rested the seventh day, having completed his work," but in this other text he says, "They'll never be able to sit down and rest." So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David's psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:

Today, please listen,
don't turn a deaf ear . . .

8-11And so this is still a live promise. It wasn't canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn't keep renewing the appointment for "today." The promise of "arrival" and "rest" is still there for God's people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we'll surely rest with God. So let's keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

12-13God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it—no matter what.