That last post I wrote, I have to admit that I've been having some major difficulties walking it out. I have not been a dead man, I've been a selfish one. God has been plowing away, at my selfishness and my pride. His message has been constant. Through every person I encounter, through every song I hear, every word I read, His grace is sufficent. I can not do this in my own strength. I know that, because I have been defeated, by my very own weapon. God has been dishing out the encouragment, reminding me that He's backing me up, that He still loves me. And every time He's encouraged me, I've soaked it up, walked away, and immediately turned back to my selfish pride. Like the man who looks at himself in the mirror and walks away, right away forgetting what he looks like. I have been so foolish! I read in Luke yesterday, the story of Jesus on the shore, telling His disciples to throw their nets in one more time. They had been fishing all night, they must have been tired, hungry, and I bet slightly annoyed that Jesus had even asked them to do anything. You don't think Peter thought to himself, Yeah, hellooo, we tried that already! Like fifty billion times. It must've seemed like a dumb request, pointless. But Peter's response was, "On the ground of Your word we will lower the nets again" Wow, I'm tired, I'm hungry and I'm annoyed, but on the ground of your word! I will trust you! The truth that God wants to plant deep in my heart is that His grace is sufficent. That I can cry out for help and I will get it. That I can't fight this fight on my own, that I can admit defeat. On Sunday morning, we sang the song 'Shackles', one of my favorite songs. I was so blessed that the Lord spoke to me so much through worship that morning. One verse in that song is,
"Everything that could go wrong All went wrong at one time So much pressure fell on me I thought I was gonna lose my mind But I know you wanna see If I will hold on through these trials But I need you to lift this load Cause I can't take it anymore"
"Lift this load!" A cry for grace! He freely gives His grace to those who ask. "I can't take it anymore", a cry of surrender! He fully takes control of your life when you give Him the control. This made me think of when my husband and I were engaged. We decided we would walk in purity, which was easy to decide, harder to walk out. It was only until I came before the Lord in brokeness, crying out for His grace that He was able to protect us. I realized fully with open eyes, that I was not able to do this on my own, that I would not make it without Him. I can remember hearing the audible voice of God that day. He said, "I've been waiting for you to say that."
When people in my life, people who are cloes to me, tell me they love me, I'm thankful that God has given them His grace to love me, because I know if they were walking in their own strength, it would be reeeeeaaaaally difficult, well basically imposible to love me sometimes. I'm no different than the ones I'm called to love. It is when I start to believe I am different that I develop the pride that stunts my growth, and keeps me from fulfilling my destiny. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. Like I know better? As if. Like I am better? No way.
I'm not sure how to sign off, so I'm going to let my daughter give a few words of wisdom:
Pickle Friday, yeah and hamburger Friday and then slurpy icecream, and yummy babysiting and please I run in the hallway.....and that's it.
Ahh, listening to a small child always seems to put things in perspective doesn't it? What on earth was I worried about again?........