Breaking the Cycle

I’ve been contemplating what this walk means to me – what’s in the end result? Why all the pain, the confusion, the hurt? Why do I feel like such a failure sometimes? Will I ever be able to resist the patterns that I’ve become so comfortable with over the 40 years of my life? Can I do it?? Well, I’m reading Stormie Omartian’s “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On”, and her words hit me: walking with God means trusting Him completely. God wants us to depend on Him fully. (Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 17:7, Matthew 19:26) He wants a close relationship with us. He wants our undivided attention and our undivided trust. (Psalm 27:5) Hence, He tests our faith and our ability to resist sin. He sends us around the mountain of our faults in hopes that we will see clearly how He fits into our lives.

The dark times we sometimes go through can be compared to the wilderness that the Israelites experienced when they were led out of Egypt. The Israelites wanted God’s blesses but they circled the same mountain for 40 years, defying God and complaining. (Exodus 3:7-10, 15:22-26) He takes us through the same kind of wilderness in order that we can learn and grow…and trust Him in all we do. It’s up to us how long that part of our journey takes. More often than not, we get defiant like the Israelites. We demand to know where we are going, what He has in store for us, where the pain leads, why we aren’t getting there fast enough. Yet, if He tells us we might allow our doubts to hinder our progress. We might rush or impede what God has in store for us. In the darkness what He wants more than anything is for us to fully trust Him. He doesn’t put us through the wilderness to hurt us – He never wants to harm us. Some darkness we invite, but some darkness He provides so that His light can shine beyond doubt – but we need to put away our arrogant pride and recognize it. He wants to separate us from those comfortable habits we’ve formed that ultimately harm us and keep us away from Him, that keep us returning to that familiar darkness. He wants us to turn to Him and depend on Him. Lean on Him. He wants to be our Security blanket – he wants us to trust Him…by instinct.

It is important for us to see God’s hand in our lives. We must search Him fervently, seek Him vigorously and trust Him fully. Yeah, I know. That’s not easy…but, just like riding a bike, we have to keep going if we want to stop circling the mountain. All things happen for a reason – and it’s on God’s time when and whether He reveals them to us. I am not a failure when I follow His will. When we stop circling around the mountain, it seems normal to be a little seasick like when we step off a merry-go-round.  But I don’t want to keep going around this mountain…instead,  I am determined to climb it. I’m breaking the cycle. And I know, with God as my focus, with my full trust in Him, I will succeed.

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey … And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” ~ Exodus 3:7-10

“Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” ~ Exodus 15:22-26

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you and watch over you. ~ Psalm 32:8

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” ~ Hebrews 13:5-6

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” ~ Jeremiah 17:7

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26

“For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” ~ Psalm 27:5

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8 responses to “Breaking the Cycle

  1. Is the cycle doubt? I like all you have said here, about needing to trust and have faith. I have a hard time thinking that God is a sentient being who wants particular things from us. I also struggle with the idea of sin. I suppose I think of actions being either within or outside of the natural flow of things, including the natural flow of one’s own nature….

    As to why the hurt and pain? I guess I figure its not so much a test as a natural component of life. Our existence is necessarily built upon a separation from God. In perceiving ourselves as selves we are creating a separation, and a necessary one. We are all individual biological creatures engaged in the struggle to perpetuate life and, more specifically, to perpetuate our role as genetic contributors to life. We are separated both by our biological singularity and by our own awareness of the “self.” And so we love and hate this self, for we would not exist without it, but we also perceive that it is the thing standing in the way of a reunion with that thing we perceive as greater than ourselves, that thing we call God. So all of life is spent in this limbo of yearning, of desiring connection and being painfully aware of the disconnect. Much, if not all, of what we do comes from this burning need to connect. When we act in accordance with our own nature and the nature of the world we find ourselves within the flow of all things and it is good to be there, and we feEl our connection to ourselves and the world as an incredible gift (which I think it is), but sometimes we hit the rocks and find ourselves outside of the flow and it is so painful because we spend so much time trying to be within the flow, so much time trying not to feel our disconnection from God. But I think it is always there. I don’t think the end goal of self exploration is really to find a way to be permanently in the flow, but rather to always hold both thing in your mind. The goal is not to be connected, but to strive for connection. I think this life is meant to be an aching for God.

