"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1
Barry to me: "But you say, 'I don't want it, Jesus. Take it back!'"
Barry to my friend: "You enjoy your freedom in Christ more than Jaime does; because you just live it. You don't think about it as much."
Barry seems to think "my brain" is my biggest blessing; I think it is also my biggest curse.
So where did Barry get this from? A conversation he and I had about choosing my future career. As a Christian it would just be nice to focus solely on serving God and his people. There are many ways to do that. But then as part of the world (or at least the world as I know it), I also have to find a way to function in society (ie. make money.......).
I am at a point in my life where I could choose from MANY options as to what path to take. For example, I wanted to be a writer. Or maybe I want to be a counselor; my therapist thinks it would be wonderful if I were to go further and become a psychiatrist ("we have no Christian psychiatrists in the area"), and of course my professor/adviser thinks that would be just a great way to use my brain-power (another man who thinks my brain is a gift from God). Then there is Barry who agrees with me that medical school will cause me to listen once more to the you-must-be-the-best-and-the-first-at-all-costs-even-if-you-have-to-kill-yourself-in-the-process voice inside my head; furthermore, he is not sure that I can emotionally handle the darkness that I will encounter in counseling others (I think he has seen too much darkness in his days ministering to others--I suppose he is just trying to protect me). So instead, Barry suggests that I be a theologian and teach theology--oh and then I should get my Ph'D in....something. (Another use of my brain and my attraction to ideas--those intangible, infectious things that rule the inner worlds of people.)
So many options!!
Another comment of Barry's (Oh, Barry is my grandfather, by the way): "So it sounds like God has not given you a calling."
My response: "Right. Thanks, God. You're just going to leave me here to suffer in the unknown for the rest of my life. Thanks a lot!"
This is what prompted Barry's idea that I would rather have less freedom in my life. Which I have known for a while is true. I know life would be easier if I did not have free will. But see, free will is what makes me human. It is part of God's own image in me.
Furthermore, Barry tied this into my discussion of Light and Darkness. I know that I have both Light and Darkness within me. But I feel as if I just let the Darkness of other or of the world clobber me over--and I am defeated by it. So I told God that I want more Light in me. And when I shared that with Barry, he said again that I wanted less freedom. For the experience of Darkness is rooted in our free will.
I realize that it is my lot to be in the battle ground of Light verses Dark. But I either, want to be rid of the battle that I am feeling defeated by because I can't see it. Or I want to be an active warrior in it. But to be a warrior, God must remove the veil from my eyes. Is that possible?? Would God ever allow me to see the war that is occurring (Rev. 12:7)? It seems as if I want two opposing things. Hmmmm. I guess I would prefer to see the battle. My heart wants it. I was made for this. I know it!!! What frustrates me is getting opressed by darkness that I can't even see. How do I fight something that I cannot see?
God: Jaime, Jaime.... Keep reading My Word through Paul: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Eph 6:10-18) I have given you instructions on how to fight what you do not see. Let me try to be even more specific with you...."Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble." (1 John 2:8-10)
I understand where God is going with this....My lack of forgiveness of my brother is cultivating darkness within my soul. I know what I have to do--I want to speak with my brother face-to-face. But, O LORD, I am terrified. Please be my strength and my shield.
This is my current postition in battle. This is the stand I am being asked to take. Stick to your post, Jaime.
But, God, that doesn't give me any answer about what to do with my life.
Be patient, Jaime.
God, can I just ask this one thing?
Can I have eyes to see and ears to hear?
I have already given you those, Jaime.
But I want more!
Be patient, Jaime.
(Sigh) I'm not good at being patient.
I know...that is the point.