Thursday, June 30, 2016

When You're Tired of the Fence~

Have you ever tried it?

If you have, you know there is no easy or comfortable way to do it.
Perching yourself on a fence, that is.

And because perching is uneasy and far from comfortable,
once you have perched,
you don't stay perched for long.
You either hop off this side of the fence,
or that.
And you soon discover, middle ground isn't an option.

"You know how you can tell if you really love God?"

My husband and I talked about this a lot.
Loving God.
Being authentic in our faith.
Walking the walk, not just talking the talk.

"It all comes down to the fence,'' he would say. "If you truly love God, you just can't do it. There is no way you can love God and sit on the fence. You can try, but you'll end up miserable. With God, you either have to go all the way or not at all."

He knew what he was talking about.
He, like me, (and I'm assuming you, too, possibly)
had tried sitting on the fence more than once.

Trying to love God and love the world.
Trying to say "yes" to God and say "yes" to temptation.
Trying to please our Savior and please self.
Trying to be fit for God's kingdom and fit into our culture.
Trying to have one foot in each place at the exact same time.

Straddling the fence.

"Nope.  If you truly love God you can't do it.  You'll be miserable."

And the miserable we feel in this place of half way in and half way out, must be the same kind of miserable God feels as he watches us fence sitting, teetering this way only to totter that way.

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 
~Revelation 3:16

And, I can't help but think of the passage of scripture that was so precious to my husband.
The chapter he would turn to each and every time he had tried to sit on the fence.
The words that became to him
a cry of surrender,
a cry of stepping back onto the God-side,
a cry from his heart that God heard each and every time
he cried out in his fence-bringing misery.

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
you have broken me -
now let me rejoice.
Don't keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don't take your Holy Spirit from me.
~Psalm 51:7-11

David knew all about fences, too.
And, he knew all about the misery straddling them can bring.

Thankfully, though,
and my handsome honey,
knew all about the God who is waiting by the fence.

The God, who,
when we realize the error of our leaning,
the sin of our straying,
the misery of our wandering,
is waiting to take our hand and help us off the fence.

The God, who,
when we cry out for help,
when we cry out for forgiveness,
when we cry out for nothing or no one to come between us and our Lord,
comes to our rescue and draws us unto Himself.

The God, who,
when we come to our senses and come to Him,
washes us clean,
restores our joy,
and promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Have you tried it?

If you have, you know there is only one way to do it.
Freeing yourself from fence sitting, that is.

Cry out to God -
the very same God who
chose to take his place high up on a wooden cross
so you and I
can find our way down off the fences in our lives.

His love for us sets us free.
Our love for Him will keep us free.

"Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and
with all your soul and
with all your mind and
with all your strength."
~Mark 12:20

Love God
in all ways,
at all times,


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