Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Why do I try to be a spiritual super hero? Super Mom to the rescue! I run on adreline to keep up my image, rather than relying on my only true source of power. God. It’s like trying to dry my hair with the dryer without plugging it in. I go through alot of motions, but my hair is not getting dry because there is no power to dry it.
What does God really want from me? A heroic looking Christian who seems like they have it altogether? Where do I find that in the Bible? Isn’t that funny? I want to be a spiritual giant, but what God really wants is a broken and contrite heart. That’s pretty impossible to do if I am too busy trying to keep up my good Christian image.
Messed up. Yup, that’s what I am. Too messed up? Never! I spend too much time labeling myself and others. Can you imagine going through the Bible and labeling the Bible heroes?
David was a murderer, adulterer
Eve was a less than perfect mother. (After all, her son turned out to be a murderer)
Paul killed Christians
Jonah ran from God …......
Moses did not want to lead God’s people
These men and women played significant roles in Scripture and God used them in spite of themselves. Will I ever truly see myself and others as God sees? That the David who committed adultery and murder was called by God, “the man after God’s own heart.”
So why do I spend so much time labeling myself? “God can’t use me, I’m divorced.” I spend so much mental energy thinking, “I am less than perfect, therefore, I am to be shelved until the next life.”
Think about it, will the world be drawn to someone who ‘has it all together?’ Of course not, they would feel like they could never measure up. How much more powerful is my message, if I can introduce them to the One who loves them where they are and meets them in their messes. That is what makes God to be God. He does the work, not us! So, really, God can use me more effectively if I own up to my mess and realize I am nothing without Him. Am I a mess? Yes, but saved by God’s grace!
Psalms 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The first time I met her I struggled just for a moment with feelings of inferiority. She did have a lot together and knew much more about the activities we were doing. I decided to chase away my complex and offered my gifts and talents given to me by the Lord. Each of us are different you know. Not everyone can have it together or even look like it! I actually enjoyed myself as I found my little niche. There is joy in serving Jesus, so I thought.
But this non-smiling woman kept haunting me every day I was with her. She really did not look like she was having a good time. The rest of us were really having fun doing each of our tasks with enthusiasm because we enjoyed being together. I realized the 'party' was going on without her. Each attempt to include her was brushed aside.
By the end of the week, she did not even make eye contact with me. Maybe there is more to this than I understand. The one who appears as if all is well can be choosing to hide behind that mask because of its safety. She wrapped herself in a cocoon of busyness maybe really wanting to join in.
Maybe the truth is that deep down inside there may be things that are too painful to describe. I think I will keep smiling anyway and find a way to bridge this communication gap. Maybe someday it will happen. Until then, I'll keep smiling!
It's days like today that I understand why God put Gal 6:9 in his love letter to us. Satan wants to wear us down as believers so we are not effective in our ministries.
Gal 6:8 talks about those who sow to please their own sinful nature. What wears on me the most is when these kinds of people prey on our weak brothers and sisters, especially children and teenagers.
Satan desires to make us ineffective by lulling us to sleep on major issues, especially what we allow and invite to influence our lives....books we read, movies we watch, friends and people of influence in our lives. Nothing is innocuous! We live in a daily battle and somedays we choose not to recognize it because it is easier not to. Trust me, I would love a break from the constant beating down that we receive around us. It is easier to join the crowd rather than walk away, but each time we stay, we become more entrenched in the world's philosophies. God encouraged us to follow Him, which would be a 'lesser travelled road.' '
Beware, friends because the prince of this world desires to numb us to things around us. Stay connected to your power source and "don't grow weary in well-doing!"
Be on your guard, brothers and sisters- remember we are in a battle and it is everyday until Jesus comes for his Bride!
Psalm 34:18 (NIV) The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
God loves the broken hearted! How that thought washes over my soul like a refreshing rain to a parched land. I can say that in my times of being totally broken, God has touched me in such unique ways that I cannot help but share with those who struggle along side of me.
I never realized how much my deep ache could be comforted until I have offered a hug of complete understanding to those who struggle with the same heartache. That is when I breathe, 'Thank you, Lord"; I can see some of your purpose in this pain.
The church as a whole and in our local bodies are filled with broken people. No matter how perfectly we dress or how beautifully we sing, what counts is how we love. I wonder if too many times we enter our place of worship with pride of how well we are doing our Christian checklist: perfect children perfectly dressed and well behaved, tithe check ready, Sunday School lesson prepared, the smile on our face that conveys all is well.
Think about who Jesus picked to be his disciples. They were not perfect on the outside or the inside. They were smelly, cantankerous fisherman. Imagine them showing up on Sunday morning at your church!
Would we dare be honest with our brothers and sisters in Christ if we are struggling? Do others know us to be real in our faith as we are free to share our struggles, our shortcomings? Hopefully that is true of me, of you, of our churches.
"Thank you Lord, for helping me see that my suffering is worthwhile as I see it making me a better, not bitter person so that I may comfort others."