through this season God has always given me just enough of his grace to bring me up the hill to the other side. but here i am a few weeks later celebrating all he has taught me & brought me through. some of my challenges are yet to be resolved but i truly feel at peace.
we can’t be a product of our circumstances, because there will always be something. i want to get to the point that i can truly look at the trials in my life with joy. i know this sounds a bit certifiable, but i know without a doubt in hardest times of my life God sharpens & grows me more than in any other time of my life. and isn’t that the point? sometimes, if i am being honest, i don’t want it to be the point. being a Christ follower is hard and full of persecution but living apart from him is lonely and hopeless. so yes for me, i want to embrace the journey, to embrace it each step of the way with as much faith & grace as possible. i want to live my life deep not just long. i don’t want to race to end, with no character to show for it. and i want to do it with great joy.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
so how? surrender! seriously. God used one of the most genuine guys i know, Bob Schwann to bring this season full circle for me and produce the sweetest surrender i have ever felt. a rather simple concept, and simplistic answer with immeasurable impact, he said “Faith & Worry are inversely proportional. We must smother worry & fear with a larger faith. How? Seek the kingdom, and surrender entirely”.
god didn’t gift me with a singing voice, but i am convinced my soul sings. because as soon as this clicked for me i just sang from the depths of me Jeremy Riddle’s, Sweetly Broken and wept.
…At the cross You beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees, and I am
Lost for words, so lost in love,
I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered
What a priceless gift, undeserved life
Have I been given
Through Christ crucified
You’ve called me out of death
You’ve called me into life
And I was under Your wrath
Now through the cross I’m reconciled…
i am trying to not control & fix everything & everyone. i am working to embrace and find joy in the trials and this looks like stepping into the rhythms of Christ. bill johnson of bethel church says it like this, “Revival is not the result of us making something happen. It is the result of us stepping into the momentum of a word God already declared”. craig groeschel of life church.tv tells us to stop “rowing and start sailing”. and the ever profound cursh from finding nemo tells it something like:
Crush: Dude? Dude? Focus dude… Dude? [Marlin wakes up] Crush: Oh, he lives. Hey, dude! Marlin: Oh… What happened? Crush: Saw the whole thing, dude. First you were all like “whoa”, and we were like “whoa”, and you were like “whoa…”
Marlin: What are you talking about?
Crush: You, Mini-Man, takin’ on the jellies. You’ve got serious thrill issues, dude. Awesome.
Marlin: Oh, my stomach. Ohh.
Crush: Oh, man. Hey, no hurling on the shell, dude, ok? Just waxed it.
Marlin: So, Mr. Turtle?
Crush: Whoa, Dude. Mister Turtle is my father. The name’s Crush.
Marlin: Crush, really? OK, Crush. I need to get to the East Australian Current. EAC?
Crush: [laughing] Oh, dude. You’re ridin’ it, dude! Check it out!
haha… so i am trying to ride it. the rhythm of Christ that is, not the EAC, but i am convinced too often i am distracted and not willing to see how simple Jesus want to make it for me. i think i have been so worried about what i am loosing with my health and even walk with god i am swimming up current to try to attain what i used to have when in reality i don’t actually know what was, will be better than what is to come. Oswald Chambers says, “Beware at looking back at what you once were, when God wants you to become someone you’ve never been”.
that same wise Bob Schwann I talked about earlier told this story, and i will give you the cliff note version but its cool & worth re-telling… this gal was ill and had not necessarily the privilege but maybe the opportunity to plan her funeral. so she did so, every detail, what readings, what songs, everything, she would have an open casket, and she said oh and one last thing can you make sure i am hold a fork. as we can all assume he was at least a bit curious but replied of course but may i ask if there is a significance to the fork. she responded, absolutely, i love dinner parties, but my favorite part is when the hostess comes around and clears everyone’s plate but says “please keep your fork” because then I knew there would be dessert and the best was yet to come. See she wanted people to know that even in her passing she knew the best was yet to come. i want to let go of my idea’s for my future, and especially my physical health and live in his rhythms and know no matter how this all plays out here, the best is yet to come.