(February 07, 2022) Mama Lava shares from her heart…
Have you ever become disillusioned with someone? Or have you been rejected by a friend who discovered something about your personality they didn’t expect?
I recently learned something incredible because of being downed, devoted and delivered from disillusion. The story is raw and real, but if it encourages any of you, it is worth sharing.
Downed from Disillusion
My friend was someone I admired from afar, even before we were aquatinted. She was thoughtful, fun, and full of laughter. She seemed to effortlessly display many characteristics to which I aspire.
We slowly got to know one another well. She had some real struggles and so did I. We shared them openly and, from where I stood, it seemed like a genuine friendship was forged. We laughed and cried together, and encouraged each other through life over several years.
But one day, I got frustrated with her! It came out in one short sentence. It wasn’t the words I chose, so much as the tone of voice I used. As soon as the exasperation left my lips, I felt the consequences. I wished I could reel it back in and have a do over. But words don’t work that way.
Paul said in Ephesians 4:15, ‘Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.’
I spoke truth. I loved her. But I didn’t speak truth in love the way the Bible describes it. I spoke out of selfishness. I was wrong.
The apostle also wrote, ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others’ (Philippians 2:3-4).
Oh, I apologised and she said she forgave me. But you know what? We are no longer friends. I’ve reached out. I’ve tried, no luck. She is disillusioned with me. She saw something in me that she couldn’t abide.
I know God is dealing with my temper as He sanctifies me. I was down and disappointed that a tense moment was a deal breaker in this friendship. It made me really sad.
Devoted from Disillusion
As emotional events tend to do, it got me thinking.
I really appreciate the people who have seen my many downfalls and chosen to love me regardless. Michael, my gem of a husband, has no illusions about me. He has seen me at my worst yet leaned in, caring and supporting. My experience with disillusion made me feel more devoted than ever to my faithful friends.
And God! There is no hiding any of my issues from God. He knows about even the mistakes I have yet to make. And He loves me.
Paul confirmed this in Romans 5:8: ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’
As I thought things through, I would be led to fresh devotion of my God and His love for me, for all of us.
Delivered from Disillusion
I had this realisation… God knows, better than anyone, exactly how I feel. This happens to Him all the time. And because of what He has endured, I can be delivered from disillusion.
But when we get to know Him, we find that He is also just. He does not tolerate sin. He disciplines us. We learn that He is not as interested in our happiness as our holiness. When we pursue earthly pleasures, He lets us suffer the consequences. Scripture says He gives people over to their evil desires. He allows them to choose hell.
People befriend God because of who they think He is. He is good. He’s a provider, a protector. He knows everything, holds everything, and promises to keep nothing we need from us. He loves unconditionally and sacrificially. It is easy to embrace someone like that.
And often, when God turns out to be different than expected, we grow disillusioned with Him. We reject the parts of His character we don’t like! But such actions raise questions…
- If I am unwilling to accept God for who He really is, have I really accepted Him?
- And if I refuse to conform to what He actually says, do I actually follow Him?
- Have I lined up under a pseudo god of my creation… or the genuine God of all Creation?
When I learn something about God that I don’t like, I might want to pull away. But God isn’t the problem, I am.
Distancing myself from Him will not fix me, only drawing near to Him will. When I become uncomfortable in the presence of God, I need to pay attention.
God completely reveals Himself to me in the totality of scripture. But there are parts that are hard to read. Some of it confronts and even offends me. Are those portions any less God’s Word? Can I disregard those passages because they don’t seem consistent with what I want to believe about God?
Have you had friendships fizzle just as they’ve gotten real? Has disillusion, opinion, or imperfection led to the termination of a relationship in your life? ‘Human to human’, haven’t we all been there?
But ‘human to God’ is different. Even as we turn away, He draws us in. He deserves our deference and we do not give it. We do not deserve His unconditional love, and yet He offers it. He sees when disillusion has us down and gives us the opportunity to be devoted and delivered instead.
There is no better friend than God. He knows our flaws but does not recoil or retreat. He does not become disillusioned. Instead, He helps us grow and change. He transforms us into His glorious image and gives us His Spirit of freedom.
No wonder Paul wrote these encouraging words: ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
Mama Lava believes in making the big world a bit smaller through connection. Believing that everybody deserves to be wrapped in maternal love when they need it, she regularly shares encouragements… telling life experiences from an unapologetically Christian point of view the way she sees it, just as a mother does, via her link, Mama Lava’s Back Porch (A Dose of Maternal Love).