A Letter from Abba

I wrote the following paraphrase of Philippians 1-4 as a letter from my Father in Heaven during my ‘Great Depression’ of 2001-2004. I offer it to anyone who needs to hear from God today. Go ahead and put your name in the space provided…
Dear Child of Mine,
Grace and peace be yours, my __________. I am thankful for all my memories of you, happy as I remember your full part in the work of the Gospel. Know that I will bring your generosity to perfection as you look forward to my arrival.
It is only natural that I have such high hopes for you – you are so close to my heart. I have such tender feelings for you, and I desire that your love will grow richer and richer in truth, knowledge and depth of perception; then you will learn to prize what is of value so that nothing will cloud your conscience or hinder your progress until the day when I come for you. My glory and praise is your full harvest of justification!

Only, you must play a worthy part of my Gospel – that you keep standing firm in a common unity of spirit, with the faith of the Gospel for your cause. Show a bold front at all points to your adversaries. It is God’s grace that has been granted to you to suffer for my sake, not just to believe in Me.
As you strive toward becoming more like Me, what shows is humility, unity, honoring others and obedience. So work to keep this attitude active.

Put yourself in an environment to enable the will to do it. Do so, and the accomplishment will come from Me as you carry out my purpose in love.

Do all that lies in your special calling, never complaining, never hesitating to show yourself innocent and single minded; bringing no reproach on My Name. The world is twisted – so you will stand out with the true light of truth – and it will cost you! But I will give you companions who are like-minded to add joy to the journey.

So take joy in My love for you and in the intimacy of our relationship, justification from faith and the hope of resurrection and heaven’s home. Don’t forget – I am forming you to be Christlike, and on that day, even your body will be glorious, like mine!

Oh my dear _______ you are so greatly loved and longed for, you are my delight and prize – take your stand in my love. There is nothing worthy of your anxiety, for every need will be supplied as you pray and give thanks. And I will extend peace that surpasses logic to watch over your heart. Only seek an environment of peace by living in the truth. Set your mind to reverence what is noble, pure, lovely, gracious, worthy of merit and value to God. Let this be the delight of your thoughts. Then My peace is guaranteed and the spirit of my grace will be yours!

Love, Abba

response:
O that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my capacity to receive and release your love. Oh that your hand would hold me tight and keep me from evil that I may not cause harm to Your work of redemption in the world.
I Chronicles 4:10

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Addicted to the Unreal

Last night was like a flashback to days of old (before Recovery). I had some extremely unrealistic expectations. Tonight i was looking forward to a friend’s Birthday Celebration. What I wanted to happen and what i suspected might happen were in mortal combat. Reality bites. Like an allergic reaction, resentment began to swell, and the pain was intense. What began as an irritated thought, resulted in an attitude of entitlement. My tendency would be to fight for my rights, but I gave up. Giving up is not surrender. It is definitely not “letting go and let God”. It is more like scratching an itch until it bleeds. What’s left is a scar, a reminder, not of the healing, but of the choice not to utilize the balm of grace available to me at all times. The night ended “unresolved.” I hate that!

The timing of this incident comes as I am smack in the middle of Principle 6 in my Celebrate Recovery program – “Evaluate all my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others when possible, without expecting any reward.” There it is “expectation”. I’ve noticed how easy it is for me to genuinely forgive a debt when it is incurred by a new relationship. I easily make amends because I have not yet developed any expectations. The deeply troubling “histamine” of familiarity is quite another matter.

Carol Kent, in her excellent book Secret Longings of the Heart is quick to point out that our human expectations have their origin in being made in the image of God prior to the “fall” of mankind. So while I may still have the expectations for the righteous course of deeper relationships like community, marriage and family, in a fallen world, disappointment is eminent. Disappointed expectations sets up a longing for change. My Program tells me I have no power to change anyone but myself! Without my Higher Power (Jesus Christ) I am powerless to even do that!

God has given me free choice as to how I will respond to the disappointment. One choice is to default to my old ways, utilizing my carefully crafted character defects of excusing, justifying or blaming. Fortunately through recovery, I recognize this as “insanity”. If I do not run my disappointed expectation through the “grid” of God’s will, I will continue to allow the pain of the past to rule, allowing circumstances to determine my choices for today and thus, sabotage the hope of future serenity. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things (and people) I can not change, the courage to change the things I can (my attitude and actions) and the wisdom to know the difference…taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You in the next.” That is what I am choosing today.
How do you handle disappointment?