Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I, YHWH, am the LORD your God.
This post may be many things: a disclaimer, an excuse (at least for my text study group), a rationalization...but mostly, I am fairly certain, in the end I will know this experience as a true gift.
Yesterday morning, I sat, prepared to lead text study with a group of colleagues - I had actually prepared and I had decent theological thoughts (heck, I even knew what I was going to preach on - on Wednesday no less), and then...I started to cry. We aren't talking about wet eyes here; we are talking about giant crocodile tears, streaming down my face...I couldn't talk. Thankfully, someone took pity on me and told me to 'take a break'. What I couldn't express then...the reason for my tears, I will express now.
One of the texts was from Deuteronomy...at the beginning it says, "See, I have set before you life and death. If you obey the commandments of the LORD....then you will be blessed". I happen to love the book of Deuteronomy. It's not that I like laws [which much of the book is filled with], although the control freak in me appreciates it, but I like the involvement of God in our lives...appreciate the specificity.
The reason I adore it really has always been the statement God continuously makes: "I am the LORD your God". The entire book is based on this fact. That God is for us, that God lays claim on us. I like knowing that I belong to someone that can spin entire universes into being. It's pretty cool.
So, yesterday, I was all prepared to talk about this fact...God's claim on us. And I looked at my note to myself that said "I, YHWH, am the LORD your God" and I was angry, and sad, and knew in a very real and true way God's claim on my life.
I had just moved my kids away from their friends, away from the only home they had ever known because of God's claim, God's work in the world. I uprooted them for no other reason than that statement, "I am the LORD you God"....in my heart when I read that, I heard, "and you shall go where I ask you to go".
All of this sort-of happened in a blink...I heard that and I thought, "I'll go, but you could pave the path a bit. Not make it so hard on the kids. Make it hard on me, not them." I was, for lack of an educated way of saying it, "GRRRRR!"
I was furious at this claim of God. Downright furious. And when I am mad and I try to talk...then I start to cry. Well, I am a crier anyway, but that's what happened yesterday.
It is not so easy following this Jesus we follow; the claim of God on us sends us into unknown territories. God does promise life and does give the promised land, but it's also true that it's a 'little by little' kind of thing (it says this in Exodus 24).
Here's the thing, as ticked off at God as I was in that instant yesterday, the reverse is true today. Today I said to my son who looked at me with scared, weepy eyes, "You can do this." And - I know he can and I'm going to keep on reminding him of it. God has a claim on him too...a claim to bring him to a new life, to a new home, to very, very good things.
Following Jesus isn't easy and never was meant to be.
Dear text study group....I sort-of meant to say something like that yesterday rather than, "Please excuse me...I'm so sorry....sniff, sniff, sniff".
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.