Monday, February 28, 2011

Clinging for (New) Life

I took a brief, unexpected vacation last week to spend some time with family.  We had lots of fun, which I'm sure I'll share a little about later in the week.  But for now, I'm back with another Monday Meditation that I hope you'll be encouraged by at the start of this new week.  

I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask whether you ever sit and contemplate words or phrases.  Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Wow… She must be really bored,” or, “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to contemplate anything!”  Please, don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t something I often do, but I confess to analyzing my perspective on particular words or phrases from time to time.  If you have no idea what I’m referring to then please hang with me here and you will hopefully understand. 

The word that I was recently contemplating was “cling”.  I don’t know about you, but when I think about the word “cling,” not only do many words come to mind, but also many visuals.  I see a rock climber hanging for dear life, uncertain where the next foothold is or if he can find the strength to pull himself to the top.  Or, on an entirely different note, a woman with an incredibly staticky skirt, or a child who’s hair is standing on end after rubbing a balloon all over her head. 
Very different, very strange perspectives on the word “cling”.  What do you think of? 

My mind clung (hehe) to this word “cling” this morning as my husband used the word several times in his sermon this morning.  (Yes, I can blame him for all of this.)  Over the past several months I’ve wrestled with a particular “God-concept” (I can’t think of any other way to describe it).  He is good.  He is all-knowing.  He is loving.  Praise be to Him.  Where would I be were it not for his goodness, knowledge, and love?  My struggle, however, concerns how we are to handle when God says no to what we believe are good things. 

A 30-year old woman has never been married and desires a godly husband.  God chooses not to provide. 

A married couple prays that God will provide them with a baby, and He doesn’t. 

A recent Bible school graduate surrenders himself to God as a missionary to a foreign country, and the finances never come through.  A closed door. 

It’s easy to see how each of these situations is distressing, each in its own way.  What do you do when God says no, not now.  Unfortunately, the desire does not vanish into thin air not to be given another thought.  It stays with us.  So, what do we do with it? 

I trust God in his timing and believe that He is still all that He says He is, even when the answer is no.  But why can’t I let it go?  Enter in Sunday morning and the words that God gave to my husband, “What are you clinging to?”  Am I clinging to a husband, a baby, a mission?  Or am I clinging to the cross?  It’s time to let go of all these “good things” and cling to the Great Savior who died for me because of my sinfulness.  What greater thing could I desire?  Paul says, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  (1 Cor. 2:2)  No matter the circumstances in my life, I can still say that God is still God and I will praise him for that.  I will cling to the beautiful, terrible cross.  What are you clinging to? 

     I cling to the cross and everything it means
     I know it's the only hope there is for saving me
     For without Your great mercy
     I would be forever lost
     With a thankful heart I come and cling to the cross
                                             Paul Baloche – I Cling to the Cross

~ Carrie ~

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