The last week and a half have been among the longest. I have had some big decisions to make and I have been really torn in making them. Everything was so nicely packaged and planned out, it felt real nice, real manageable. I have had some uncomfortable, seemingly unnecessary circumstances thrown my way and it has really thrown me off. Little sleep, lots of tears, lots of prayers, lots of thinking. Several things that I have put my trust in have been slowly taken away. Several people that I tend to rely on when things get crazy have been unavailable for various reasons. It’s scary when things are going on that are out of your control. You quickly realize how small you are and how large the world really is. You quickly realize how weak you are and how desperately you need God to be strong on your behalf.
I love this quote:
“Before He furnishes the abundant supply, we must first be made conscious of our emptiness. Before he gives strength, we must be made to feel our weakness. Slow, painfully slow, are we to learn this lesson; and slower still to own our nothingness and take the place of helplessness before the Mighty One.” ~Arthur W. Pink
What a concept. There is such beauty in the picture of this incredibly powerful, sovereign God breaking me into 1,000 pieces. Beautiful because it is being done out of love. Love for me. This God that should break me into 1,000 pieces and leave me there because of my sin, instead breaks me out of love and for my good, because Christ took that judgemental breaking for me on the cross. God knows that there is one thing that will satisfy my wandering heart, that is Him, His presence, His peace. And because of His overwhelming love, He will stop at nothing to keep me focused on Him. He will take away anything and anyone that stands in between me and Him. And as much as it hurts me, He knows it is the only thing that will make me happy. The crazy thing is that I hurt right now because I am loved.
I am loved. So much so that He wont leave me like I am. He won’t stop until I’m conformed to the most beautiful image one can find. Conformed to the image of His son. Focused on and delighting in Him and Him only.
Christlikeness. It’s painful.
“You will not stroll into Christlikeness with your hands in your pockets, shoving the door open with a careless shoulder. This is no hobby for one’s leisure moments, taken up at intervals when we have nothing much to do, and put down and forgotten when our life grows full and interesting… It takes all one’s strength, and all one’s heart, and all one’s mind, and all one’s soul, given freely and recklessly and without restraint.” ~Arthur John Gossip
It’s easy to pour all one’s heart and strength into something when it is fun and exciting. It’s really hard to give freely and recklessly when you have nothing left. It’s really hard to pour all your heart into something when your heart hurts.
“Take up your cross daily and follow me.”
Cross-bearing is not supposed to be easy.
Yet, we are called to pursue His steps freely and recklessly and without restraint. We are called to pour our heart, soul, mind and strength into cross-bearing…into dying…into becoming Christ-like.
“Learn to trust His heart when you cannot trace His hand. He has your best in mind and regardless of how you may feel now, at the end of the day Christ-likeness is what you really want.”
I trust His heart more than my heart, more than my feelings, more than my circumstances.
Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.”