the pure and simple beauty of life is a family laughing and talking over each other around good food, tap water, and the warm glow of the dusty chandelier.
it’s two lovers standing out in the cold, the hour late, two sets of teeth chattering relentlessly, neither one leaving, the rebellion against sleep persuaded by a simple adoration for the other.
this is what we crave, simple but beautiful.
contentment is the most powerful thing.
it is what each one of us is searching for, subliminal or not.
and when we finally arrive at contentment, often for a moment or a day, we lose sight of the temporary frustrations that wrinkle our brows and deepen the valleys in our souls.
we find something eternal in a moment that is anything but.
we are a lot of unsatisfied spirits wandering about in a world created for much more. there is a sense of this in each one of us, and our hearts rend themselves in the pursuit of that perfection we find in each brief moment it comes, whether for a second, or a month. (ecclesiastes 3:11)
when we find ourselves, somehow by the grace of our Heavenly Father, stuck happy in a place we were looking for too long, we begin to tell ourselves things like “it’s too good to be true”, “all good things must come to an end”, and the like.
what we thus accidentally reveal about our perverted beliefs is quite astonishing.
we have so bought into the lie that what the Father gives us is not enough (the temptation back in the Garden was not able to be a temptation without this lie) that when we finally reach a place where we feel we have “enough” we begin to fear that it will not last (another lie/fear the Israelites dealt with time and time again in their 40 years in the wilderness, storing up manna for the next day when the Lord had promised them fresh food every morning).
and like clockwork, as we expect it, eventually the moment fades, the emotions crawl away, and the movie-like month ends either like a dying season or abrupt, like a hard rain upon tender spring flowers.
“i knew it,” is a statement of faith.
and within this small belief there is a much larger one, that is the core lie that many, many terrible things have come out of.
Jesus taught us that where we reap there we will sow, but the spiritual law here is much larger than the simple phrase we like to throw around on Sunday mornings or attach to magnets that decorate our fridges.
there is a reason the phrase “fear not” or “do not be afraid” or other such commands are found somewhere between 300-365 times in the Bible. our dear friend and Creator is not advising that it is not best to be afraid but actually commanding us to abstain from it (and he commands us to because it’s actually possible to).
kris valloton, in his book destined to win writes “fear is actually faith in the wrong kingdom”.
fear is a form of faith, it is a belief system that empowers spiritual forces around us, to act upon the faith that we place in it.
what am i getting at?
the very fear that good things won’t last is the very reason they don’t.
when we are discontent we have bought into the lie that what the Father has provided for us is not enough.
and because of this, it is not enough.
i have found the reason i don’t often experience breakthrough enough is not because the Lord does not want to give it to me, it’s because the reality of where we are at in regards to hundreds of years of bad theology and experience-based belief systems is that we read the words Jesus promised us as truth and we call them parables, mysteries that need solved, theologies too deep for us to understand, when he clearly stated that the kingdom was only available for those who abandoned their hardened adult hearts and took up the heart of a child.
a child does not need to understand logic, he only asks “why” because he is curious, not skeptical.
the foundation of a skeptical heart is a history of frustration, anger, and disillusionment.
a skeptic is someone who has traded the simple joy of trust for the mask of “wisdom” or “discernment” to cover up their fear and doubt.
the skeptic rarely finds what he enjoys because he is not looking for things to enjoy, he is looking for things to critique, to be skeptical about.
i have often told myself and others that “you will always find what you’re looking for.”
Jesus said it like this “seek and you will find.”
the spiritual law he touched on here can be applied both negatively and positively.
on one hand, when we seek him (Jesus), we find him. every time.
on the other hand, when we seek darkness or things going wrong, we find them.
when we buy into the lie that the Garden of pleasure and delight (Eden in the original Hebrew is translated directly as “pleasure, or delight”) that the Lord has prepared for us and placed us in is not enough we become skeptics not only of life as it currently stands but also of God himself.
the twelve became skeptics of their Christ when they were afraid of the wind and the waves.
their master slept, content in the stern (the stern is the back of the boat, which would have been part of the boat that was filling with the water because of its position).
the disciples lost their faith in the midst of their fear and awoke their master, immediately calling into question his care and love for their lives. (Mark 4:38 “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”)
they became skeptics of the Lord’s provision, which was directly tied to their confidence in his love for them.
when we find ourselves afraid of life and what might happen, we often are not doubting the Lord’s ability to provide, we are doubting that he will, and in doubting that he will when he very well is able is a critique of his Fatherhood, it is a doubt of his love.
so in the chaos of life and its fears and challenges and the beliefs about it that we must choose every day we find ourselves at the core held to the sword point of one very direct question that the devil ultimately is asking each one of us (eve, abraham, job, jeremiah, elijah, jesus, peter, paul, you, and me): does God really love us?
because if we answer yes, we are forced to reckon with our inability to believe what he says and to consider the reason such a great chasm lies between what he has promised and what we see manifest in our daily lives.
this chasm i believe is made of fear, doubt, skepticism, frustration, and bitterness.
it is a chasm, but not one we are unable to bridge.
how do we bridge such a thing? (1 John 4:18)
how do we begin to fill up this great void of fear and lack of understanding with trust, faith, contentment, and confidence in his love?
if adam and eve had truly believed their Father loved them to the amount they were supposed to and capable of believing they would not have eaten that fruit.
so unfortunately it all comes down to a word we have both used too much and yet not enough.
for with it we feel like gods and so with it we realize we are not.
with it we are content, we have faith, and we refuse to buy into the lie that abundance, goodness, and pleasure are not available to us.
Jesus wasn’t a liar, and he certainly wasn’t a poet.
he was and is our Eternal Lover, who never ever would tell us something that wasn’t 100% true and 100% applicable to the life that he gave us.
refuse to believe anything else.
believe that those moments that feel eternal are not just glimpses into eternity, they are eternity, and eternity is now.
“…Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”