faith

Seamless: Week Three

seamless3

This week, we kept working through the Pentateuch, meeting Jacob and Moses and Joshua. And let me tell you, it was a week of ah–ha moments. I knew this study was right for me when Angie Smith described how she used to understand the individual stories of the Bible but didn’t see how they fit together. Me, too, Angie! Goodness. Me, too. Seamless is helping me see how the Bible truly is just one story, the story of a God who loves us and rescues us and makes plans for us.

It’s . . . well, seamless. Ahem.

1. What did you learn about the origin and significance of Passover?

Okay, okay. Let me be *that* kid for a minute here. You know the one I mean—the know–it–all who’s like, “Actually, I already knew all about this and I’ve learned nothing new.” Trust me. I’m a teacher. There is nothing as discouraging as *that* kid. And here I am, being one. Ugh.

But the truth of the matter is that a big ole’ branch of my family tree is Jewish, and it just so happens to be the branch my immediate family is closest to. My childhood was full of getting to celebrate one night of Hanukkah a couple of weeks before Christmas and having a Passover seder right around Easter. Fun, right? And while I understand that some people might be weirded out by that whole situation, I know in my heart that it was a wonderful part of shaping my religious experience. (If you want me to get really hippie–dippie / mystical / church nerd, ask me about how every time I’ve gone to synagogue I have felt what I can only describe as God’s Real, Ancient Presence Like A Weight On My Shoulders. Yep, all caps. That’s another post for another day. Or maybe a conversation we have over wine.)

HOWEVER, I’ve never fully appreciated the story of Passover in context. Before Seamless, I never could have placed it in terms of Abraham, Moses, & Co. It’s like I got to see the story in a whole new light this week. Hooray!

2. How has God provided for you? How have you forgotten His provision?

Oh, goodness. Shall I limit my answer to examples of this in the past week alone? Because as embarrassing as it is, it happens daily. Daily, people.

I think of this question on several different scales. There’s the first–world vs. third–world scale, where I realize that a roof over my head is a blessing and running water is a miracle. Then there’s the limited–to–the–first–world scale, where I realize that my income the fact that I even HAVE an income is a blessing some people are on their knees praying for at this very moment, probably just a block away from where I sit right now, typing on a computer, enjoying air conditioning, and not worrying about how to pay my bills this month. Then there’s the within–these–walls scale, where I think about how wonderful my husband and home are, but then I get aggravated with him over the stupidest thing and stare at the one room that needs fresh paint and think how unfair it is that I’m going to have to paint it. (And the health that allows me to paint? the fact that I have 4 working limbs? You better believe I’m completely overlooking that in favor of whining.)

Are you still reading this blog? Even though it’s written by a terrible person?

God provides for me constantly—I honestly cannot think of a time He hasn’t—and I manage to forget to say thank you nearly every time.

I’m working on it.

3. When have you been called to act on your beliefs, trusting in God’s character more than your circumstances?

As convicting as that last question was, this one filled me with an unexpected joy. I’ve written before about my very difficult year of teaching—it’s why I started this blog, actually—and while throughout that year I kept asking God, “Why? Why am I here? Have you forgotten about me? Are you punishing me for something?,” I’m now able to look back and feel differently.

You know. Hindsight being 20 / 20 and all that.

There were so many unknowns that year, so much to worry about. I knew what I was doing was right, but I didn’t get the support I needed to make it matter. And while that was discouraging enough on its own, it was really the meanness—the downright meanness and ugliness and rudeness—of how certain people treated me that hurt. It didn’t matter if I was kind or walked in love or loved others as myself; I didn’t get that treatment in return.

Sometimes being kind even came back to bite me. Yikes.

But when I stopped putting my faith in others and put it back in God, it changed everything. Honestly? That year didn’t get any better. It ended on an ugly note, and I spent the greater part of that summer gearing myself up to go back in August. The people in the situation didn’t appreciate my hard work or good attitude. They didn’t care that I was kind, even when it hurt. They didn’t stop to notice that I was putting all of my energy into walking in love when all I wanted to do was give up and wallow in hate. They didn’t redeem me.

But He did.

And as He has promised to do so many times (like here and here and here), He made something beautiful out of what was a very dark season.

Thanks be to God.

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