Giant doe eyes filled with fire

How can one not live in fear of a God who would suffer so much for…me?

O my Jesus, I don’t trust you.

In the midst of my frothing-at-the-mouth rambling yesterday, I managed to say a couple of things that were, at least, minorly interesting to me (both quoted above).  And interestingly, both of those statements are very closely related.  Because, the thing is, I do trust Jesus.  I rather trust him too much.  I have no doubts that he will deliver on his end of the bargain, should I give him the permission to do so.  Not a shred of doubt.  It’s just that his bargain is considerably more than I had ever bargained for.  He will stop at nothing short of making me a saint, that is, holy.  I never got into this whole thing to be a saint.  I got into it to make some nice friends, meet some nice girls, live a good and happy life.  Add a little meaning and purpose into the mix, with a dash of love.  But I’m affraid I mistook the accidentals for the substance.  For I have received all those things in spades.  Nice friends, check.  Nice girls, check.  Super hot wife, check.  Happy life, check.  Purpose and meaning, check.  A dash of love, check.  So everything should be great, right?

But none of those things are enough.  In fact, I am beginning to suspect that they were just the bait to get me hooked.  For having received all of the things I hoped for, I now turn around to see our Lord looking at me with those giant doe eyes of his.  Except that the eyes aren’t filled with that Disney gleam, but rather with a consuming fire.  I am reminded again of CS Lewis who said somewhere that God is certainly good.  But he is not safe.  He has certainly been very gracious to me, but now he wants me.  All of me.  For good.  No turning away, no turning back.  Come to me and let me purify you.  Come to me and let me crucify you.  Be consumed in the fire of my love.

I feel a bit bait-and-switched.  I became a Christian in the friendly confines of the Baptist faith.  Certainly they are known for hell and fire preaching, but the primary aim of what I experienced was simply to scare me into seeing my sin (which worked), and recognizing my need for a Savior.  But once you pray the prayer, you’re once-saved, always saved.  No fear.  Certainly a response of gratitude, adoration and service is expected, but it’s done.  You are saved.  You are free.  No more fear.  No serious work.  Jesus is your buddy.  He loves you.  He wants you to flourish and lead a relatively comfortable life.  That’s exactly what I signed on for.

But then I wandered off the farm, and was led, many times by ill motives, to where I am now.  It’s funny how God can use your pride and desire to shock.  How many times I have changed churches because “I knew better” than everyone in the last one.  Or because it would raise eyebrows.  Or out of boredom.  And yet, he has used all of these ridiculous motives to bring me to the fullness of truth.  And now our Lord has me fully in his cross-hairs.

I should have known he was coming.  The encounter could only be delayed for so long.  He was always going to come to enforce his end of the bargain.  But how can one not live in fear of such immense love?  Were a man (or woman) to love me with one infinith of the love he has for me, I would immediately withdraw: “Whoa, slow down, camper.  A little hot and heavy, no.  I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment.”  Like I said, I wanted a dash of love.  Enough to feel pretty good about being loved, but not so much that I had to actually stop and consider this other person.  Love, sure, but freedom to do what I want too.  Love for me, but not so much for you.  In a word, selfishness.

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~ by Rob on January 9, 2009.

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