Wasteland Kings

I’ve got this little voice in my head that tells me I can make the life I want. It tells me the right mix of intelligence, word, and experience will get me where I want to be. My head has hit the pillow many nights while planning how I am going to make all of my dreams come true; I’m not talking about Disneyland either.

The problem is this voice is wrong because I can’t make the life I want.

Even if I could get all the things I want, there’s nothing I can do to ensure it won’t all slip from my fingers. The recent financial crisis is a good example of this. It would’ve take a person incredible amount of research and investing savvy to protect all of their assets from that crisis.

Even if you could put that much time and energy into things like investing, you’d miss out on enjoying your life. No amount of resources, time, and energy can give you the life you want AND ensure it will stay safe. Even though I’ve recognized this, I still feel this almost overwhelming pull to pour myself into making and defending the life I want.

My attitude also goes into a deep spiral when my attempts don’t work. Proverbs 13:27 says ‘hope deferred makes our heart sick’. Looking back over my life, my hope to make and defend the life I want has been one of, if not my biggest, hope.

This hope has gone through a bit of a change in the last ten months or so.

Going through Regeneration has made it clear what I want can’t be found with my efforts. It did this by bringing the fruits of my works into a close comparison with the fruits of God’s works. While my works can bring happiness, comfort, and a sense of security, God tops each of those in a big way.

The steps of Regen have helped me experience the peace of knowing God is for me. It’s opened the way for God’s love to be poured out on my worst sins and my deepest heart wounds. The process has also shown me how God is steadfast and faithful to me day in and day out.

Twelve months is a long time to go through an emotional process like Regen and yet I am glad it’s this long. God’s love and grace have been the same on every step of the way. This helped teach me more about God’s unconditional love.

I throw around the phrase ‘unconditional love’ and yet I struggle to get my arms around the real truth behind it. Regen has helped because God’s love is the same during the lows of Regen and the highs. This means my ability to rely on God’s love does not depend on my circumstances or emotions.

When I know this, the impossible happens. I can face the storms of this life and have peace. I can lean back on a love which stays the same through every circumstance.

I can also know a joy which surpasses the greatest happiness I’ve ever known.

Even if I fill my life to the brim with happiness, I can’t ensure it will survive the hard times we all endure. I can’t make it good enough to overcome the heartache of when bad things happen. What I can do is lean on the one whose love can carry me through anything.

This is the source of my hope.

Do you hope to build the life you want? Has that worked for you so far? Would you be upset if your current efforts didn’t work? What would it look like to hope in God’s love instead of circumstances?

Image by: quangle

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The Eyes of My Victim

Matthew Rial