Kevin Chen preached today at my church, Christ Church Ann Arbor. I always look forward to his refreshing sermons; honest, insightful, wise, Spirit inspired, rooted in the Word, and as serious as they are funny.
Today he preached on Matthew 13:44-46 on the what the kingdom in heaven is like. Treasure that you give everything for. He said that, unlike an existential worldwiew that tells us we are the ones to give meaning to our lives, the treasure is an objective reality we come across without trying and can’t help but be drawn to, logically. He described an experience with God as 1) unexpected, 2)joyful, and 3)logical.
Before church, I taught Catechism- we’re on the 10th commandment. It stung because I’m in a coveting season and am praying God will change my heart. I’m drawn to beauty that is not mine to have and I want desperately not to. I get I just have to accept myself as broken but I just want to feel like I do in the jail all the time.
Serving the women there, I feel like where I am is where I want to be. Not so in all areas of my life. Sickness is no excuse. I’m growing and changing but fighting Him on it.
Listening to the sermon I thought again of some times I got with my husband and also healing times after that. When Kevin, who was not born in a country that sold Nutella, described eating it for the first time (recently), he said, “it was as if I had known it before. As if it had always been a part of me and somehow I forgot.” He had a feeling that he found it, but it wasn’t that way at all.
I know feelings are fickle but I do believe God uses our emotions, as he does the lack of feeling, to guide us and teach us and test us.
I love food too and laughed but I also thought of how it felt to be with those I love deeply, not just romantically. Believers I know and I’m home with them. I felt that way with my husband in a way I’d never felt before and even though ministering at the jail is not the same, the reality of living in the Kingdom of God right now, is the same. It’s unexpected, it’s joyful, and it makes no sense to be anywhere else.
1 John 5 ends with a warning against false Gods. Sometimes I stop myself from enjoying life as is because I settle for less than that feeling of being at home for the sake of trying to be content in all things. The irony is, the only time I am able to be content in all things is when I don’t settle and suffer through lonliness, hunger, sickness, trials, and hold out for that precious unexpected joy that I cannot bring about by my own strength or even my own faithfulness. It is a gift for Him to give when and where He gives. Obedience is a must for me to recieve it, but the timing is totally out of my hands.
I don’t know if Framingham is just a high place or if God is asking me to hold out until He releases me. Maybe He will transform things here. I do know He is with me and speaking to me daily and I’m still weary.
Father you have my heart. Make it more fully what You want. I love You.