I do listen. Yesterday especially. We are, by of course no coinsidence, studying the life of Abram in both my Bible study as well as in church. I am loving the way the teaching is going. Instead of focusing on the negative, all Abram's flaws, the trouble his lack of faith caused, and of course his "partial obedience" where Lot was concerned, our Pastor is holding fast to the miracle of his life. The faithful times, the obedient times. Not that we're overlooking the whole picture of his life, just not forgetting that there was a moment when his faith was counted to him as rightousness, and he had his salvation!
I write furiously during church, and always feel so sorry for whoever is next to me, because not only am I taking notes on the serman but journaling. So I'm always trying to keep my moleskin out of view of the people around me. I contort into all these shapes and make way too much noise between my Bible, moleskin, highlighter and pen. Plus, being the addict that I am, the diet coke I usually have placed under the seat in front of me. Every Sunday it gets knocked over, but lucky for our crappy burbur you can't tell!
As I went back over my notes I discovered some things I really don't remember writing. The thing that jumped out at me the most was that God actaully took time to encourage Abram. He used three metaphors to do this. The dust of the earth, the sand on the shore and the stars in the heaven were all used to paint a picture for Abram of his future decendents. I don't know, I just love knowing that Abram's feelings mattered enough for God to take the time to do this. Also, He affirmed to Abram that He was his shield and great reward. Ok, so this is where my own personal notes took a turn. God has provided for my family since the death of my husband. We aren't rich by any means, but we have our needs met and lots of wants too. So this got me thinking. I believe two very specific things about God. First, that He is full of grace, and that this gets overlooked so many times because we as humans are not full of grace. So we do this humanizing of God thing, that paints Him in a light that probably has nothing to do with who He really is, but allows us to fit Him into our little worlds. Second, while I believe in His grace and desire for our well being, I also know that we have responsibility. Yes, He can supernaturally alter circumstances and probably is doing so on all our behalfs right now even though we don't see it. But there will be a day when we have to face the consequences of our choices. Free will, to me, is both a blessing and a curse!!! Because at times I make really horrific choices. Does He intervene? I believe He has and does and always will, even if I don't always know the logistics. He has taken care of our financial needs, but what have I done to honor His work? That was when I mentally uttered the most pathetic prayer of my life. "Oh God, please change the space and time continuem so I can redo the things I've so messed up". However, knowing that's unlikely, I added that only He can change my heart, and only He can forgive my sin, and if it's not to late I'd like a chance to prove that I long to be the steward of this life He's given me. And being God, I know he heard.