I know I haven’t really written anything in awhile. That being said, hopefully this will kind of make up for it.
Tonight I was reminded of a simple, yet profound thing…and it was through a Chris Tomlin song, haha. Yeah, I know, it’s corny. He is a great writer, but admittedly he has become the “poster boy” of Christian worship mantras. But still, if God uses him, more power to him.
I was listening to my Ipod, studying Hebrew, and the song “God Is On Our Side” came on. It’s off Tomlin’s Arriving album; if you don’t know it, I recommend you listen to it. As stupid as it sounds, I think I had forgotten that God is on my side. I’ll be honest, I’ve had my share of struggles this year; between that, and school, and work, and just everything…God’s attitude toward me took a backseat. He watched me, listened to me, tolerated me, and that was about it. I guess since I didn’t really have many people affirming me, I just assumed that God was numbly watching me, too. I forgot that there is so much more.
We have a guest prof at our school; he came last year and stayed on this year. His name is Dr. Rainey, and he’s from Texas. He and his wife are two of the sweetest people you’d ever want to meet. They’re like the campus grandparents. In fact, in New Testament last year, when Dr. Rainey would talk about his past downfalls (I remember one “temper tantrum” story in particular), it seemed kind of unbelieveable that the same man could have made those mistakes. I had Dr. Rainey for 2 classes, and one of those was Greek. Any of you who kept in touch with me last year will know that Greek was pretty much the bane of my existence (this year it’s Hebrew, haha). Dr. Rainey was a dream as a prof. His philosophy was, “When you’re writing a sermon and using Greek, you’re not going to be recalling it all from memory. You’ll have your tools out. So you can use your tools on your tests.” Tests were open book. I mean really, you can’t ask for much more help than that. But, I still struggled, especially the first year with all the grammar stuff. But Dr. Rainey was not a passive observer on the sidelines. When I came to him, he was more than happy to help. Our class had a blast together. We learned, but we also talked about how the Scriptures we were learning applied to us; we joked around; we became a sort of family. Dr. Rainey was cheering for us the whole time. Granted, he could only do so much (and really, pretty much anything he could do, short of taking the tests for us, he did). But, he tried to help us any way he could. We didn’t just cognitively know that he was there for us and that he wanted us to do well, we felt it.
If a seventy-something year old man from Texas feels that way about a group of students who he has no outside connection to, how much more does God feel that way about His children Who He purchased with His own blood?
My friends, God is not watching us passively. He is not blankly staring into our lives, the way you stare at a TV show you’re only half-interested in. Do you realize that? I know if I forgot it, somebody else is bound to have forgotten it, too. Edwin McCain wrote that sweet song, “The Greatest Fan of Your Life,” but God is really the holder of that title. Think about it. When you’re having a great day, God is happy for you. When your face is broken out and you want to hide in a hole, God is pulling for you and hoping you’ll go out and shine anyway like only He knows you can. When the people you love are hurting, God wants to be involved; He wants to help any way He can. When you’re struggling and you don’t know how to get out, God is rooting for you; He wants to see you come out on the other side. When you’re studying and wanting to throw the book across the room (ahem), God is saying, “Come on, I know you can do it!”
God is not a bystander. He is on your side. He passionately, unreservedly, uncircumstantially cares for you. On the good days, on the bad days, on the boring days.
And that is very good news.
There is something else I thought about tacking on here, but I think I’ll hold off and save it for a speaking thing if I ever speak anywhere in the near future…