He’s Good, But He’s Not Tame

A poorly quoted excerpt from this:

“Nobody today seems to think that God is dangerous. And that is itself a dangerous oversight. It’s dangerous because before we yawn at God, we must first replace the majestic, holy, awesome Tiger of Scripture with a domesticated kitten, conformed to the standards of the world, measured by the yardstick of political correctness…Yawning at Tigers is exactly what the Christian publishing industry needs, a humble but prophetic book pointing ou the folly of Christians who have grown bored with the god they invented–who displays no wrath, has lost its majestic holiness, would never call for blood, and who has been sanded over smooth–a god perfectly tame and safe.

The reality, the tragedy, is that we all yawn at God at some point in time. Our spiritual lives just become sort of routine, lackadaisical, and we go through the motions…We don’t ever stop to think: The god we worship is the God of Isaiah 6, high and lifted up, the God before whom people fell as though dead. We need to be reminded of the dramatic majesty of God so that we do not get lackadaisical before this great and holy God.

The cruel irony of choosing God’s love over his holiness is that we end up losing both. If we are not talking about the great and majestic God who dwells in unapproaachable light, then his love loses meaning (1 Timothy 6:16). We need to maintain his holiness in order to truly appreciate the magnitude of his love.

Bottom line, if we lose the magnificence of God’s holiness we lose our worship.

…I think in every heart there remains a deep-seated desire to stand in the presence of a holy and transcendent God…People are thirsty for transcendence.

God is not a kitten. He’s a tiger. He’s good, but he’s not tame.”

Be Strong

When my clients sit across from me, hands folded, eyes narrowed, mouth firmly set, and tell me that no matter what happens to them, they’ll be okay because they’re strong, something inside of me breaks for them.

Not because I disagree that they’re strong, but because they think they’re strong for all the wrong reasons.

Their strength isn’t found in the broken, jaded, cynical, distrusting parts of them. Their strength isn’t the firmness with which they say, “People know better than to cross me.”

Self-protection isn’t strength. Walls don’t make a person strong, they make a person unable to find genuine joy or happiness or fulfillment in life.

Strength is living life fully, knowing that whatever comes, they will have the ability to cope.

Strength is tending to one’s heart. Not denying the importance of one’s heart by saying, “What happened to me is okay because it made me who I am.”

Yes, it made you who you are. And yes, who you are is amazing and beautiful and compassionate and even strong. But that doesn’t make what happened to you okay. And if you are saying it’s okay, YOU’RE not. Saying it’s okay is easy. It eliminates the need to process, grieve, heal.

Sometimes the strongest thing a person can do is cry. Sometimes the strongest thing they can do is say that it’s NOT okay.

Sometimes strength looks more like sorrow.

Sometimes strength feels more like weakness.

My clients deserve better than “strength”. My clients deserve life.

It Is Well

Sometimes it really feels like there’s not enough good in life to make it worth it. Last night, I was talking that through with God, telling him how the bad never stops coming and how hard I have to keep my eyes open to notice and appreciate the good.

But then I heard God gently ask me, “What is it that you want most? Where is your treasure?”

And I remembered something: I am blessed! No matter what life throws at me, no matter what I feel like I’m lacking, I am blessed. All I need for joy is my Jesus, and that is not something that can be taken from me.

Am I living for myself–for money, love, respect, comfort–or am I living for the Lord and trusting Him to provide the money, love, respect, and comfort I need?

Maybe I feel like I’m lacking in some ways, like my needs aren’t being met, but that’s a lie. God promises to meet my needs.

Lord, help me get better at distinguishing between a need and a want. Help me have my joy, my hope, and my treasure all wrapped up in You.

 

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,a
It is well, it is well, with my soul.”