From Sharon, CTH
Child of My love, lean hard,
And let me feel the pressure of thy care;
I know thy burden, child. I shaped it;
Poised it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion
In its weight to thine unaided strength,
For even as I laid it on, I said,
“I shall be near, while he leans on Me,
This burden shall be Mine, not his;
So shall I keep My child within the circling arms
Of My Own love.” Here lay it down, nor fear
To impose on a shoulder which upholds
The government of worlds. Yet closer come:
So I might feel My child reposing on my breast.
Thou lovest Me?
I knew it.
Doubt not then; but loving Me, lean hard.
–from STREAMS IN THE DESERT, SEPT, 2013
I’ll leave this here, a thought from Eugene Peterson in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction:
“The Christian is not a naive, innocent infant who has no identity apart from a feeling of being comforted and protected and catered to, but a person who has discovered an identity that is given by God which can be enjoyed best and fully in a voluntary trust in God.”
Now–the book recommendation I was going to toss out: this is an old one. Christ and Selfhood, by Wayne Oates. It’s out of print, but may be available on Amazon used books. That’s where I finally found a copy some years ago.
This paragraph gives an illustration of the nature of his discussions:
The Nature of Encounter with Christ
“Both from a theological and a pastoral point of view, the nature of the encounter of a person with Christ must be explored. The first thing that needs to be said is that this encounter initiates in God and not in man.
“By his own decision, God has in Christ chosen to come out on the road of life and meet man where he is. Arnold Toynbee challenges the idolization of religious institutions in his historical approach to religion. He criticizes the grandiosity of those Christians who assume that God has spoken for all time and eternity in Jesus Christ.
“But Daniel Day Williams challenges this accusation of megalomania with the comment that the basic issue of God’s Incarnation in Christ is not the grandiose feelings of this or that group of vested interests in modern Christendom but of a decisive act of God in history.
“….This is not, as Toynbee’s reference infers, a choice or decision of man or a group of men, but of God himself. We cannot let the emphasis rest upon ourselves on chosen people but [the emphasis must rest] upon God as a choosing God who has decisively acted in Jesus Christ.”
Spar, the book is described on the dust cover as “clues and approaches to understanding personality through the Incarnation.” It’s quite a broad and deep bit.
I would own the book (and I believe I do) just because of two sentences (and six words found within those sentences) to be found on page 41:
“The good news of the Incarnation is that in Jesus Christ forgiveness [he’s discussing reconciliation with God in this section]is not only possible but in fact and history has actually already taken place. What is left for us to do is act upon this forgiveness by decisively accepting Christ’s love as the organizing center of our identity, as the heart of our existence as a self .
(I sure hope my efforts at inserting the things to make underlines worked right. If they didn’t, it will be obvious)
It looks like my underlines didn’t work. Oh, well. Blessings on your day!
I’m replying quickly by email, later on site. I’ll be looking for those books and seeing when I can budget their purchase. You know me well and I value your recommendations as likely being rich in messages I need to hear. New sense of mission emerging about the site. What a blessing is you, sister, With Love from Jesus, Spar Harmony