We continue to shout our praise even when we are hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary-we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:3-5, (Msg)
There have been times in my journey that I was much less alert than I thought I was. Spiritually; I was just about asleep while thinking myself to be wide awake. In those times, I didn’t just ‘not’ know much, I didn’t even ‘suspect’ much. It’s like being drugged or drunk and thinking you can drive a car better in that state of mind. Wow, what an awakening it takes to again become clear and alert. God is faithful and merciful to wake us up; not necessarily gently, either!
Shouting my praise, still somewhat hemmed in by troubles-I am beginning to see some light through the fog. How about you? I can honestly report: whatever it takes to get us wide awake, sober-minded, thinking more clear, somewhat dressed and in our ‘right’ minds, is worth it. Or should that be in our ‘left’ minds? I am still in the throes of the awakening and hopefully passionate patience and forged virtue are just around the corner.
I am beginning to see, the bigger prize is a fresh expectancy in my relationship with Papa. I am also getting back to first-love childlike simplicity and faith. “Keeping our eyes on the prize”-like Paul, our hearts are again stirred and warmed.
When we are falling asleep at the wheel of life, heart focus seems to be the first thing to go. We start to glance at God and gaze at other things-distractions, lusts, self-pursuits…it can be anything. No matter-the point is getting back to alert expectancy.
With alert and expectant hearts-we are never left feeling like the victim, unfairly treated, short-changed. As the alertness begins to return; we truly do realize (even though it may be for the tenth time) how ‘all things work together for the good.
We can even; like Jeremiah in Lamentations proclaim again, ‘the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end-they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness!’ Jeremiah had just interrupted himself in the midst of a long litany of things to be ‘lamented’. He was suddenly awakened to the truth behind what appeared to be hopeless. He was in alert expectancy-I pray to be there as well.
At this place, there really aren’t enough containers to hold everything God desires to generously (not begrudgingly) pour into our lives. He doesn’t even bring up what got us off track-He simply; daily expresses how thrilled He is that we are again living in ‘alert expectancy.’ It is also here that our capacity is strengthened and His joy is more fulfilled in us. In ‘alert expectancy’, you throw out the welcome mat of your heart to Jesus!
In the grip of Papa’s grace, Ron Ross