I'm learning that life is not what I was expecting. Reality really isn't all that easy. In fact, it's pretty difficult. That may be old news for you...but I'm learning it right now. God is currently allowing my old expectations to be torn apart. And I decided to blog about it. We had a flood in our basement this morning. The sump pump broke for the umphteenth time and my dad had to buy and install a new one...and then squeegee an inch of standing water back into the concrete hole in the corner of our house. Some stuff got wet, but nothing was ruined. I guess in real life, things break and get wet sometimes. I don't think that's ever clicked in my head before. Again, it might sound silly...but it's what I've been thinking about.
And you know what, these days I'm finding that good communication is very hard work. Building relationships in the here and now, without a million fun memories as a foundation, is tough. For me, life used to be a bunch of amazingly fun events all strung together by time: as soon as one thing finished, I started looking forward to the next big thing. Consequently I've spent a lot of my life either reminiscing about times gone by or living in the future.
But God is a God of the present tense, and He desires me to live in the here and now, to build strong relationships now. What is today really worth? I guess life is kind of an esoteric number of 'todays' that we're each given to do with what we will. What's it worth to me? God is pretty amazing to know exactly how we're going to live our lives, even all the bad decisions we're going to make, and still desire to work through our choices. He's more amazing to me now, in 'real life' as they call it, than He ever was in Bible school. In the classroom, I learned historical truths about God, yes. But in application, I learned in theory. I learned a lot of it in a bubble...a spiritual greenhouse, as it were.
Now that bubble has popped. And you know what? I'm finding God to be faithful; His character hasn't changed. He's the same God I learned about when studying the history of Israel in the Old Testament. He's the same God who sent Christ to save the world. He's the same God whose Holy Spirit has lived in me ever since I believed the Gospel thirteen years ago. He keeps proving Himself to me, here in real life. And I guess I didn't expect that. First of all, I didn't expect reality to be so harsh. But secondly, I didn't expect to need God so much. It's amazing.
It's also painful. Being tested by the fire that 1st Peter 1 talks about hurts. I want to grow in my endurance, so I'm thankful for those flames. And you know, my life is anything but full of trials and persecution. Still, there are many ways that I am being pushed and pried...and that is good. God is using the irony of my discovering 'real life' to humble me and convince me of my need for Him. Bring it on Lord! Because I want to be SO needy for Jesus that I'm done with trying it myself. Whatever it takes, Father. I trust You.
Here are some common sayings I'm actually starting to understand:
"Money doesn't grow on tress."
"No news is good news."
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder...(or forgetful)."