Learning to Float

The soul must long for God in order to be set aflame by God’s love; but if the soul cannot yet feel this longing, then it must long for the longing. To long for the longing is also from God. — Meister Eckhart

Maiken at A Case of Me isn’t “feeling all that Jesus-y lately”. She has doubts, and they scare her. Reminds of me (and a very dear friend). She writes:

At the worst moments I scare myself with thinking: “imagine if in ten years time you’re not a Christian!” … At my best moments I believe it’s God allowing me to experience doubts in order to create a deeper hunger for a fuller relationship with and dependency upon the Son.

Rick left the following comment on her weblog that resonates with me:

My experience has been that God entered into my questions more fully when I ALLOWED myself to ASK the questions. God is with you. This is a place of maturing and growing in your life. You will fall more deeply in love with God as you discover that the less you know ABOUT God the more that you may actually KNOW God.

For so long I FEARED doubt, uncertainty, and wonder. I sensed that I was “spitting” in God’s face; that I was turning my back on Jesus. Just the very fact that you are concerned and care is a good indication that you are not turning away from God. You may be turning from certain BELIEFS, but those beliefs are not God, they are beliefs about God. God is. “Tell them I AM sent you”.

I learned that I was truly entering into the Mystery of God…it was like getting out of the boat that held my understanding of God, removing my life-preserver and entering into the warm water which IS God—rather than fearfully and frantically flapping my arms and swimming back toward the boat to prevent myself from drowning. I learned to relax and calm-down and just float in the Sea of the Mystery where the Water holds me and bathes me in real love. I used the think the boat WAS God, The boat only supported me until I was ready to float on my own.

God is holding you. Allow the water to wash over you and bathe you.

Learning to float, especially when your feet can’t touch the bottom, is a hard thing to do, even more so if you can’t “feel” God’s presence holding you. But as Rick said, God is, whether or not we know or feel it.

Maiken, and the rest of us wrestling with doubts and questions and uncertainty, will be okay as long as God does not ask us what Bill Cosby said that God asked Noah in trying to convince him to build the ark—“Noah, how long can you tread water?”

We too often forget that faith is a matter of questioning and struggle before it becomes one of certitude and peace. You have to doubt and reject everything else in order to believe firmly in Christ, and after you have begun to believe, your faith itself must be tested and purified. Christianity is not merely a set of forgone conclusions. — Thomas Merton

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