A restoration story: Part 5

March 16, 2007 at 8:40 pm 1 comment

This is the final installment of a five part story about the last 18 months of my life.  As I have said before, it is my story and so it is obviously slanted to my point of view.  There is no doubt that other people have seen the story differently and I respect their right to see it from whatever vantage point has been their’s.  I have not tried to tell their story.  That is for them to do. 

If you have not read parts 1-4, it would probably help you understand this final chapter better.  

Thanks to all who have sent your objective and helpful comments, both on the site and off.  I think the Family is better off with open discussion of these issues, that have an affect on us all, whether we were part of them or not. 

Part 5-Restoration 

Often the roughest roads in life allow us to see the character of God in ways we would never have otherwise, and that has been my story.  As hard as it has been, the Father has done what He promises-to bring good from bad. 

…don’t ever apologize that God has forgiven you and has loved you enough to accept you without question and restore you. If you surrender all you have been through to His purposes, you don’t have to apologize if He uses your disaster for your good.  You don’t have to apologize if He uses you shamelessly after what you have done” (Beth Moore-When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.)

Several times during these past months people have quoted Romans 11:29 as encouragement for our life and ministry.  They are hopeful and restorative words: For God’s gifts and his call can never be removed.  Another translation says it this way:  The gifts and the calling are irrevocable. Trusting the Father to lead the way out of the past and into a new and more beautiful future is part of that promise.

When we fail and all we can see is the hurt and the pain, it is easy to miss the fact that our Father is in the restoration business.  Every child of God, no matter the degree or severity of their failure, can enjoy His favor as they submit to His will and plan.

As hard as it is to accept humiliation, it is the fastest way to humility.  Humiliation has a divine purpose, it forces humility upon us and requires that we live as we are-broken, crucified with Christ, dead to ourselves and alive to the love of the Father.  Jesus said, “Learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart.”  If we will not learn from Him and Humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” then He will use humiliation to do it for us.

Humble people are small in their own eyes, honest about their struggles, and open to constructive criticism.  Following the counsel of Jesus to take the last place, they are not shocked or offended when others put them there.  They trust they are loved, accepted, forgiven and redeemed, just as they are. (Brennan Manning-Ruthless Trust)

When we find ourselves in a place of humiliation we are able to see and receive, in ways we never could or would have before, the revelation of God’s unconditional love for us that calls us to enter into fearless trust in Him with a new and authentic humility.

Knowing the love of God, resting in simple trust that He knows my name, knows my thoughts and the motives of my heart, loves me still and is committed to doing whatever it takes to bring me to a place of humble freedom in His love is a revelation that allows all of we prodigals to come home, not as beaten, undeserving failures but as dearly loved children.

Do not go back to your Father’s table to eat the crumbs on the floor like a dog.  Think more of His redemption than that. Do not go back to your Father’s house just to be safe.  He wants far more for you than that.  You will never heal if you only go back to your Father’s home.  You must go back to His heart.  Closer than you have ever been.  (Beth Moore-When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.)

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. (John 15:4)

If anyone loves me he will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

You realize don’t you, that you are the temple of God and God himself is present in you? (1Corinthians 3:16)

Your body, you know, is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 6:19)

That the Creator of the universe has chosen, by His free decision, to make His home in us by His Spirit is a humbling, challenging and glorious truth.  That He chooses to love us and live in us even after we have stumbled and fallen is an even more radical reality.  It is an honor and a joy to live each day in humble recognition that His grace is always restorative and His mercy is new each and every moment.

All good stories should have happy endings.  Endings where shalom comes and joy in the midst of reality breaks out.  That is my story, that is our story.  Our Father has been good to us, He has been gracious to us and His mercy and faithfulness are real and true, but the reality that God is faithful, full of grace and mercy is seen only when the story is told, ugliness and all, and truth is allowed to not only reveal all our humanness, but also to set us all free to live as we were meant to live.  To simply tell the end of the story without the failure, pain and disappointment that proceeded it, would cause us to miss the fact that God does use flawed and broken people to serve His divine purposes.

All of our stories are still being written.  Each day we have the great honor as children of the most High God to go where He sends us and to do what He calls us to do.  What a privilege.

The process of restoration is not finished, perhaps it is the Father’s plan to finish the process at the resurrection, but until then I will thank Him for the daily work in my life that is conforming me to image of His Son.

Abba, I surrender my will and my life to you today, without reservation and with humble confidence, for you are my loving Father. Set me free from self-consciousness, from anxiety about tomorrow, and from the tyranny of the approval and disapproval of others, that I may find joy and delight simply and solely in pleasing you.  May my inner freedom be a compelling sign of your presence, your peace, your power and your love.  Let your plan of my life and the lives of all your children gracefully unfold one day at a time.  I love you with all my heart, and I place all my confidence in you, for you are my Abba.  (Brennan Manning-Ruthless Trust)

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Church, Culture, Faith, Friendship, Jesus, Thoughts.

A restoration story: Part 4 Buck Naked Faith.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lacie Jorgensen  |  May 10, 2007 at 10:32 pm

    Greg,

    I just started reading some of your posts tonight. I want to thank Jackie Stracke for sharing this blog with me. I have to say that I’ve missed your messages…God always seemed to speak to me through you. It just hasn’t been the same since you’ve been gone.

    I thought I would share a personal update. Chris and I are still married, we just celabrated our ninth anniversary. We are both doing very well, but still have the typical marriage struggles now and again.

    A strong realization came to me that winter of 2005 that has helped me in my marriage. The fact that Satan can attack any one of us (belivers and non-believers) helped me see that I needed to fully forgive my husband. I won’t go into depth here, but I believe that the Lord used you and Linda to help me through that.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts in a blog setting, there are still people out there who miss hearing (reading) your teachings…me for one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Blog Stats

  • 138,009 hits

%d bloggers like this: