Skip to main content

Jesus, the obstacle

Photo from

"But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light."
1 Peter 2:9 NLT

But we're not like what?  The verse before quotes Isaiah 8:14, which says that Jesus is like a stone that many people will trip over. 

Earlier this spring, I was running along a path much like the one in the picture above.  Around mile 3, my feet became heavy and my toe caught a little rock that was sticking up through the soil.  I went tumbling down into the rocks and roots and now have a good seven inch scar along the base of my elbow.  

I think the scripture is saying that Jesus is like that little rock.  Not so much a grand boulder that sits heavy in our path, but a little stone that sometimes trips us up.  

Before I first encountered Jesus, I was running along that path in blindness.  I tripped over Him and fell hard.  It hurt.  But for the first time I could see my surroundings.  I could see what was hurting me and how I was hurting others.  

And still, I trip and fall.  When I am running too fast.  When my eyes and heart have become too focused on money, power, myself. When the spiritual "cataracts" have begun to develop, I trip and fall. 
It still hurts.  
But He slows me down and always tends to my wounds.  
He teaches me to run steady.

This is how we "show others the goodness of God."  What seems cruel (tripping us with a stone) is actually loving grace.  Had we not tripped, we would have run unaware off of the cliff.  

God is good to us.
Even in the pain.


Popular posts from this blog

What it means when a narcissistic pastor says, "I love the church"

I ran across this article while going through a rough place in my life.  It had profound meaning for me in dealing with some of the individuals in my life that have narcissistic traits. The article highlights the fact that when a narcissist says, “I love you,” he really means that he loves the way that you (fill in the blank): take care of his needs, focus your energy on him, submit, etc. Individuals that have been in relationships with narcissists often admit to feeling crazy, not recognizing the abuse while it was occurring, and to keeping secrets to cover for his abuse, infidelity, etc.  I wonder if this is what many people are recognizing in the #exevangelical movement.  Because as I was going through this article again, I began to realize that many of the narcissistic traits could be applied to the many pastors and men in church leadership that I have known through the years. Being in church ministry for twelve years, I became proficient at silence and lies to cover the behavior…

To "speak the truth in love" does not mean "reprimand"

"...speaking the truth in love..." Ephesians 4:15
Notice the "dot, dot, dot," before and after that phrase?  But how many times have you heard it as a full sentence?  Speak the Truth in love.  As a full sentence, it loses all context.  And how often is this phrase used as an excuse to reprimand another "in love" and tell them about their multitude of sins?
The New Living Translation has a completely different take on this phrase.  It states, "we will hold to the truth in love."  Now, that changes it a bit, doesn't it?  That makes the action about me and not about me acting on another.  
In context, Ephesians 4 is talking about the Body of Christ and how we must work to grow up and mature in the Lord.  "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe..."  The work is for each of us to grow up and cling to the Lord's love.  
And what Truth are we clinging to?  It is the truth that we are d…

I visited a Mosque. And went to church.

Today, our local International Rescue Committee organization hosted a solidarity event at the Islamic Society of Wichita while their members were gathering for Friday prayers.  We stood outside, held signs, and let them know that we are with them.  That we are forthem.

But before the event I met my new friend, Ratna, for a tour and some lunch in the well-worn gym.  I was running a little early so I sat by myself on the concrete fountain in front of the building.
It was a beautiful day.  The sun was warming me.  I could smell the food cooking.  A suburban in the parking lot said, "Girl Scout Cookies For Sale!" written in white shoe polish on the dark windows.

Pretty soon, Ratna pulled up in her minivan, tagged along behind by her 5-year-old son with his bright blue iPad and headphones.  He was watching a Pokemon cartoon and was humming along to the songs.  Skipping as he went.  Ratna smiled, hugged me, and led me inside for a tour of their worship space.

It was a beautiful b…