The Father’s Passion

I have been touched recently by the story of the Israelites’ exodus as written in Psalms 78.

Fathers Love

Fathers Love (Photo credit: lachicaphoto)

The story is written in a poetic form and quite different from the account in the book of Exodus.

As I read this chapter I heard in this retelling of the story the heart cry of a Father for his children. What a tragic story.:a Father who takes his kids for some time out. He wants to share his story with them, connect with them and love them – but instead they constantly bicker and blame him for everything.  You can see through the verses the way the Father cares, provides and nurtures his children. His desire was that they would trust Him. He didn’t want lip service (verse 36) He wanted a heart connection with them.

Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. Psalm 78:40 (NLT)

This verse is so full of grief as a result of their rejection of Him that I could feel his tears falling. Their rebellion, indifference and lack of trust saddened his heart. He desired a heart change but “again and again” they test their patience.

  • They did not remember his goodness :42 & 43 

Do we remember and count all the good things he does?

  •  They rebelled :40

Are our hearts soft and responsive? -not cynical or angry.

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  • They turned their backs V9

Do we refuse to accept all that God is trying to teach us?

  • They fled on the day of battle v9

Do we back down out of doing the things we are called to out of fear and self preservation?

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  • They did not keep covenant  v10

Do we obey him and take seriously the fact that he is Lord/boss in our life?

  •  They tested him with demands v18

Do we place blame on God when things don’t go well and expect Him to cause everything to turn out right?

  •  They spoke against God 19&20

Do we criticize the way God is moving, changing things or the way he chooses to use different people?

Today: Read the list slowly of ways the Israelites tested God’s patience and ask yourself is there any changes you need to make. This isn’t to make God love you – he couldn’t love you any more than he does already – it is so that you can learn to stay responsive to the Father’s heart.

Letting your tears fall

‘Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality  listening to our emotions ushers into reality. And reality is where we meet God Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice.. However we often turn a deaf eor – through emotional denial, distortion, or disengagement  We strain out anything disturbing in order gain tenuous control of our inner world. We are frightened and ashamed of what leaks into our consciousness. ln neglecting our intense emotions we are false to ourselves and lose a wonderful opportunity to know God. We forget that change comes through brutal honesty and vulnerability before God’  Cry of the soul Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III

A Single Tear ~ Aladdin

A Single Tear ~ Aladdin (Photo credit: canhasal)

During this journey I have discovered that not to address my emotions is to live in denial. I have found that I no longer think it is healthy to sweep things under the carpet and pretend they are not there – I need to deal with my heart.

For such a long time I have been taught, either directly or subconsciously, to hide weakness, to confess positively, to die to myself – even the good desires, to ignore my emotions, to believe I am a new creation and the past does not affect me, to hide conflict and quieten my questions, to get on with life and cover over brokenness, weakness and failure. I have found that this causes me to feel inadequate and ashamed as the “stuff” inside me affects the way I live and causes me to limp along in pain. There has to be a reality, an admitting our brokenness, a healing of the heart and a reconciliation of our souls.

For me I think it is like having rubbish in the rooms of my heart. We stomp on it, shout at it but do not deal with it. We squash it down into the recesses of our heart to try and forget about it all and lock it safely in to minimize damage. We are aware that the rubbish is there when people press against the door with what they say – it provokes a reaction in us. Memories and thoughts that are hidden may still be sore we may get angry or withdraw. We start to push so much inside we become hoarders of unresolved issues. We then become frightened to deal with things because to clear out the rooms means opening the doors. We know that once one thing falls out – the whole lot will follow quickly afterwards and this is too overwhelming to deal with. It is time to take a deep breath and open the door of the deepest recesses of our hearts. Time to let the rubbish fall out, be cleaned out, healed up and let ourselves feel again.

The only way to grow up and become emotionally mature is to understand myself and let the power of God into the deepest recesses of my heart.

If we read Isaiah 35:1&2 again we see that the desert where the crocuses blossom is full of flowering glory. The passage tells us that the land is parched and dry -so what is refreshing and watering these bulbs in order for them to bloom? The streams and waters do not start gushing forth till verse 6 so it isn’t the rivers.

Can I make a suggestion that it is the tears of those going through the wilderness bootcamp/college who are learning to let go? These are the children who have opened the doors of their past.  It is the tears of those forgiving, releasing their pain, being touched by God’s love and crying out for more.

What follows this process? When we look further on in the same passage (verse 10) we see that sorrow and mourning will be no longer be found because joy will crown their heads and gladness and joy will overtake them.

Today: Spend some time with your Father and give yourself permission to feel again. Start to open those doors of your heart and let give God access to  the secret parts of your soul.