I’m learning to love having a rough time. Maybe.

sorrow

I’ve had a couple of rough weeks.  Yes, the normal annoyances.  A bathroom with bad grout that should have been fixed a few years ago but has been held together with duct tape and superglue.  I love my contractor but trying to get him to call me has been frustrating.  The dryer is squealing loud enough to raise the dead.  My ancient and creaky dog is having more and more difficulties getting in and out of the house.  Fortunately, no accidents IN the house.  For now.  But what has really discouraged me is two people I care deeply about have walked away from the faith into faiths that make no sense to me at all.  Allow that to be an explanation for some of the posts that are coming because writing about why I believe what I believe in comparison to the paths they have chosen helps me to remember why I believe what I believe.

God has been impressing me with a few things through this.  One of these things is that the coming of Yeshua was a sea change in the way we relate to God.  Have you ever heard the term ‘sea change’?  I love it.  Google defines it as “a profound or notable transformation”.  And that’s what Yeshua was.  A mind-blowing sea change.  I’m still coming to terms with the immensity of this.  A 180 degree change in direction doesn’t even come close to describing it and a 360 degree change only brings us back to where we were so that won’t do either.  The other point God has been driving home is that sin is a problem but it is only the physical expression of the real problem.  It’s the symptom to the sickness.  Kind of like red spots and measles.  You see the spots and you know that you have the measles.  So what is sin the symptom of?  Pride.  Rebellion.  The idolatry of making yourself greater than God and in a position to dictate to him.  So let’s talk.

Continue reading “I’m learning to love having a rough time. Maybe.”

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White will not make you look fat

I love one thing in particular about summer.  My white jeans and my white capris.  They go with everything.  They dress up anything else I’m wearing.  Oh and the old fashion rule about not wearing white after Labor Day?  Forget it.  I wear the white jeans pretty much year round.  I’d do the same with the capris but the Midwest in winter makes that impractical.  I want to live in Hawaii. 

Imagine if Adam and Eve had not sinned.  We’d be living in the garden.  Naked.  No capris.  No jeans.  It would be worth it because we would never have sinned.  We would be in perfect relationship with God.  Our work would be fruitful (maybe literally) and not frustrating or full of lawsuits.  Life would be truly and completely good.

We are told that in Heaven we will be restored to that relationship.  We who believe and follow Jesus will be able to stand in the presence of God.  Our lives will be what they should be, truly and completely good.  But we will not be naked.

We will wear robes.  I have no idea what they will look like but they will be white.  At least that’s the color I find mentioned in the Bible. 

Why not naked?  Because of mankind’s history.  God has a wonderful habit of taking things that should leave us feeling condemned and miserable and turning them into something wonderful.  We know that Adam and Eve were naked until they sinned and their eyes were opened.  They understood they were naked and suddenly it was embarrassing.  More appropriately, it felt condemning.  It told them that they had disobeyed God and were now separated from him.  They felt the coldness of that and it had nothing to do with a draft.  After explaining what all this entailed (i.e. the curses), God made clothes for them out of skins.  So the first physical death in the world was not the death of Adam and Eve.  God killed animals and made clothes.  Adam and Eve not only saw death with their own eyes for the first time but then had to wear death to cover their nakedness.  It may even have been the death of animals they knew well and cared about.  I’m betting that made it even more difficult.  They had to deal with separation from God and its results every day for the rest of their lives.  And think about this, it was not just nakedness in front of God that had them embarrassed, it was nakedness in front of each other.  Their act of rebellion had separated them from each other.  Each and every human being suffers from that.  We are all separated from each other.

Once we are with God in heaven, he will again give man clothes.  These robes will be white.  White is a symbol of purity.  God will clothe us again but this time we will not be clothed in death, we will be clothed in righteousness.  But (and this is an important but) not in our righteousness.  We will be clothed in Jesus’ righteousness.  We will put on his righteousness just as we took on his sacrifice on the cross to restore our relationship with God.  We will wear a reminder through all eternity that we did not deserve our place in heaven with God.  And we will love it.  Why?  Because it all points back to God and that will be all we want.

So white for all eternity?  Not a bad choice.  But think about white light.  White light is white only because the entire rainbow is in there.  Break white light and you get every color there is.  We will be clothed in all the colors ever created when we wear white.  Talk about a gracious God.  He is generous beyond words to clothe us in white.  And it will not make us look fat.  Even better.