June 24, 2010
I was thinking today about Job’s situation and how it relates to mine (and possibly yours, too). In Job 42, God tells Job’s friends that they have slandered Job and misrepresented God. He tells them that Job will pray for them, and He will hear him and not deal with them as they deserve. Job prays for his friends, then God gives him back what he lost, doubled.
Job had to pray for those who wronged him before God restored him. Job had to forgive the ones who slandered him and his God. Is there some area of your life that needs healing and/or restoration? It could be that God is waiting for you to pray for the ones who hurt you in that area before he restores to you what you lost or heals you.
As much as I pray for God to forgive those who hurt me, that much will God forgive me (see the Lord’s prayer). As much as I pray for God to bless those who slander me, God will bless me. As much as I pray for the restoration and healing of those whose wounds I carry, God will restore and heal me.
This is me thinking out loud again. So take it for what it’s worth.
May 3, 2010
My greatest fear is that if people ever really find out who I am and what I am like, they will leave me and want nothing else to do with me. That I am not good enough. That I do not have what it takes.
So I live to please others. I become whoever I think they want me to be. I strive constantly to prove myself to others, so they can tell me who I am. That I do have what it takes. I feel that if I can make them like me, then I am worthy and not a cosmic *$#-up.
But I can’t make anyone like me or be interested in me. I can only let God love me and let that Love define me. If I let people tell me who I am and define me, they will get it wrong. If I make pleasing people my purpose, they will fail me every single time.
Lord, you are telling me that I am someone beautiful who has meaning and is worthy. I am good enough and I do have what it takes because I have you. I believe what You say about me. Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief.
April 26, 2010
I am Jacob, for I try to manipulate and deceive every person I meet.
I am Gomer, for I whore myself after other gods and do not seek the One True God.
I am Abraham, for I lie when it suits me.
I am Esau, for I am willing to trade things of eternal worth for worthless things.
I am Cain, for my anger gets the best of me at times.
I am Moses, for I do not believe God when He says He can speak through me.
I am Judas, for I am so often ready to betray my Savior for so little.
I am David, for I sin and try to cover it up, rather than confess and be made whole.
I am Forgiven, because Jesus died for me.
I am Beloved, for God has declared me so.
April 11, 2010
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When was the last time I boasted in my weaknesses? I seldom even acknowledge that I have any weaknesses. Usually I try to sell myself on what I consider my best qualities. But weaknesses? I try to hide them or pretend they don’t exist.
I truly believe that there is a power that comes only through weakness and brokenness that will never come through self-reliance or self-sufficiency. Only when I am weak, when I admit to the world that I am weak, then I am strong. And Christ in me is so much stronger than I could ever be.
What if I boasted in the fact that my social skills are slightly better than nonexistant? That I back down when I should stand up? What if I shout to the rooftops that I am weak, helpless, afraid and utterly broken? Maybe then I am at my strongest and the power that raised Christ from the dead is unleashed in me.
This is so very against the culture that it is unthinkable. But aren’t I supposed to be counter-culture? What if we are too busy fitting in and so much like the world that we have completely lost the power that can save the world? Maybe that’s why Christians are so despised. Not because we are different, but because we are not different enough.
A broken world can’t relate to perfect, holier-than-thou Christians who have it all together. They respond when they see what our brokenness looks like and when God’s grace is able to transform our weakness into His strength. Grace is what the world needs, not our perfection.