Wow! I can’t believe it’s already been over a week since my last post. For those of you who have been concerned that I went off the deep end, please forgive me. I appreciate your concern and am touched that you care enough to be worried for me. On the whole, aside from the emotional roller coaster, I actually had a great week. I just (purposely) didn’t have any time for blogging. I find that busyness is an effective coping mechanism, particularly when I need some distraction.
The Lord has really been blessing me, over these past few weeks. I am feeling so encouraged and so humbled! Please keep praying for the ministry. There are some very important things in the works right now, as well as some major decisions, and I really need the Lord’s wisdom. We have some amazing opportunities right now, but I want to do what’s best and what will glorify the Lord, not just the things that I think would be cool.
I mentioned, a moment ago, that I am feeling humbled…our God is SO good! I have had several people tell me, over the last few months, that they admire the strength I have shown over the last four years. That’s humbling in itself. I really feel that if people are seeing me handle things with grace, it’s because the Lord is only showing them what is most glorifying to Him, hiding me altogether – I am NOT that person! What’s even more humbling, though, for me, is that it’s almost always been people that I admire. It’s interesting when you’re having a conversation with someone who thinks you’re doing such a good job and all you can think is: “Lord, I don’t know if I could do what they do.” It’s such a blessing to know that He gives each of us a sufficient measure of grace for our own situation, not for our imagined version of someone else’s. Scripture never advocates personal comparison. It’s little wonder; when we spend time wondering “How does so-and-so do that?”, it moves our focus off the Lord and onto ‘so-and-so’.
The Lord has been teaching me, of late, in a very real, practical, applicable way, what it means to belong. About a year ago, when I was doing some Christmas shopping, I found a necklace that I instantly fell in love with. It’s a simple pendant, shaped either as a feather or a leaf. I’m not completely sure, because it’s very ambiguous. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I like it so much. The reason I was instantly drawn to it, though, was because of the imprint on the back. In small, unassuming print, there is given a Scripture reference, accompanied by three words: “I AM HIS”. That’s all it says. When I came across the pendant, I was desperately in need of a reminder that Someone had chosen me. I found a great deal of comfort in those three little words. As time has passed, though, He has really been laying something else on my heart.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Paul is encouraging believers not to value their own lives above sharing the message of Christ Jesus. In this context, though, those three little words, “I am His”, take on a whole new meaning.
It seems like it would be constrictive, doesn’t it? To be owned by another person, answerable for every single moment of your day. It’s a big responsibility. As He has been teaching me, though, one of the things that has been constantly overwhelming to me is the relief that comes with it. I have accountability before others, as everyone should, at times. We all need that. But what a peace to know that, at the end of the day, while I am responsible for my actions, I am not accountable for working out any of the details. Just like a servant is only accountable for his own actions and responsibilities, it’s not my job to work out the how. All I have to answer for is whether or not I did what He asked me to do. And He is GOOD!
The Scriptural picture that we have, from the Old Testament, is a servant, in the nation of Israel, who had finished his contract (either by paying off his debt or by reaching the end of his agreed upon time of service). The picture, though, is of the man who, having fulfilled this contract, chooses not to leave. Instead of walking away, claiming freedom and the opportunity to build his own life, he chooses, having developed a relationship with the Master, to stay and continue serving the man he has come to respect and trust. That’s what God wants with us. The question, then, becomes a simple one: do I trust and respect Him enough to choose submission? Wow. Simple, but not easy!
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope that it’s been an encouragement to you!
By His grace,
and For His glory,