Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Friends Part 1

I have a friend who struggles with belief in God because of the Christians in his life. My friend has two relationships that have torn his understanding of God in two.

The first is his father. He was a pastor for many years and taught my friend everything that he knew about God as a child. It was a faith filled with fear because God was watching and he did not like what he saw. The father would motivate my friend through the belief that God had a clear set of desires for his life that were not being fulfilled.

One day my friend got an opportunity to move out of the house and move to the city. He had a crippled faith and not much hope in knowing God or being loved by him. He felt defeated and would rather not spend his life trying to make amends with something or someone he could not really even see.

Within a few years of living in the city my friend entered into the second relationship. Her name was Rachel. Rachel had grown up in a home with many boundaries as well, but little to do about God. Rachel’s parents were schoolteachers and they never really went to church. However, when Rachel was in high school she began to go to a youth group that taught her about Jesus. She learned how incredibly giving and loving Jesus really was. How he offered all of who he was freely to all who would accept him. No boundaries, no lists, no rules, just free love waiting to be grabbed. She loved every part of her experience in church and felt great about her relationship with God.

My friend loved Rachel because she lived life with a sense of freedom that others did not seem to have. Rachel loved being with my friend because he saw how precious and beautiful she was. They enjoyed their time of dating and began to pursue a longer-term commitment with one another. They began giving into themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They knew they were going beyond the limits that God would want for them, but Rachel knew how to express the forgiveness of Jesus so well it left them with shame that could be defeated by mercy. The mercy of the cross has never seemed so real to my friend because he had never seen an ounce of that mercy drawn from the well of his life. Now it seemed like a flood.

My friend began to see Jesus in a new light. He began to experience the cross of Jesus and forgiveness and mercy that flowed. He began to let go of the wounds and fears of God. He shed away the lists and the lies of his father. He began to understand the freedom in God more than he had ever experience before.

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