Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Guilt of Salvation

When it comes down to it, I have done a tremendous amount of work on myself over the last few years. And, of course, Jesus has done even more work on me during that same period. The honest truth is that His Grace has made things easy for me.

And that's why I feel guilty. 990 days ago I made a deal with the Savior. All I had to do was recognize God's sovereignty, submit to work for His Plan, and in return God has let me see just how far He is willing to go in holding me in His arms. I have seen miracles in the last 2-2/3 years, and yet I am still astonished when I look back over my life and see just what God has done for me. To be clear, I do not feel that God has been "too good" to me... my ego still struggles to accept that God is empowering me with exactly what I need to spread His Good News -- nothing more but nothing less. I freely admit that my ego wants more power -- more ability to lead people, more ability to pay my bills, more ability to live comfortably rather than on the edge of poverty & destitution. When it comes to that manifestation of egotism, I am still a work in progress but even in this aspect, God has been incredibly forgiving of my ego.

What I live with, simply put, is survivor's guilt.

Grace broke some profoundly dangerous addictive patterns in my life... and now, I see my friends suffering and struggling to control their addictions. They are no less deserving of the freedom I have in Christ. Why me, Lord? Why? Why did You choose me? I am not pretty, I am not a media-friendly photogenic thin guy who people want to listen to when I speak. Why did You give me this freedom? What shall I do for You with my understanding of the truth behind addiction?

Grace empowered me to heal astonishingly fast from the heartache of whatever it was that Ross and I had and whatever it was that he walked away from... and now, I see my friends suffering and struggling to heal from deep pain in the aftermath of failed relationships. They are no less deserving of the loving satisfaction I have in Christ. Why me, Lord? Why? Why did You choose me? Why did You give me this healing from my heart's pain and leave others to suffer? What shall I do for You with my understanding of Your mercy and how living for You has brought me joy beyond any orgasm I could ever imagine?

I know that I can never repay You for your gifts; there is nothing I will ever be able to do that will equate to Your gift of the Only-Begotten Son on the cross for me and all of Your children. I wish I could just let it go... but... I feel guilty for surviving. So many people who I love, who I see as just as deserving of Salvation as me, are in pain... losing the battle... never knowing the peace You have brought me. If I could ask one thing more of you, it would be this: could You either save more of Your children from their pain, or at least tell me how my Salvation fits into Your Plan?

...and the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm... Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together? Do you hunt the prey for the lioness and satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket? 
(Job 38:37-40)

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