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NOVEMBER 2004
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Separation
By Marina Rojas

Contrary to popular belief, it does rain in Southern California. It especially likes to rain in November, and when the November rains come, it is done with the usual Hollywood over-kill. Buckets of rain fall on streets that donít have any gutters; or worse yet, have no storm drains.

During one particularly rainy November, my family and I woke up to discover that the roof on our house was in dire need of an extreme makeover. Having awakened to what sounded like a car crashing into our home, we rushed into our front room, only to find ourselves involved in the midst of a torrential rain storm.

Now, that the rainstorm was happening was not unusual for that particular time of the year. What was a little strange was that the rain was falling in our front room. I do not mean that little water droplets were plopping from a damp ceiling onto my front room floor, but that a ceiling was no longer anywhere to be found, and the large, gaping hole left was that through which El NiŮo was greeting the Rojas family with a lavish outpouring of its unbridled fury.

Buckets did not help. Tarpaulins did not help. I was getting desperate enough to consider Saran wrapping the entire 5 feet x 7 feet chasm through the steady downpour, as my husband and I inspected the damage for short term repair possibilities. Then I noticed something I had never realized before.

I mean, I have always noticed that our house is a flat-roofed house Ė itís not like Iím that unobservant. But standing there wearing a large green Heftyģ trash bag (with the convenient four corner tie backs, of course) as chic rain gear, while being nearly drowned in my own front room by the biggest storm of the season I might add, I happened to notice that there was not really that much that had separated me and my family from these storms all along.

I began to scrutinize the framing and the roof of my home very thoroughly as I stood there in my spectacular rainwear, and eventually came up with a few questions.

Is that all there is to separate me from the outside?

Is that all there is to separate me from the heat, or the cold, or the elements?

Is that all there ever was separating me from animals and burglars and worms and bugs and things like that?

It made me consider the fact that I have had a lot of confidence in some things that were not very reliable. It made me realize that I have been living my life ignoring the fact that there is not much to separate me from harmful things. In fact, not much more than the confidence I hold in those unreliable things to offer protection.

Then I realized that the way I look at God is, at times, almost the same as the way I looked at the crashed-in ceiling. I sometimes held a confidence in things that were not as reliable as I had thought they were (like my roof). But knowing that God is the author of all good things, including my confidence, why would I ever separate myself from Him? After all, I thought, what does separate me from God?

I had to admit that mostly what separates me from God is me. When Iím up to no good, I like to separate myself from God, thinking Heíll be too busy with other folks to notice that I am in need of a repentant heart. When I am angry that I have not gotten what I want, or do not understand why something has happened that I feel should not have happened, then I like to keep myself separated from God. I can go for days, sometimes, pretending He isnít near.

Now and then I like to throw some worldly factors in there Ė like my house, my roof, my family, my friends, my job and my car Ė and give them the blame for separating me from God. It is easy to say that things of this world sometimes cause me to separate myself from God. I love to play Adam, pointing my finger, and smugly saying to God, "You gave me that ______. (Fill in the blank with the corresponding worldly offending factor) It was that _______ that made me go away from You!"

But when I touch base with reality, I have to ask myself some more questions.

Is that all there is that can make me separate from God?

Is that all there is to separate me from His warmth, His love and the beauty of His fellowship?

Is that all there is to separate me from the spiritual awakening of my soul?

As I gaze skyward into the big holes I create when I separate myself from God, I realize that itís a lot like the situation when the rain poured down through the hole in my roof that November so many years ago. There is really very little that separates me from Him, just as there was very little separating my family from the rain storm.

The difference is, I had enough sense when the rain was pouring through my ceiling, to know that the thing I had trusted in, had failed me. So I hurried to cover the hole with a roof, which gave me some sort of protection (real and imagined) from those things that did not belong in my house.

But with God, even knowing that He is the only One in my life that I can fully trust, I am foolish not to use any common sense to rush and cover myself with His mercy, kindness and love.

I had to ask myself, since it takes so very little for me to separate myself from God, what does it take to separate Him from me?

I turned to Scripture for the answer, and found in the book of Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)

It would appear as though there is nothing anywhere that can separate His love for us, from us. It must be, then, that we like to forget that we are the ones who keep trying to separate ourselves from Him, while not remembering the absolute strong bond of love that He has for us.

The words of an old song by Natalie King just came to mind, "Inseparable, That's how we'll always be. Inseparable." Wow!

An unshakable, unbreakable embrace of love from God Almighty through His living Son, Christ Jesus, just for you, and just for me; and nothing, nothing, nothing can ever separate Him from us.

For November, I will begin to diligently work on the chasm of separation I sometimes put between myself and God. I encourage you to join me, to become closer to Him, and not to straggle so far away from Him, especially when you are in need of a repentant heart. Come walk with the Lover of your soul and let nothing separate you from His love. Not even yourself.
An Irishman with a love of God and a penchant for humor, Marinaís life is devoted to her very own Ricky Ricardo-esque husband, 4 children, a daughter-in-law and grandson. Writing around her full time job with the State of California, Marina is published monthly in several ezines. http://www.realezsites.com/pers/marinaink/

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