Bend us, Dad

I mentioned that I’ve been seeing things more and more clearly right? In the first few weeks I just saw the state of people and society.

I saw how we’re designed to be in intimacy with God and how we’re hobbling along trying to make the best of it. We’re like a one-legged person who won’t admit that they need a helping hand, so they grit their teeth and stumble along refusing help. That’s what I see when I see people with “attitude” or people who are terminally addicted to self or fashion. It’s a crutch.

They think they are independant and strong and capable. They are proud of their achievements.

But I see a person who is unwilling to say “yes I am not complete by myself and I need something or Someone. Can you help me find what I am missing?”

I walked along day after day seeing how the fall has exposed us so terribly. We were not designed to walk along independantly, but we grit our teeth and forge ahead independantly anyway as if nothing is wrong.

This is what God refers to as “stiff necked”.

Then I began to see how that all works itself out in greed and politics. I saw how many groups recognize our predicament, that our greed damages our world… and we only have one world… but they don’t recognize WHY we have this enormous internal need for something else.

Greenpeace will fight greed to stop global warming, but they refuse to see greed as a way to fill a need that we have inside ourselves, a need to be in relationship with God!
To say *I* have a need would be seen as weak. But I see it as truth. God once said to me “if you won’t admit there is a problem, we can’t fix it”. I had to admit to eating problems, sexual problems, attitude problems and whatever else.

Initially I didn’t want to bend. I was a stiff neck too. The world had taught me well.

But the irony is that if anyone in this world wants God’s help, all we have to do is ask for it. Not beg. Just ask. Think about the parable of the prodigal son and take note of what the father says when the elder brother is jealous and complains:

But [the elder brother] was angry [with deep-seated wrath] and resolved not to go in. Then his father came out and began to plead with him, But he answered his father, Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never disobeyed your command. Yet you never gave me [so much as] a [little] kid, that I might revel and feast and be happy and make merry with my friends; But when this son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you have killed for him that [wheat-] fattened calf!

And the father said to him, Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. – Luke 15:28-31

How wonderful is that answer? Our Father is saying “you are always with Me and you can always ask for what you need”.

He once showed me many many gorgeously colored stuffed toys and said I could have any of them. Because of my independance and stubbornness (really just a lack of awareness of my intense need for Him) I had been fighting Him for one of these toys – but He showed me He had many.

We are born  in separation from Him and many of us grow up in an unGodly home where we learn to fend for ourselves. We learn to be indepedant and we learn to be tough. We know we have a need, but we just think “thats life!” and we don’t wonder about WHY we have a need. We just seek to fill that need with the things around us.

When God approaches some of us, we assume that we also have to fight Him for what we need and we mis-interpret His actions and His choices. We won’t bend. We won’t admit our need. We won’t ask.

Humility is not a crushing state of neediness, it’s simply admitting we DO have a need and then asking Him to fill that need. Humility is not defeat, it’s recognizing our limitations and going to Him to have those needs met.

It’s interesting… I’m just remembering that Evan Robert famously said “O God, bend me” just before the Welsh Revival (1904) began. (You can search for the words “bend me” on this page and read about it.)

One response to “Bend us, Dad

  1. Bending will work for some. Breaking works for others. Good words Mark.

    Hi brother. Mmmm… breaking. Ouch. I guess what I was trying to get across is that if we can just humble ourselves and see our need, we will happily begin to ask God for all the good things He WANTS to give to us. Bending and breaking can seem to indicate an adversarial relationship, but it doesn’t need to be. If we can simply SEE our need and SEE what He has to offer… then we will happily work with Him. Bless you! – Mark.

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