Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Due Time...

Warning: this is a rather lengthy post & one that you might call "deep!" But it is as real as it gets for me...

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
1 Peter 5:6

So I will admit, I am probably my own worst critic. I guess I have to also admit I can tend to be a cynical person. I realize I have lots to learn about myself but lately I have been learning a lot. Some good, some not so good.

You see, the thing is I tend to allow myself get caught up in my struggles, in the things that are going wrong - instead of what's is going right. I tend to see myself as unworthy, hopeless, and undeserving. But the truth of the matter is none of those things are true. So why do I struggle so much with this issue?

If I have learned anything in all my struggles & suffering during the past 9 months, it is that God's love will never fail me. Even when I turn away.

It is so often that I ask myself for answers and it is so often He answers me. Maybe not the way I was expecting or maybe in not the timing I was hoping. But the beautiful thing about all of this & that is that it has allowed me to really dig into His word.

You see I was baptized when I was in the 9th grade. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I remember the alter call. I remember feeling so vulnerable, feeling so ashamed, and feeling so broken. But what I remember most was the feeling of grace and mercy washing over me & my sins.

I knew I was "his called, chosen, & faithful one."

I think I had a preconceived notion, that that meant I was "exempt" from trials & tribulations. Or more I am just a naive person. I have lived a rather charmed life. Even as a child and I know that is more than most people can say. So now that I am experiencing "life" it is definitely an eye opener to knowing that life is not a bowl full of cherries.

Disappointment is hard for me. I despise disappointment. Just ask AB ;) But yet I often hold on & linger to the disappointments of life. AB often calls me "rain cloud" and it is true. I'd rather relish in my sorrow, than rejoice in my blessings. I think some of it is human nature and some of it is simply the feeling of unworthiness.

So if I know I was "his called, chosen, & faithful one" - why would I feel like this, you ask or really I ask myself?

In doing Beth Moore's Revelation Bible study (which I HIGHLY recommend) - God has revealed himself in so many ways, that I can't even keep track. Lately, I have been blatantly asking him to "reveal himself to me...", "show me what is you are trying to teach me..." let me just say be careful what you wish or ask for! (I actually wrote another post about this last week but haven't had the guts to post it.)

Not only has He revealed himself but I have learned more things about myself, about the love of Jesus, and just about the Bible in general. There are so many magnificent things about God's love that just amazes me. I literately am in awe of Him! I am also more in love with Him, than ever before. In the beginning Beth talks
about the church (which sister, we ARE the church - you & i) has forsaken their first love. (Revelation 2:4) I think it happens and we don't even realize it.

The most beautiful thing about our struggles is we know in due time, he will lift us up. He will lift us up out of that pit. You see, how can we be over-comers if we have nothing to overcome. God created us in his image and he created us to be over-comers. To conquer! Even in death, we overcome! And he never said it would be easy. AB so often tells me "if it were easy, everyone would be doing it..." and I think this is so true about life. Life is straight up hard. Life is cruel. I know I have talked about that before. But sister girl...this life is NOT forever! Thank you Jesus! What is forever is our eternal life with our King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

While I often get caught up in my selfish needs & wants of this world which tell me I am "unworthy". I am also getting caught up more & more in the miraculous love of Jesus, which tell me I am more worthy than ever! I have had to surrender myself all over again as if I was sitting in the pew the day I accepted him in my heart. Over ten years ago.

I realize now I can't really truly understand the depths and power of his love without having to walk through the valleys. Jesus also walked through a dark time, right before he would die for me, for my sins! My sufferings will never compare to the suffering he faced the day he was nailed to the cross.

My mom told me back in November on my birthday that she wishes I would see myself the way Christ sees me. The way he sees my heart. After telling her some of things I have learned and the way I view things differently. Like through my experiences, I have a new found compassion for the homeless. Jesus would often fellowship with the least likely of people. The most of broken spirits and the most humble of people. Mom said something to me that I often repeat to myself "looks like it is good to be in the valley..." and you know she is so right.

This morning, I was reading in 1 Peter and God opened my eyes up to so many things. I realize this post is rather long but I just can't leave this part out (I don't want to forget any of what I'm learning). In 1 Peter, the apostle Peter offers hope and encouragement to suffering Christians. The faith and hope Peter writes about amazes me. Mostly because he is writing during the great persecution under Nero and Peter is executed during this time. How many of us can say we would boldly stand up for Jesus, even if it meant our own life would be taken. Essentially in 1 Peter 1, Peter says that yes, you will "suffer grief of all kinds of trials...and these have come so that your faith - of greater wroth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory & honor..." (read 1 Peter 1:6-9). In the footnotes, it says "We must accept trials as part of the refining process that burns away impurities and prepares us to meet Christ. Trials teach us patience and help us grow to be the kind of people God wants."

Can I get an amen?!?! This is why I am so in awe of Him. He never ceases to amaze me. To show me the why's of life. To assure me, all of this is part of his perfect plan. I love, love, love it!

I want to soak up every moment that God reveals himself to me. Every moment he showers his grace & mercy on me. For the first time in a long time, my spirit is filled with his heavenly spirit. This girl feels the holy spirit inside her again. This girl feels a love that she knows is only from Jesus. This girl knows that there is none like Jesus.

I know I will experience more struggles throughout this life and I know they will be struggles of a different kind. But I also know that in due glories & riches will be heaven, not in this world or on this earth.

I also know that my struggles are a part of my story and testimony. My song that one day will be sang in heaven. And I want to it be a sweet, sweet whatever this life may bring me, I pray through it all, it only brings Him glory!

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

If you are going through struggles in your life and feel hopeless, please know there is hope. I will soon post about my struggle with depression. Also, (I normally would never do this on here but I feel led to do it) if you have never asked Jesus to be ruler over your life and would like to, I would love to prayer with you! I never want anyone to miss out on the love of Jesus.

Thank you Lord Jesus for a peace without understanding, a peace only you can give. Thank you for suffering on the cross so that I may have eternal life...a life without suffering, without sadness, without darkness. Thank you for accepting me time and time again, even when I doubt or feel unworthy - when truthfully because I am yours, I am worthy! You created me and made me in your image and I know you, God, makes no mistakes!

"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Revelation 17:14

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