Sunday, September 7, 2014

The stars shine brighter in the pit.



It is still early morning and I have been up for a while thinking, pondering, meditating on the things of God and life and how it all fits together.  I think of the cross and the bitter sweetness of the suffering and pain, the victory and beauty.  The things God has done for me and taught me mostly out of suffering and failure.  A lot of my own doing.  I wish you were here with me this morning feeling the breeze, listening to the crickets and seeing the stars hanging about in the darkness still.  In many ways I am in my last phase of life.  I don't have regrets now.  I have gotten over that.  But what I do have is lessons learned.  I would love to have a cup of coffee with you this morning and talk over such things.  Instead I write.   I wish I had lived life differently.  I wish I had lived life rather than trying so hard to be a good girl and making people happy, seeking their approval and making life work.  I think they call that co dependent don't they?  When the happiness of another makes or breaks your happiness?

They say to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity.  I not only did the same thing but I tried harder and harder to do it better.  Some call it a perfectionist.  I have the results of this on my mind, now, that I live with everyday.  But it is amazing to me that even with that I had rather have the mind I have, in it weakness and be dependent on God than to have a healthy mind and live life self reliant, independent of relying on God, strong in my own strength thinking I needed to be able to do it all own my own.  From the time we are little children, we either say I will do it myself or we lean on our parents to care for and rely on, to help us, do the simplest of things we cannot do.

 I don't think it was until later in life that I built walls around me of protection because of not getting the things I thought I needed in the way I needed them.  Of being needed and not being able to give of myself, my heart for fear of hurt.  I had a dream and my dream was not coming true and I turned inward.  I looked to myself in my utter failure in life. Suffering can do that you know.   Oh according to the world, I had it all, but contentment that God brings. I had no peace, joy or happiness though I tried so hard.   I prayed my prayers, studied my bible, went to church and knew nothing of the radical, unconditional love God had for me and how He would not let up until He knew I understood and received it.  I know it now even though some days I have to remember again, I am His and He loves me.   I am not without my struggles but I know the way back home with the help of my friends and the Spirit.

Don't get me wrong I need people and their love more so now than ever, but I can give and receive love because I have been given and received the love of God for me.  People do not give me my worth or define me but God does. I wish I had laughed more, danced more and sang more.  I wish I had rolled on the floor with my children and taken walks with my husband and even sat with him while he worked.  I still want to be a good Christian but I see it not as a list of rules to keep, music to listen to, prayers to be prayed, studies to be done but a continual relationship between me and God.  I rely on Him more and my success and failures less.  It is His perfect life and righteousness that defines me, that I live and enjoy and I know now He enjoys me.  I am in Him and He is in me.  I no longer live but Christ lives in me. But it is not thinking worse or more of myself but not turning inward and thinking of others and taking care of me so I can be there for others, spread the gospel and live this gift of life I have been given.

 We love because He first loved us.  I know how to love and not out of a lack, not out of an emptiness but out of a fullness.  I know how to enjoy life and live it, even if in small measures.  I know how to love God and let Him and others love me back.  Not to just give but to receive.  I have a taste of contentment in all circumstances because I have had a taste of heaven, Jesus in me and the love of the Father that won't let me go. My faith is in His love for me and for Jesus and not in mine or others.   I live more out of what He has done for me, than what I have to do to be a success at anything, to gain His approval or others approval of me.

 As I have said I have not arrived.  I just had some of the greatest struggles I have had in a long time, but each time there is a darkness or a struggle, it is like the stars shine brighter in the pit.  It is like the joy and life I know when I come out of it is greater than before.  He is bigger and mightier and more satisfying and powerful than I knew Him to be before.  Oh Lord my God, How Great Thou Arn't, I sang in a small church as a child.  It is now in the later years of life that I am getting a real taste of How Great God is and I haven't even begun to see Him as great as He is, but will continue to grow in my awareness throughout eternity with Him.  I see people for the beauty they have in them and not their flaws more and more.  Beauty they don't even see themselves. I pray let me see them with Your eyes and Your love.  Left to myself I can't do this.   I love to build others up and encourage them more now, than proving myself right. I love how He loves the lowly, the brokenhearted, those who have failed and maybe fail again and again, the suffering and the meek, those with a contrite heart and know their need for Jesus.  I love knowing and telling them of the hope they have in Him alone and being reminded myself by others.

How I long for that day.  Where there is complete rest and joy and peace and no more tears or sorrow or pain but delight in God and the saints who have gone before me, in heaven.  But until then I will grow to live this life in abundance, as much as I can and seek to know Him more and more. To be as real and honest with Him and others as my heart will let me.   I move a little bit closer to seeing Him face to face as I will on that great day.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done dear Lord, and I have no idea what that is for me or another person on any given day Lord, but you do.  Please make this my heart's cry.  Teach me to pray.

By the way...just signed up for bible study!