Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Day at the Woodshed

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:10-12

God is really taking me to the woodshed these days. I have been so caught up in my pride, my self preservation, my isolation, my... my... my! I have not been joyful in hope. I have not been patient in affliction, and I have not been very faithful in prayer. I've whined a lot. I've complained a lot, and even blogged my confession for doing so. But I continued to whine and complain. God, how do I get out of this cycle. Every now and then between moans and cries, I hear you speaking to me, encouraging me, convicting me, calling me to get outside myself long enough to encourage someone else. But, after a pitiful attempt, I pull my head right back into my turtle shell, being overly sensitive, easily offended and pathetic. And all the while, I am offending others, trying to bring them down to my level. Oh, wretched soul that I am!

If I could just find hope in the calling that God has put on my life. If I could just believe that He will accomplish far more than I can ask or imagine in my life and in my ministry, I would be so free from competition and comparison. Free from jealousy and envy. Free to be who God has called me to be!

As I read my devotional today on The Hope Experience, this quote jumped out at me and grabbed me by the throat: "Once I saw my father's sacrifice for me in the middle of our family's hardship and suffering, a patience and peace came over me. It replaced my detachment and self-pity." This is a quote about a man's earthly father, but the spiritual application just about bowled me over. Maybe I need to quit blogging, facebooking and twittering long enough for this truth to sink into my soul. How can I see my father's sacrifice for me in the middle of my family's hardship and suffering? How can I allow that patience and peace replace my detachment and self-pity? I have got to find the answer to that question or I will never grow up. God will never be able to use me the way He wants to use me.

God, help me to believe that you are able to transform me from the inside out. Help me to believe that you can will make me into the woman you want me to be. Help me to put my hope in what I cannot see, a redeemed, usable, valuable child of God.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!