Sunday, May 24, 2015
In the quietness of this morning, I found myself pouring over a short book by R.C. Sproul called "Does Prayer Change Things?" (which is an excellent read by the way, I highly recommend it!) Through much of the book Sproul took apart the well known prayer acronym "A.C.T.S": Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication; all elements that God instructs us to include in our prayers to Him. While illustration after wise illustration was being made, this one really hit me hard.
"If God never grants us another glimpse of His glory in this life, if He never grants us another request, if He never gives us another gift from the abundance of His grace, we still would be obligated to spend the rest of our lives thanking Him for what He has already done. We have already been blessed enough to be moved daily to thanksgiving. Nevertheless, God continues to bless us."- R.C Sproul.
I have always, always been a striver by nature. For as long as I can remember, I have found it difficult to rest in the here and now. As my best friend recently stated to me "Sarah, right now is the greenest grass." In my flesh I will never be able to accept that statement, but by the power of the Holy Spirit I will be able to lay down my picnic blanket and dine on truth of Gods plan for my life.
After years of striving for some thing, I have now found myself striving more for the One, the Thing.
Sufficiency in Christ.
Finding my full satisfaction, joy and identity in Jesus Christ is what I've been striving for all along. I didn't realize it before now because I was too busy looking for something, waiting for something, changing something.
God forbid that I would journey through life looking for something to fill the hole, especially something that had "God" stamped on the front. God forbid that I would find myself in a place of familiarity with God that trumps His mystery and holiness.
Are you broken like I am? Are you striving like I have been? Take heart in knowing that you are not alone; that the Prince of Peace sees and knows the pain that you are feeling. He longs for you to find sufficiency in HIM.
Not a husband, not children, not a home, a career or enough material possessions that make you feel somewhat "secure" in a world that capitalizes on your insecurities.
May you find His all sufficient love to be all that you need; now and for always.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
Darkness. The very word puts so many visuals into my head, most of which are not cheery ones. It tends to be difficult to see things in the dark. Stumbling over objects that will likely cause a person to trip and fall, trying to pull themselves up so that they can make their way to a source of light.
Evil is known to be dark, though Scripture specifically states that satan "masquerades as light" ( 2nd Corinthians 11:4). Evil things often happen in the shadows; selling of souls, human trafficking, pornography viewed by a loving husband after His wife goes to bed at night. Some people spend the entirety of their lives in sheer blackness, not knowing an alternative.
The same darkness that can cover evil is the same darkness that brings us closer to Christ. It was also the darkness that provided protection in the underground railroad for slaves making their way to freedom, and clearly the most beautiful of all Gods creation is knit together in the darkness of a mothers womb.
Recently, I have been in the dark. A combination of some changes I made in my personal health regimen and situational life circumstances hurled me into an all familiar pit of anxiety and depression. I felt like I was in a paranoid tunnel, unable to see beyond my current state of mind. I lost my desire to write and do anything that improved something. With my weaknesses staring me in the face every hour of the day, I felt just that; weak.
I decided a long time ago that if God was going to prompt me to minister to the hearts of people through writing, that that meant that I must be willing to be vulnerable. It is through our vulnerability that God orchestrates the matters of the heart. If we allow plastic to represent our relationship with Christ, we forget that we are fragile pottery that has the chance to be broken. I also hope that my vulnerability will inspire others, and some small change could be made somewhere. Maybe.
It is through our brokenness that God does His best work. It is through our weakness that we become strong.
I asked my best friend the other day if God wants us to be happy. "Of course!" was her cheerful answer. After thought, conversation and prayer, I came to the conclusion that our happiness is to be fully and completely that of Christ. If we profess to be submitted to Christ, that means that we trust Him to order our steps. We trust Him with our coming and goings; our doings, every aspect of our lives. That is where we are to find our happiness, not in the manner of how God chooses to bring about His plan.
The classic Spiritual "This Little Light of Mine" would not have it's power without the bush ("hide it under a bushel, no!") human breath or satan...all things which threaten to remove light.Without darkness there is no purpose for light. If light is all we had, there would be no appreciation for its radiance.
Maybe....just maybe.....God has allowed darkness to show us how much we need His light. In a world that seems to become darker with every day, we are called to be that flicker that everyone thought was gone. On those days where the light within us is seemingly snuffed out, it is the darkness of our soul and sin that compel us to reach for the Light.
May you find the courage to strike a match when you feel like you have struck out. May our Heavenly Father ignite you with hope that will light the hearts of those you come in contact with.
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said "I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." " -John 8:12