Not "It" but Him

I drove to our church prayer meeting wondering what I should pray for. No current crises in my life, I had the leisure to be philosophical.

What the church in America really needs, I thought, is more realistic faith. Faith to understand the promises of God don't mean we'll always have a happy ending in this life. Faith that understands we will have real problems in our lives that really hurt -- but that God is with us when they hurt. That's what I decide to ask prayer for.

At the meeting our leader read a devotion that took this thought to a new level: Himself by A. B. Simpson.

I often hear people say, "I wish I could get hold of Divine Healing, but I cannot." Sometimes they say, "I have got it." If I ask them, "What have you got?" the answer is sometimes, "I have got the blessing", sometimes it is, "I have got the theory"; sometimes it is, "I have got the healing"; sometimes, "I have got the sanctification." But I thank God we have been taught that it is not the blessing, it is not the healing, it is not the sanctification, it is not the thing, it is not the it that you want, but it is something better. It is "the Christ"; it is Himself. 
Yes! The great mystery is Christ in us, the hope of glory. Jesus is the "Yes" to all the promises of God. The Christian life is about being with him, him being with us and us being with him.

But how quickly we forget and think of an "it". If only I had this, if only I knew this, if only I could do this, then I'd be happy, content and at peace. But he gives joy, contentment and peace, they don't come from our circumstances.

Prayer is not like calling the help desk

I call the help desk when the product or the documentation fails. It should just work without me needing to ask how.

But our life in God is not supposed to "just work" without us asking for help. Our life in God is our life with God, with our Abba Father, our elder brother who laid down his life for us, and the Spirit living in us.  The best part, the key part of this life is the relationship. We're supposed to call him, praise him, interact with him, tell him where we are, listen to his responses. In short, we should be with him.

God exists and cares for me, shouldn't that be enough?

O my soul, how quickly you lose sight that the Maker of all things has chosen you, has adopted you as his son, and plans to truly do you well.

Why then are you so eager to dream of earthly fame, why do you so crave recognition?

Oh Lord, thanks that you have mercy on my silly heart. Thanks for continuing to remind me that you are there and reward those who keep on seeking you.

This came from a quote from Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ:
A man who loves You and recognizes Your benefits, therefore, should be gladdened by nothing so much as by Your will, by the good pleasure of Your eternal decree. With this he should be so contented and consoled that he would wish to be the least as others wish to be the greatest; that he would be as peaceful and satisfied in the last place as in the first, and as willing to be despised, unknown and forgotten, as to be honored by others and to have more fame than they. He should prefer Your will and the love of Your honor to all else, and it should comfort him more than all the benefits which have been, or will be, given him (3:22).

Was Jesus an extrovert?

Of course, I'm tempted to respond. But then I wonder.  I've just read Susan Cain's book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, where she says that our culture has idealized extroverts since the mid 1800s. She thinks the evangelical church does this more than the general culture.
If you don't love Jesus out loud, then it must not be real love. It's not enough to forge your own spiritual connection to the divine; it must be displayed publicly.
So I wonder, what does Scripture say? Jesus spoke to large multitudes frequently, something (humanly speaking) no introvert would ever do. But he also went away by himself to pray for hours at a time, something no extrovert would do.

Maybe the fully divine and fully human Son of God has all the strengths of both extroverts and introverts.