i'm breaking this up into two posts in an effort to bring a little clarity to the ideas that are bringing me comfort these days. In part 1, i tried to share how the threshing process fulfills a purpose - and that in His wisdom, He proportions our afflictions to our strength - not making the process heavier than there is need.
In this post - i want to share the niggling thoughts that keep coming to the surface of my mind about how i want to approach seasons of affliction and pain. As i've been seeking and trying to understand my Father, the thing that i feel most called to do - is to continue to serve Him. i know that seems kinda obvious - but i've found that often, in the midst of painful circumstances - circumstances that can even shake my confidence in my own self - my tendency can be to turtle, to try to nurse my own wounds to turn inward and focus on my own pain or insecurity.
And honestly? i'm a bit of a coward... if it's up to me, at the first sign of trouble, i'll be howling, "RETREAT!"
i feel Him drawing my eyes upward.
"Hey, daughter... i'm doing something here. Follow me, serve me... keep your eyes on me and you'll walk on water..."
Because it's not about the self-centered pride that would have me drown in the hurt and pain, the sorrow and grief - of affliction. It's about serving God. And i can serve Him... Even here (no matter where 'here' is).
As i contemplate my tiny fist full of sorrows - (for which i thank God - because He's doing something with them) - i keep thinking of a book i read about a billion years ago, about Madame Guyon - (i think it was her autobiography?). Anyway, i remember being struck with the idea that she had written it while she was in prison... the ideas about God, theology, hope and prayer - were all captured while she was stuck in a cell behind bars.
How easily i despair compared to her!
It's so much bigger than just me! i read somewhere the other day that humility doesn't mean thinking less of yourself, it means thinking of yourself less... i love that.
And i totally know, it's easy for me to write this on a day when i'm feeling victorious. My marriage feels inspired lately, my children bless me by praising Jesus, God has been gently probing and prodding my spirit in real ways to draw me deeper.... It might be much harder for me to read my own words on a different day (my hormones are still vacillating wildly - and my moods are chasing them between despair and happiness, anger and contentment)... but my feelings in reading these words are only evidence of my willingness (or unwillingness) to humble myself and take with gratitude the purpose and plan of the God i serve.
And so i take it all - and i offer all. i wanna wear in my heart the symbol i often wear with my outward flesh when i worship - of hands held out to give all - or take all He gives too.
i want the outer husk that binds me to this world to fall away - leaving only what is useful to bring Him glory.