Legitimacy in addiction.

(Photo courtesy of @travelwithchris)

(Photo courtesy of @travelwithchris)

“You’re in good company if you’ve struggled with that.”

I lay in the Papasan chair on the screened back porch. The breeze blew and stirred up the leaves on the ground outside.

Seventy degrees in December. I’m not in England anymore.

I looked up at the stark blue sky. I used to watch planes crisscross the cloudy sky outside my window every minute or two when I lived on the Gatwick Airport flight path in England. Here, not a cloud. Not even one jet trail.

My passport’s tucked in a drawer for the first time in two and a half years.

“Realize there is legitimacy in your addiction. What Christian who has a front-row seat to seeing God move the way you have wouldn’t want that to continue? When we pray, ‘Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,’ you experienced a drop of what that will be like, and you want more – a LOT more.”

The words that a wise and understanding friend penned me when I got back to America resonate with me as I sit and watch the leaves rustle.

I do, Father.

I want a lot more.

And the more I put gas in the car, do the daily commute and sit at a desk, the more I realize … it’s not the travel I want.

It’s the concentrated time to see You at work, to learn Your heart. To really see You. To ask for more. Then to go where You go … or stay where You stay.

Before I moved to England, sure, I’d heard it. Sermons, Bible studies, etc. Do you get as excited about Jesus as you about a football game? Do you spend as much time reading the Bible as you do watching TV? Do you pray without ceasing? Do you love Jesus more than you love your stuff?

They’re all good questions … if we dare to deal with them at more than a surface level. Do I get as excited about Jesus as I do a football game? Um, that’d be weird and awkward to yell about Jesus. Do I love Jesus more than my stuff? Sure, I’ll put it all on Abraham’s altar … and expect it to not really be asked of me. Do I read my Bible as much as I watch TV? Is this like setting the egg timer for my preteen piano practice?

The real answers are a finger-smudged iPhone and a dusty Bible.

Or a finger-smudged egg timer and a dusty heart.

At this time of year, this kind of thought would normally lead into a New Year’s resolution for me. I’m gonna read my Bible more. I’m gonna get rid of some stuff. While I’m at it, I’ll lose a little weight and plan a trip to Europe.

Not this year. I don’t want resolutions.

I want Advent.

At this time of year 2,000 years ago, God’s people were waiting expectantly for the birth of the one Person worth everything. The only Man who would ever call out, “Follow Me,” and men would drop everything and run, only to find unspeakable joy. The God of the universe who would come and die a brutal death so that we could know Him and long for the day we’d be with Him face to face.

Jesus.

He’s not a tired Christmas song. He’s not a doll in a manger scene. He is the Savior our souls cry out for, whom we can know and want and chase after to the point that everything else truly fades away, not in an egg timer kind of way … in the kind of way that we forget the egg timer exists.

He’s a Savior who longs for us to push through the pat answers and know Him.

We talk about dreams (of travel, of marriage, etc.). We talk about plans (of being more disciplined, exercising more, reading the Bible more, moving away, etc.). But what of expectancy?

They longed for Him. He came.

And He’s coming back.

I want my candle trimmed and full of oil. (Matthew 25:1-13) I want my eyes trained on the sky, and not just for jet trails. Longing for the day He rips open the sky and sets everything right. The day we see His glory in its fullness.

I want more.

When we pray, ‘Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,’ you experienced a drop of what that will be like … and you’ll get it by the hydrant full when His Kingdom does come on this earth for good. So know that experiencing the goodness of God IS addictive and that part is okay.”

Only the Father knows when He’ll come again. Only He knows where He will want me in this life – travel or no travel, being used or not being used, family or no family. Only He knows how many times I’m going to get this wrong along the way (over and over), and how desperately I need Him.

But one thing I know … this Advent, this Christmas, I long for His coming.

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Rev. 22:17)

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’” (Rev. 22:20)

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

****

(If you’re interested in a free downloadable book of short daily readings that John Piper wrote for Advent, click here. It’s really good.)

12 responses

  1. I love your blog. Thanks for being obedient to the Lord and allowing His words to flow through you. You are an incredible encouragement. And thanks for calling a spade a spade; our fleshly addictions are just surface-level… I’m so tired of trying to tame who God is and what he wants to do in my life! “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth- for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out.” (Song of Songs 1:1-2a)

  2. Hey! I somehow stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago. probably from a post of a post on facebook. I love how you write! Randomly was scanning through this today and this caught my eye. I really needed to hear this. Right now I am working in NrthAfrica. This was a huge blessing to me on a day I really needed to hear it. So, thank you!!

  3. Great article! Thanks for sharing. My own heart felt pretty down the past few months, desperate to find answers and see Him return, so I could just be with Him. I realized, though, that what I really wanted to know was Christ in me, before I could come to know Christ on earth. So I decided to do my new years resolution early, starting on advent: no facebook, like forever, and no more smartphone. I made space to know myself, and in the process know God a bit better in the silence. I wrote about it on my blog and wanted to share: http://www.dandleblog.com/2012/12/goodbye-facebook.html. Thanks for writing!

  4. Mm. It’s difficult not to miss the olde country…

    But I’m reminded now, stirred, I suppose. Of the possibility for clarity once again. This year I feel like Tolkein’s king of Gondor, under the spell of age and decay. Appearing to be still, appearing to wait, but not in the vigor of expectancy, not in a state of wakeful watching. Perhaps your words have been a small bell, the first clear sound I’ve heard in a long time. I remember sight and sound, faintly.

    I don’t know how I found your blog but I come and read your recent posts every few months. And I’m always blessed. :)

  5. Amen, amen, AMEN. This just blessed my heart more than you could ever know. The Lord really spoke through you. Thank you for being obedient in your writing. God bless!

  6. Thank you Grace for your amazing words and for putting in words what my heart is screaming. So glad you are back. I hope you have the best Christmas ever. You are here for a reason, relax and wait for God. Hugs

  7. My name is Jacob, and I know what you are talking about. There are people here reaching out to a dying world, and it can be pretty intense. I would encourage you that you are not anywhere by mistake, and God will use you where you are now to reach those dying people. For a intro to what I do, check out jfaweb.org.

    Blessings,

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