‘FROM WHENCE COMETH MY HELP…? The source of all life and love and healing-hope is not from within us… Of course, it works within us – rousing us to life from deep within ourselves …but that’s not from whence it comes. We are only ever able to live and love – come to be properly alive – because we have been enlivened from outside of what we can generate.[i] Sure we are brought to life from deep within ourselves but it has to come firstly from a place outside ourselves – we don’t have to ever try to generate that place!
That’s what the Psalmists tell us as they describe our Source – the One we call ‘God!
God – as the ‘not-up-to-us-to-generate-by-our-imagining-or-positive-thinking’ SOURCE of everything that in Christ, by God’s own Spirit – is whom we are to tap into, to draw from.
We are talking about God as an energy field, a life/love force that not only exists – but that exists entirely FOR us! …is always on our side! This is the One named as LOVE with us as the beloved! This is a life force that STIRS, blesses us with HEALING/ RECONCILING/ FORGIVING/ RECONNECTING…and yet that also CONVICTS and CHALLENGES!
That brings DISCOMFORT! We sometimes get this so wrong as we force Jesus to be just the ‘gentle, meek and mild’ one of our childhood, while as Christ-followers we believe that THIS God of ours is a life-force that also shakes us up!
Why do we need to keep coming back to texts that stress this truth? Because we forget! Before we know, we start living as if we are somehow exempt – don’t need God! Remember Parker Palmer’s teaching on ‘Functional Atheism’ where he suggests just that thing?
It seems that there are three marks of our living as we’ve been made to live:
An on-going energy! Quite regardless of how young or old we are, and even whatever we may be going through in life, we may notice a quickening in our inner selves as we come to be increasingly connected with an energizing awareness of God – that God actually exists!
An increasing sense of self-worth! I’m talking about a beautiful and growing sense of living into the wonder of who and what this God-life-source is doing in us and for others and all creation through us. It’s the realization of how each of us is actually becoming the conduit of God’s grace of which we sing.
Engagement! Purpose! Fr Richard Rohr describes how a growing awareness of the reality of God always results in a transformation of the one who receives it. It’s not enough to have wonderful theories about God. Authentic encounter radically changes us and our way of living—our politics, relationships, economics. We find that we are changing. We find that we are starting to care about things differently: We may find that many of those things that we used to think were so important – but made us obsess with just ourselves and our own greedy agendas – start to fade while other things seem to be taking their place – as we develop different priorities…
They say that not only does following the way of Jesus not necessarily bring us what we think we need for all our agendas, but actually seems to make our lives LESS peaceful by giving us all sorts of other worries that we would not have even known about/cared about if we hadn’t met Him – weren’t following Him!
We may find that our faith is becoming less about having to love and believe in a God ‘out there’ so much as about wanting to become part of what God loves and is wanting us to be doing ‘right here…’
Questions to Ponder:
- To what extent are you living as God, in Christ, has made you to live?
- From ‘whence comes your strength?’
- How aware are you of God as a stream of life just LONGING to bless you? …challenge you?
- How has following Christ changed you and your priorities?
- What are you finding mattering more now than before, and less?
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[i] Even as we’re told in Genesis how ‘God breathed into Adam…’ ‘IN-SPIRATION…’