Thursday, June 30, 2011
Not long ago winds of both change and questioning blew into my life so strongly that I began doubting multiple aspects of not only my faith, but also my place in the world. "Am I where I'm meant to be?" I often found myself asking over the last few weeks. In just my thinking alone I made so many mistakes and wrong choices, the implications of which left me heartbroken and confused. I discovered weaknesses within myself that I didn't know existed, a pride that caused me to literally fall, and a girl who doesn't quite have all of the answers she thought she had. I recently started to wish the last few weeks away, but then I realized I would be no wiser had they not swept into my life. Like the chill you get on a warm, but breezy day I'm suddenly aware of how much what I've been struggling with stands to enhance my walk with God. I've not completely messed up; I'm being remade.
I told a friend once that I felt like I had fallen from grace, and that if my thoughts were exposed I would be seen as a fraud. "Well, she can't be one of the Lord's servants with thoughts like those," is what I imagined people would have said. It's true, I had some very wrong thought patterns occurring and seemed unable to call on God to deliver me from them when they were at their worst, but it wasn't because I couldn't call on Him; I wouldn't call on Him. Have you ever been so caught up in wrong behavior that it's easier to continue in it than it is to ask for God's help? In many, if not all, cases of right versus wrong, we know what God will tell us to do, so we deliberately avoid asking for His help. Ever been in this position?
There's a monumental difference between God's help and man's help. Though friends, family, and others offer a significantly helping hand when we ask, God's help is so strong, so convicting, and so powerful that when genuinely sought, it almost can't be refused. Ironically, we often want the option of refusal so that we can stay in bondage to whatever bad behavior suits us at the moment. We want help, but not deliverance. We want His attention, but not His conviction. We want results, but not His prescription. I remember countless half-hearted pleas for His aid over the last few weeks, and most definitely the last few years. Isn't it interesting that my whole heart, rather than just half, was in it only when I was in the most trouble or brokenhearted?
The duration of what we endure, both good and bad, is entirely up to us. God is always there waiting on our final breaking point when we come to Him completely, but He certainly wont force us into progression when we're not even seeking Him with sincerity. Until recently, I focused most of my attention on what I've been doing wrong, rather than on what He has done right. One of the most beautiful things about God's love is that He's so faithful to use our mistakes as a way of remaking us into someone more beautiful, more capable, and more faithful. Don't ever discount in your heart His ability to make right what you've made wrong. I let my mind dwell on wrong thoughts for so long that I began to doubt His calling on my life and instead, believed the enemy's lie that I messed up too badly. It took many quiet moments with Him, but through them, I know that I'm more than the poor choices I've made, and so are you. Maybe you've been convicted of a crime. Rape? Murder? Theft? Perhaps you've committed a crime, but haven't been convicted? Maybe you're struggling with addiction? Maybe you've done something that no one knows about, but it's eating you up inside. Nothing you've done, thought, or said is so unthinkable that God doesn't already know and still want to extend to you His merciful forgiveness. Don't let yourself reach brokenness before you ask in sincerity for His help; muster the strength to ask now. A new light shines in Heaven with every genuinely heartfelt cry for His aid. You're not strong enough to remake yourself, but He is. He's just waiting on you to ask for help. Ask Him.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble Psalm 46:1
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