(Not my photo but I wish I knew who took it)
Sometimes I need my breath taken away! Isn't that a beautiful view? I don't understand exactly why God made things look good but I like to believe it stems from his love for us. When I see his handiwork I remember Him and how much he loves me and it softens the hard places in my heart. It's been brought to my attention today how patient God is with me. Every now and then when i'm tired of fighting i'll give in and roll with it. Do you know what I mean? You let sin have it's way in your heart because fighting seems too hard and you're tired of having to answer to God for your lack of obedience. I think i'm more quick to look at how God is going to be upset with me rather than accept His grace and mercy. I often have a picture in my mind of Christ defending the poor in spirit but for some reason I don't put myself there even though that's where I belong. He loves me though and even when I have a critical spirit about everything finds a way to take out that worst in me and still lift me up as blameless. He is a good God and loves in ways I can't comprehend.
I am not a perfect christian, who is? Sometimes God makes me mad. I don't like answering to him for all that I do. I don't like having to not do what feels natural to me. I don't like giving myself so He can have full reign in my life. It doesn't feel good going through a process of him refining me and putting me through the fire but the results are incredible always. I just seem to forget that in the tough moments. Lets take marriage for example. Ohh that man that I love also has a way of bringing out the absolute worst in me! Sometimes I can't stand it and want to leave. I don't want to believe i'm capable of those horrible words or actions. But they're in me and need to be dealt with so God uses my husband time and time again to correct the wrong in me and make me holier and pure. It hurts but seeing it this way helps a lot!
Lately I have been particularly upset with God because I don't understand what is missing. I still feel like something is missing and it is driving me crazy. I told him, 'how can this be?! I read my bible everyday, pray, go to church, am making friends, but I feel lonely and lost!?'. I didn't get an answer for weeks. I thought how can I honestly tell people God is good when I feel this way?
And then he spoke..so simply
"Part of serving me is spending yourself on others. There is a need in you to help others and right now you're not."
It's been about me for as long as I can remember. Even in my walk with God it is centered around me. (there should be a balance) I love thinking about myself. In my marriage I argue about how Darren does not do this for me or that and how it is ruining our relationship. Being a mom I now think how It isn't about me at all, in my relationships I feel hurt when it isn't about me. (oh how I hate admitting to this to you!) I start to think critical in all areas of my life and sooner or later am basking in myself and thinking well i need to make changes and cut people/things out so I can feel better. My eyes have been on me, just me...for I don't even know how long. It's human nature to think of self before others so at least I can explain it. I have to tell you that when I heard those words from God I gasped because that's what's been missing! God needs me to do for him too and give give give! I have a purpose in Christ and that's what i've always desired. I love the way God will be glorified through the seeds I sow and the people I invest in. I love that he will come through and pull in the harvest one day himself walking behind me gathering. This image brings joy to my heart. He desires that I serve him through serving others. I don't know what that looks like right now but i'd imagine it's small things you can do for others that they need and that God will reveal those needs.
Dying to myself will never be easy and it's a lifelong battle but a daily choice I intend to work at. I wanted to share this because I think this may be something you might struggle with as well. It's probably easier to arrange the people in your life that only bring out the best. Don't kick people out just because they're hard to deal with. It may in fact be that God placed them in your life to deal with the not so good in you. Don't end a marriage because you're unhappy, don't end a friendship because they're distant, don't walk away from a church because it's structure isn't perfect, stop thinking of yourself and start thinking about what you can give in your marriage, in your friendships, to this church. Right now it may be easier to walk away but I can promise that God will bless you so much more in sticking it out and loving. He has promised to give us strength...so I hope you along with me will take this lesson to heart from God.
I've missed you friend! Love to hear from you..