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Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Monday, March 30

Today’s Readings: Psalm 16; Lamentations 3:19-39; John 12:32-40; 1 Peter 1:13-21; Psalm 33

Featured Reading:
Lamentations 3:19-39

For years, I had heard my friends in recovery programs talk about the notion of bottoming out as a pre-requisite for getting serious about turning one’s life around. I never really understood the concept since it didn’t make sense that someone would have to wait for things to get really bad before they would begin to turn things around. I didn’t understand, for instance, why someone wouldn’t figure out they had a drinking problem when they got drunk, missed work, and were placed on probation. “Why would that person have to get fired before they seriously thought about quitting?” I wondered. I asked that question because I didn’t understand the nature of an addiction. Of course there are lots of us out there that end up waiting a long time to get it who have issues other than addictions as well. I was one of those people. As someone who grew up a white male who was perceived to be heterosexual, I believed that all of the answers to the wrongs of the world lie within the realm of human achievement. If an injustice was perpetuated, an individual merely needed to initiate litigation to get the matter cleared up. And if an action was destroying the well being of the earth, all we needed to do was pass legislation to establish healthy environmental practices. You name it, and we human beings could solve it. Then I came out and moved from the center of power to the margins; and in that process for the first time I realized how foolish I had been to put all of my trust in human beings. I completely failed to account for the fact that – despite human beings tremendous capacity to do good – there were still limitations that would ultimately prevent them from being able to fix all the problems. In other words, I had to bottom out myself by facing the brutal realities of human limitations before I could really begin to understand what it meant to really place my trust in God. And you know what happened? Once I started doing that, I became much less negative about the state of the world and much more filled with optimism. To use the language from today’s reading from Lamentations, for the first time in my life I could begin to keep “a grip on hope” (Lamentations 3:21 from The Message). Perhaps there is an issue in your life that you’ve been trying to “fix” by placing all of your hope in some finite entity. You’re probably beginning to feel overwhelmed and frustrated by such an approach. If that’s the case, I would encourage you to take a good portion of that faith, and re-direct it toward God. If you take such a radical step (hopefully, before you bottom out!), you might be surprised to find the bitterness and frustration that you’ve been carrying in your life transformed into something else: hope! Til next time…

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