Friday, January 16, 2009

The Age-Old Struggle

I've started this post about 5 times trying to figure out how to open it smoothly without just dumping my brain all over the screen. The Delete key is one of the greatest inventions ever! Hopefully my thoughts won't seem too disjointed....there is a point and a connection.

Last night, I missed President Bush's Farewell Address and turned on the TV as some of the journalists were discussing it. Of course they had their guest commentators to offer their opinions, and they were not shy about pointing out Bush's shortcomings and failures. To be fair, one did acknowledge "his legendary acts of kindness" and that he is a warm and caring individual and while this journalist disagrees with much of his politics, he likes him as an individual. But one comment just got all under my skin. This same man in comparing Bush and the media's beloved President-Elect Obama commented that Bush is "a John the Baptist figure to Obama."

Excuse me? Mr. Journalist, the Messiah has already come, and He is NOT about to be sworn in as President.

So I turned off the TV, watched a movie with my girl (the kids finished finals and have a 4-day weekend! WOOHOO!) and went to bed.

I slept horribly. Not sure what woke me up, but once I was awake, all manner of issues started swirling through my head. Frustrations with myself. Concerns over a couple of parenting issues. Feeling like I don't measure up. Thinking of all the ways I fail to do what I should do. I eventually went back to sleep, but I woke up still feeling discouraged.

I remembered Paul wrote about some of these same struggles, so I opened my Bible to Romans 7 and read again about the whole conflict between "what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (v. 15) I identified with Paul when he said that "in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my ind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members." (vv. 22-23)

And then.

We tend to read the Bible in chapters, but those divisions were added later. I don't think I'd ever completely connected that the wonderful truths of Romans 8 come right after the frustration of Romans 7. Immediately in the first verse of Chapter 8, Paul says "THEREFORE, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...." What a beautiful comfort!

But what does this all have to do with the journalist? Although I obviously have no idea what his spiritual situation is, as I've been completely frustrated over the direction our country is heading and the lack of ethics and morals so many in leadership seem to have, God seemed to whisper this word to me:
If you struggle with doing right, and you have My Spirit in you, why do you expect non-believers to be above reproach?
In fact, Romans 8:7-8 says that "The sinful min is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."

So I will continue to press on, and even rejoice that I do struggle, for it is evidence that the Spirit dwells within me. And let God deal with the political realm. For it is only through His conviction that their hearts - and then their actions - will change.

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12 comments:

Mel said...

Linda what you say does make total sense to me. It is like watching a trainwreck but not being able to stop it.

I hate this Messiah worship that goes with BHO, and I find it horrifying that he does not condemn it.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I get ya.

I've been struggling with the whole HOPE theme of the campaign...the idea that any human actually offers hope is so completely sad.

Praying our nation figures out where there real hope comes from, and that as believers we share it in a way that is honoring to the true source of hope.

sara said...

It is very scary and discouraging to see people placing all their hopes on a man. I am sad to think what those people will be thinking in a few years....that "man" will let them down some how.

I am with you. and praying that God will move the hearts of these political leaders toward Him!

Scrapping Servant said...

I tagged you my dear!

http://scrappingservant.blogspot.com/2009/01/for-dear-friend.html

Lisa writes... said...

I think that after a few years have passed, Bush's legacy will not be as tarnished as so many think.

I too missed his farewell speech but did catch some so-called "panel discussions." The switch in tone and demeanor from talking of Bush's legacy (or the lack thereof in their not-so-very humble opinion) to discussing Obama's cabinet appointments was amazing. Vitriol on the one hand, and unbridled enthusiasm on the other.

And I say that as a completely unbiased observer! :-)

Your post is right on. Only through Christ do we have hope. In and of ourselves, we are lost and doomed...

Chatty Kelly said...

Wow - you really struggled with this and came through with the right attitude. That is something to celebrate.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Linda what a wonderful post! Thanks you so much for writing it! Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters! I love how it starts out! It's just a chapter of encourgement for us to perservere!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

This was such a great post, with a really important truth. Our job is to share the gospel...not to judge those who will not receive it. I did not vote for Obama, but he is our President and I have repect for that office. I already don't agree with some things that I've seen associated with his administration, but it just spurs me on to pray more frequently and passionately for our leaders.

Xandra

Becoming Me said...

I totally understand. It is frustrating

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

I too, can get so discouraged with the direction our country and our society is heading. It does at times seen almost hopeless...but as others have said, our only hope is in Jesus Christ and not in any man, job, house, candidate, relationship or circumstance. You are right, as believers we still struggle daily to do the "right thing", so then it goes without saying that those who don't have the Holy Spirit are in a constant battle! Thank you for your truth and honesty. Blessings, Carrie

Julie Stiles Mills said...

I know this is weird, but this is how I think:

A family member was trying to "explain" why a particular person was a "horrible" person by telling me a detailed story which uncovered this person's obsession with pornography. My response?

"Pornography is not his problem."

Step One: A relationship with Christ. Step ? Pornography.

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

I'm truly trying to keep from vomiting over the whole John the Baptist comment.

I made a hair appointment for Tuesday. Rats. I hate I'm going to miss the festivities.:)