Right now there are so many things in my life that I don’t understand. There are certain situations in which I honestly have no idea where to go or where to even begin. So I stand… still. But I am learning that there is a difference between standing worried, fearfully, and alone, and standing patiently, hopefully, and securely. A big difference.
My hands are tied. I feel helpless to do anything. The times that I do pray I find myself fighting a relentless battle against discouragement and doubt. So often too weak to fight, I lay down my weapons in surrender and bow my knee to fear and disbelief. What does God want from me? I need to know. How am I supposed to go on?
I found myself crying out to God today asking Him what He wanted me to do. I didn’t need a strategic game plan for the rest of my life, I simply needed to know the next step for that moment. God answered me in this verse:
“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.” Psalm 147:11
God doesn’t want me to try and figure everything out and attempt to fight my own battles. He wants me to fear Him… to stand in awe of who HE is. To be still and trust that God knows what He is doing simply because He is God. God wants me to hope in His mercy. To know who He is and rejoice because of that. Though things may be dark and I may be weak, my soul should rejoice in the promise that God will never ever forsake those who seek Him.
Okie dokie. So I painted this last night. I honestly don’t even know where it came from! Well actually, that isn’t true, yes I do. On Saturday night I couldn’t sleep. I was dealing with an area of my life in which I constantly fall short of God’s standards. I was praying… moping… to God about how I don’t understand why despite the fact that I love Him so much, there are moments when sin just seems so much better. I was beating myself up and I felt God just asking me to come to Him and recieve His forgiveness and love once again. For the first time in my life I found myself saying “It’s just not fair. It’s not fair that I can sin over and over again and You continue to forgive me. It’s not fair on You, Lord”.
And then in a moment it all just made sense. NOTHING is fair about my Christian life. The salvation I first recieved, I did not deserve. The ability to be able to daily stand in God’s presence unashamed could never be earned. There was nothing “fair” about the cross, but Christ endured it anyway because of His love for us. Now we stand forgiven, redeemed, and sanctified because of His blood.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11
This past Wednesday night I sat surrounded by a group of teenage girls, many of whose faces I had never seen before, as we waited for some kind of quietness so that we could start our bible study. Which is usually not much of a Bible “study” at all but rather a Q and A session. This is completely understandable seeing as most of them have no knowledge of the Bible or Christianity at all for that matter.
“You tha teacher?” one of the girls asked rather roughly as she gave me the once over. “Yes” I replied. By now, I am used to them being rather cold and standoffish when they first meet me. The dirty looks and sometimes apparent rudeness no longer bother me. They have rough lives in a tough world… it’s not personal. I now have so many close and personal relationships with these girls which almost all started off this way. A little love goes a long way.
Every week I have the opportunity to stand in front of 30-50 unsaved teenagers and present to them the Gospel. Sometimes I think I take that for granted. I feel like I don’t pour into them as much as I could, oftentimes I’ll allow fear to get in the way. I do not pray for them as much as I should, oftentimes I’ll allow doubt to get in the way.
When I look at them I see so much of what I used to be. The other day, one of the kids had one of the most sexually illicit songs I have ever heard playing on his phone as everyone around him joined in and sang along. I shuddered. Not in horror at what they where putting into their minds but in shock because I knew every word. Though it has been at least two years since I’ve listened to a song like that, memories flooded back from my mindset and way of life back then. It’s moments like that one that remind me of exactly what Christ saved me from… Myself. So who am I to even doubt for a second that Jesus cannot come into these teenagers life and change from the inside out? He can. He will.
“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.”
This evening I was feeling a little errrrrrrr-deeee-duhhhhh, if that makes sense. I was just frustrated by a lot of things. So I put the song ‘How Great Is Our God’ on repeat and drew this.