Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Trapped Where I Didn't Belong

     As I sat in the great room of the cabin I noticed a wasp gliding across the window, trapped inside. Seventy degrees weather one day to winter temperatures the next had thrown everything into a state of confusion, including the wasps. 

     One wasp after another found it's way into the cabin. The windows created an illusion for them, blocking their flight.  Lethargic from the change of atmosphere it was easy to take them out with one swat of a shoe.

     I couldn't help but see the lessons to be gained. Wasps were created for spreading life, through pollination. Trapped inside the cabin there would be no pollination. Their followed path of seeking warmth led them into places they were never meant to be.

     It applies so much to our lives today in our Christian communities. We are awakened to the warmth of love, inviting us to live in relationship with God, and others. Soon after, the lures of "to do" lists come bounding in, weighing us down with requirements, killing the relationship.

     The lures were familiar to the Pharisees. They called them laws. It was what they were supposed to do to fulfill the requirements of the broken relationship. The law wasn't made to fulfill, it was made to expose. It was established to show man's desperate need for salvation. No one could fully keep the law.  A rescue was needed.  Christ, the one true sacrifice fulfilled the law.

     So why am I still trying to fulfill what was already fulfilled? Like the wasps, I was created to bear life. But instead of dwelling where I was created to dwell, I found myself trapped in places I was never meant to go, stifling out the life poured into me.

     I was made in the image of relationship for relationship. I am made for love. Instead of being taught how deeply I am loved, I was taught to "be about the Father's business".  What is the Father's business anyways? Wasn't it love?  For God so loved the world....

     When I accepted Christ's offer, immediately I was given a list of things I must do to follow Him.  Now that I belonged to God it became about what I did for Him that became the focus. 

     Doesn't that somehow take me back into the law, trapping me where I cannot possibly live? Isn't salvation about love making a way to live in response to relationship instead of requirements?

     What about love? In 22 years of Christian living I never heard anyone say that I was intimately and passionately loved. Oh I heard that Jesus loved me enough to die for me, but no one told me about His continual, relentless pursuit of my heart. No one told me that He would move heaven and earth just to love me. I had no idea that I was the object of His affections. I had no clue of how He truly saw me.

     It is all about love. Jesus didn't come to show us what to do. He came to make a way for love. He broke the binds of the law. He focused on love and what love with invited Him to do.  All that He did, He did to reveal love.

     I was created to live in love. That's it, nothing else. There are no requirements, but only an invitation. Come and be loved.  Allow love to invite you to do. I don't have to discipline myself to have a quiet time, evangelize, make disciples, or have a prayer list. If I am living loved I will naturally choose those things.

     As I grasp the depth of how precious I am to Him I cannot hold the love in. It will come out. I will be drawn away with Him to hear and read His Word, pray for those things that burden His heart and make disciples because the love in me will not keep silent.

     The traps of religion fall away as I enter into living loved with the one who loves me perfectly.  The warmth of His love frees me, inviting me to bear life exactly where He desires it to be offered.  Unlike the wasps, a door is opened for me and I am set free.  I am not only free to live as love directs.  That is the invitation.   

     For God, SO loved the world that He invited us to be loved, fully, completely, just as we are.  It is the good news of the gospel of salvation.  We are invited to put away our "to do" lists and enter into the embrace of God. He will love us into what He wants us to do.  I smell the fresh air of His Spirit as it breathes into my soul the truth.  Love is what He asks.....

     Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.

©copyright:  2008 Julie L. Todd


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I am only know beginning to grasp how much the Saviour loves ME and pursues ME! Great Post. xo

Trinity Mommy said... Reply to comment

Once again I am left speechless! Your words truly speak right where my husband and I are today! We are loved and cannot add or take away from that love- this is such a new concept and we have been raised doing "church" all of our lives! it is not an easy truth to live, I keep finding myself reverting back to what I have been "taught" not what I "know!"

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Angie, you just rock. Plain and simple. God is shining so brightly through this message. Not only does He love you. I do as well. Mwah!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

Of course I know your name is Julie. I have no idea why Angie was on my brain.

Holli said... Reply to comment

It brings such freedom when we realize that the "big plan" people talk about is too big for us to grasp or understand or complete. God does the work, we get to play a part in His plan. His plan to bring His love to hurting people. Learning to rest in His love is truly when it begins to shine through us and it then begins to land on those we come in contact with. My new prayer each day and hope for my day is that somehow I will be able to share the love that He gives to me with other people. The more I focus on the love He has for me, the more other people seem to feel that same love coming from me towards them. Thank you for reminding us that it's not about the work, but the relationship.

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

I am all about diving deeper into His love as He has created me to do. Not according to the ways of man. But yielding to his call to come and enter...

I'm so thankful you point all readers to LOVE. God is love and I'm so passionate that others find that love. For out of that filling of His love, we can be free to receive and give that love.

Anyway, I'm with you. 100 percent with you. Thankful for you. Your heart is always His.

kimberley said... Reply to comment

if it wasn't for the fact that i have to go remind my little girl that it's *quiet time*, i could sit here for hours and read your posts.

the words that you have written here are words that i needed to read today. to be reminded of what my relationship with Jesus is supposed to be.

and to be reminded that something good can come from wasps:).

thank you julie.

i look forward to reading more!

Becoming Me said... Reply to comment

I love reading your posts and am always so inspired, but often don't know how to comment...what could I possibly add? Thank you for this.

Shanda said... Reply to comment

"Jesus didn't come to show us what to do. He came to make a way for love."

I grew up with the very image of Jesus. The perfect example of what I would never be able to live up to on my own accord. Usually leaving me in a state of confusion like the wasps!

I'm claiming His love for me today... just waiting for my heart to catch up with my head.

Thanks for sharing your heart.

ktwalden said... Reply to comment

I agree with "Becoming Me"....such a profound message leaves nothing to be added. Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture of God's love.

Amy said... Reply to comment


This is beautiful!! I'm so thankful to have a friend who loves the Lord the way you do.

Love you!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Amen, Julie!

As I grow in my relationship with Him, the trappings of religion fall away. You illustrate this so sweetly, my friend!

Love to you!


Sharon said... Reply to comment

Wow I feel your heart in this post, so touching, and inspiring.
He loves us unconditionally and nooo one can take this away!!
I will ponder this for the rest of the day, and will share this at the dinner table.
Merry Christmas

Trinity Mommy said... Reply to comment

So you dont want to go to church is such a wonderful book! I wish I could get more people to read it with an open mind! I cant wait to order He loves me, it sounds like it would be another great book to add to our library!

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

Hi, sweet Julie. You are such a minister of His love and grace. Thanks for fighting the lies of the enemy with the truths God has taught you through your own life.

I read a powerful quote tonight that lines right up with your post...

"The prophetic word spoken by Jesus to a thirty-four year old widow, Marjory Kempe, in Lynn, Massachusetts,in 1667 remains ever ancient, ever new, 'More pleasing to Me than all your prayers, works, and penances is that you would believe I love you.'" (from the Ragamuffin Gospel...yes, I am STILL reading that one!)

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with me about your rings! I just love how He speaks to us through our every day lives.

Blessings, friend!
Surrendering more each day to love,

Sarah said... Reply to comment

The wasp is a beautiful picture...Merry Christmas...I hope yours is beautiful.