Can A Stolen Phone Be A Gift From God?

It’s a Saturday night, and the power is out in my home due to storms.  I’m at work.  I decide to charge my phone there before I go home.  I return to find the charger right where I left it.  There just isn’t a phone attached to the end of it.

I’ll be honest.  I’m not feeling so holy in this scene.  In fact, I’m feeling quite the opposite.  Which is strange only because my purse was recently stolen.  And I was way more rational about that.  What’s worse than that, is that not even my dad’s passing in March stirred such a strong and immediate reaction within me.  I am sick.  Something ugly has surfaced.  It’s my addiction.  I’ve become completely dependent on this pocket-size boulder to which I am chained.

Fast forward to Monday.

It strikes me here in this not having my phone, that I have used that (and the other things too) as a super power of sorts.  It’s like my cloak of invisibility.  It’s strange not to have a thing in front of me.  A distraction for when I’m surrounded by the others, for when I’m thick in presence.  It’s that place where I’m left to just absorb all the feelings that rise inside my awkward center.  It feels weird to be looking at them, while they’re looking at me.  All my feelings feel totally uncovered.  And I feel exposed!

Quick! Give me a book, or a notebook.  A piece of cardboard, or a straw.  Anything.  Just something.  I need somewhere to put my attention.  Anywhere but here, with all of these people.  And my thoughts.  All my thoughts, of their thoughts.  So many thoughts.  Help me Jesus!  This struggle is real.  Without all the things, I can actually see it.

This is a good thing.  Because the seeing is key.  When I see it, I can change it.  Well, maybe I can’t.  But God can.  And He wants to.  I’ve been personally invited to ask Him.  He’ll do what I can’t when I invite Him into my struggle.  The trouble is I can’t well ask for the things I don’t know I need.  In His great and unfathomable loving kindness, He lets me see what I don’t want to see.  So that He can have my permission to access the places where my soul needs us most.

Have you ever been there?

I like to hide those places from Him, if I’m honest.  Although, I really don’t know why I do that, my friends.  He’s never been anything but gentle with me.  That’s even when He is correcting me.  He’s not harsh, that’s me.  I’m the one that judges both myself and others harshly.

“{We}, therefore, have no excuse, {we} who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point {we} judge the other, {we} are condemning {ourselves}, because {we} who pass judgment do the same things… Or do {we} show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads {us} toward repentance?” Romans 2:1 & 4  {personalized for effect}

I project my attitudes onto Him.  It’s the human condition, I guess.  We can only see things through the filter from which we choose to see them.  And we can’t pick and choose that filter.  The one we use most is the one we use always.  That’s just what comes natural to us.

His desire is in setting us free.  From all of that.  He wants to speak life and truth over us.  The beauty of His character is that in that, He wants us to choose it.  Freely.  He’s willing to allow for our error in judgment and cover us in grace until we finally get there.  Willingly.  He wants us to be ready for what He longs to do in our hearts and our lives.  He wants us to want Him.  And all His good things.  He doesn’t wish to force Himself upon us.

We’re the ones that are needy and demanding.  That can’t allow room for growth and mistakes along the way.  It’s us that can’t bear to face misunderstandings securely. We’re not content in that we’ll get where we’re going when the time is made right.  We don’t believe that it will all work out in the end.  We’re the ones that don’t trust ourselves or the others in our lives.  These people that by the way have chosen to be there.  That’s even if said people are family.  They still count, and they’re there.  They want to be.  That’s all  us.

Father God is not like us.  Isn’t that wonderful?  He is patient and kind.  He’s comfortable with a little uncertainty as it’s a fair part part of our journey.  He knows that we’ll get there.  He knows that His plans for us won’t change.  He knows that His love for us won’t change.  He’s not afraid of our shortcomings.  He knew what He was signing up for when He first arrived on the scene to save the day.  When He first set out to rescue you.  And me.  He knew about all the things that we think are secret.  He’s not afraid of that.  Any of it.  He loves you just the same, my friend.  Right where you are.  Today.

What might He be leading you to see, if you’re honest?

If you knew that you knew, that He loved you right there, how might that change what you see?

I wonder.  You tell me.

I think if we dared to look bravely into the heart of our God, we’d see something truly wonderful in there.  I think we both would.

I need to see that out there is where life is happening.  I need to be part of all that.  And friend, I have a secret for you.  You need to be part of it too!  I don’t have to live in this bubble of judgment for both myself and the others I so want to love.  And neither do you. We can repent and be free.  We really can be free!

Are you with me?

We’ve got some amazing places to go, and all sorts of people to love out there.  God’s prepared us to live among people that need our stories of hope.  They can’t wait to return the love we send out to them.  The sharing our lives is a gift.  Let’s not take it for granted.