Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday's Class...

Was on Resting! The Faith-Rest Technique, we call it: where you combine faith with the promises of God and you rest.

I have learned so much from this Quigley affair. The failure to put in the ointment on Friday was really a shock, because I'd been afraid I would fail, had no instructions or idea how to do it and was actively trusting the Lord to help me. When at the end of the fiasco it seemed He'd not helped at all, I was very upset. But then, once I calmed down and started thinking again, I realized I didn't really know if the ointment had gotten into the eye or not. It seemed as if it didn't, but for all I knew maybe some had...

More than that though, was the notion that God is not my personal genie, who hangs around waiting to make everything go smoothly for me when I ask. He gives us whatever we ask according to His will, not according to ours. And maybe it was His will for me to fail in ointment administration.
Well, I know it was, because after the failure I started asking myself why it was SOOO important that I get that ointment in. Did I think that God needed me to do that, because He can't heal the dog's eye without ointment? That's ridiculous. Besides, we're putting the stuff in 4x's a day so it wasn't like there would be no ointment. But that's not the point. The point is that I get caught up in thinking that I HAVE to do something or disaster will ensue.

We just had this really expensive eye surgery on the dog and now the Doctor has prescribed a certain regimen of treatment. I guess I'm just very rule oriented and very authority/obedience oriented, to the point that anyone who comes along claiming to be an "expert" gets my attention and obedience. (Which is why that business with the scientists admitting they were forcing everything to fit their belief in materialism was so important for me)

The doctor said ointment 4xs a day and it has to be that. But the doctor is a man, and God's ways are not man's ways, and God doesn't need us. I know that. But I wasn't applying it. So I failed with the ointment. Big deal. It's Monday, the dog is still alive and his eye looks fine. There was no need at all for me to throw a big fit of self-condemnation and weeping over that failure. IT DIDN'T MATTER.

And after that and Sunday's lesson I think that most of what we fail at in life doesn't matter. Because Sunday's lesson was on grace, and how everything we have is by grace, not works. As we have received eternal life, so we should walk in the Christian life. By grace. Resting. Knowing that everything we need has already been provided. I think we're given things to do so we can learn this.

How many times have you done nothing and God still blesses you? How many people have you seen who work way less than you, yet get paid more? He makes his sun to shine on the good and the bad, his rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous.

The thing is, it really doesn't matter what we do, in the sense of all these activities we pursue. We can't earn one more iota of God's approval than we already have through Christ, and even if we do fail to do something, God's plan would not be thwarted, and no one would lose out. The activities are privileges.

But the idea that what we do doesn't really "matter" is not something the natural mind can readily receive. The idea that God is going to bless us when we do nothing, when we fail, even, doesn't mesh with human viewpoint. It makes no sense. It doesn't seem right. It seems unjust in some way. (yeah, because grace is about the justice of God satisfied by the righteous work of Christ, so He can give that same righteousness to whosoever believes in Him).

Which is why we have to do it by faith. I've been amazed over the last few days how many worldly "shoulds" I get caught up in. How many things HAVE to be done just so. Like today, when Quigley was bouncing off the walls and trying to tear off his collar for the third time since morning, and I had to do something with him to burn off the energy. The only option was a walk. But it was windy. Really windy. I didn't realize it until I was out there and suddenly -- oh, no, this is the very thing we're not to do. Now he's going to get something in his eye... I got all caught up in hurrying through the walk, trying to stay out of the wind, turning away from it ever time it got really fierce... and other silly things. When I should have just rested. Really, we're being asked to do impossible things with this dog, and it all has to be left in God's hands.

Oddly, in spite of everything, the block on ch 19 started breaking up. I wrote 4 pages of new stuff, which, given the fact I was on dog duty, was pretty amazing.