    It is not that we sinned that we re in pain, it is simply that we exist, that we are “we” and not simply God. if we were reunited with God, then we would be God and we would cease to be ourselves.

    I think sin is just things that put you out of the natural flow of yourself and the world, things that create greater disconnection, things that are aimed at creating disconnection. Even if we can never achieve real connection with the ultimate being in this life I think it is still our duty to strive toward greater connection. I reason this because we are alive, and life is dependent on innumerable connections, so as products of connection we ought to strive for greater connection, a sort of rooting for the home team thing… Anywho…

    I don’t think this life is meant as a punishment really, or anything in particular. It simply is what it is. And one day it will be something different…

    Right now we’re sugar and one day we will be scooped into a cup and suddenly we will be tea and we won’t even remember what it was like being sugar, we won’t even be able to comprehend what it would be like to be sugar, just as we can not comprehend right now what it is to be tea. I think we’re just supposed to be sugar right now. And, well, everything I said above is pretty much all I have pieced together about our role as sugar.

    I think essentially we (you and I) may be saying/thinking/feeling the same thing but we are speaking different languages, if that makes sense. I understand Christianese, but I can’t speak it with my heart, because it does not belong to me…. if that makes sense. Anyway… I hear you and I think what you’re saying is beautiful. Much love and well wishes from the depths of my heart,

    -TREM

    • Simply…awesome. You spoke to my heart many times and I thank you for taking the time to comment. “Right now we’re sugar and one day we will be scooped into a cup and suddenly we will be tea and we won’t even remember what it was like being sugar.” So true. I do have a burning desire to connect – it gets me in trouble because I am out of the flow God intends for us. There is so much hurt and meanness in this world and that is the flow He wants us to avoid. Free will isn’t free.
      “I don’t think the end goal of self exploration is really to find a way to be permanently in the flow, but rather to always hold both thing in your mind.” I agree. We are made of flesh so sin will always be a part of us but we are also made up of spirit – our soul. We need to follow that part of us more. That’s the flow I’m striving for. I feel we will each have our opportunity to be present with God. It’s what we do here that enables the opening of that door.
      Bless you, my new friend. Hope to see you around here more often – love your words and insight. 🙂

      • oh no, its me Angie. I just wasn’t logged in. That’s why I left the name Trem so you would know it was me. anywho… I still don’t know about sin.. I mean I really don’t know if I believe in the construct, like I can’t get my heart around it, around the idea of it. I guess I would reword it as “we exist so therefore separation will always be a part of us,” but we are also made up of the same soul stuff as God, like a little piece that got broken off and we are wanting, always wanting to be whole, and yet we are also so in love with this existence because it is all we know, it is everything we know. And we love it even though part of this existence is also an awareness of an absence,a yearning, a broken-off feeling, which is our distance and separation from Him.

        As for the flesh v spirit… existence v eternity, this life v reunion….. hmmmm…. AS a spiritual but religiously disassociated person I really admire religious people. I’m happy for you and for your strength in Christ. I think seeking out the part of yourself that yearns for eternity, and making a conscious effort to strive toward eternity and reunion is a beautiful and noble thing. And I think religion is a beautiful path to take towards this noble and rich life, and towards a deeper more contemplative understanding of one’s self and the nature of our time on this earth.

        As for transparency I agree with you. Its important to see ourselves and also to know who it is we want to be. Very difficult, but very important for moving forward with purpose and meaning in one’s life. I love your thoughts!!! I love coming here and reading what you have written and taking the time to sit and think about these larger things, these theology-belief things. You’re meditations on the nature of God and life give me a space to meditate on the nature of God and life. Thank you! 🙂 I mean it!
        -Trem

      • Thanks Trem. Sorry I didn’t recognize you. I think we spend our whole lives searching for that missing piece of us. Not sure I will ever find it but I find the journey bareable through my faith in God. There is a purpose for everything, and some we aren’t meant to understand. That drives analytical people like me NUTS!! Peace & love…

    • Oh, to answer your question, the cycle I’m trying to break is doubt, but I’m also trying to break the cycle of choosing my flesh over my spirit. The flesh only allows for temporary comfort and joy, but the soul – that’s permanent. I am a flawed human, much like everyone else, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Being transparent is part of realizing who we are and how different that is from who we strive to be. I just want to be a better person. My way of accomplishing that is through Christ. Thanks 😉

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