"God meets us where we are. Even if we aren't looking in His direction, He is always looking in ours"
There was a time in my life that words such as above struck fear in my heart. I, obviously, wasn't viewing God as He presents Himself in His Word. Now, I can't seem to hear enough of how: "...He watches over all who live on earth." (Psalm 33)
I LOVE that there is no place that I can hide from God nor is there a need for me to hide. God's love for me and the fact that He actually desires a relationship with me is still beyond my comprehension yet I am filled with loving gratitude.
In this chapter, Ms. Higgs told of one who explained how she felt that she was never good enough. Those words still sting my heart. I grew up in a home and in a religion where I felt that I could never measure up. I was never good enough. Whatever bad came my way was deserved. Those types of thoughts and emotions are hard to live with.
When I realized that God's acceptance of me was not based on my goodness, but ON HIS, I tasted a freedom I'd never known. God knows I can never measure up and has provided for that fact through Christ---not through punishment. PRAISE! PRAISE! PRAISE!
"When we come to the end of ourselves, God is just getting started,"
Though I KNOW those words to be true, this is an area where I still struggle with doubt. When things aren't going well/when I am in pain/when I can't make sense of anything...the last place I usually turn is towards God. I, mistakenly, look to myself to make things better or assume that I've finally done enough to cause God's abandonment. Unfortunately, this continues to be a regular struggle but I am slowly learning to hold fast to the truth in these words spoken by God: "...My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I often struggle with the purpose for my life. The book reiterates the Biblical concept that:
"...you were made to love God and to be loved by Him."
I do find hope in those words but doubt that I am fulfilling that purpose well. My life is not at all as I imagined it would be---not necessarily, bad---just not as I'd hoped/planned. And those type of feelings do lead to unsettling moments of doubt. I LOVED these words from the book:
"God loves you. Not because you are good, but because you are His...The day we realize we're not perfect is the the day we start asking 'Who is perfect? Who is good?"
That moment of realization is TRANSFORMATIONAL!! Yet another praise.
Ms. Higgs discussed the doubts of the disciples in Luke 24: 38-39 and brought out a fact that I'd never considered before. She emphasized how Christ did not punish the disciples for their doubts; he simply addressed their concerns.
"In face of our doubt, the Lord offers a sure word of encouragement." Mark 5:36: Don't be afraid; just believe."
END OF THE CHAPTER QUESTIONS:
What doubts or fears---about God, about faith, about heaven---do you harbor in your heart? My lack of whatever will cause the abandonment of God
Pinpoint any experiences in your life that might have triggered such uncertainty. Actual abandonment, several unexpected losses through untimely deaths, betrayals in a few relationships
What would it take for you to put aside your doubts and fears and "just believe"? Continual prayer, willingness to risk, DAILY moment-by-moment surrendering to the TRUTH of His Words, Continually hiding Scriptures in my heart
For more insights on this book study, visit http://www.leliachealey.blogspot.com/