Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beautiful grace, we are weak, but He is strong.

  Sometimes I can't decide which I fancy more, reading or writing.  As of late, I seem to be finding very little time to do either.  So, I'm sitting here with a mouth full of brussel sprouts, determined to start and finish a blog within the next hour as I'm eating dinner.

    There is so much going on in my mind and heart.  So many lessons I've been learning, questions I've been asking and ways I've been growing.  It seems like God has been stretching, pressing and molding me more than ever.  The process of being made into something beautiful is a far cry from the word "comfortable."  I'm telling you, if you want to be challenged, cry out to God, asking Him, "Whatever it takes, Father, make me like Jesus."  He will be faithful to hear and answer your heart's cry. 

  Since I've started school, it's been a little crazy.  Between taking seven classes, working, and ministry, I've begun to feel a bit like butter spread over too much toast.  My mind has also been preoccupied with situations at home, not to mention, the past few days just haven't been the best since my asthma decided it was to time to kick me in the butt again, haha :P   Now, don't get me wrong, the past couple of weeks have also been some of the most rewarding, encouraging, life-changing times I've experienced.  I've witnessed God's hand stir hardened hearts, seen miracles, experienced His overwhelming love and grace,  had the opportunity of being a vessel for His use, and formed beautiful lifetime friendships.

  All of that being said, the past week or so I've been battling with feeling a bit defeated, powerless, not smart enough, and just plain out not good enough for anything or anybody.  These are areas I've struggled in in the past and for the past week, they've seemed to arise again. 

  On Sunday morning, I intentionally skipped church to go to the prayer chapel.  If you attend Liberty University and have not made a visit to the prayer chapel, I highly encourage you to do so.  It is hands down one of my favorite places on campus.  I decided to walk around back to Jerry's memorial and just sat there basking in the morning sunlight and spent time with my Father.  It was such a precious, sweet time with Him.  As  I was sitting there spending time with Him, I was convicted of the root of these feelings of defeat, being powerless, and not good enough.  The root of them was me.  I'd begun to shift my focus on me.  My faults, my words, my actions, my feelings.  By selfishly focusing my thoughts and focus on myself, I'd begun to take my eyes from Jesus beautiful face and shifted them to my faults.  Instead of reveling in His overwhelming grace, beauty, love, power, and presence, I was distracted by myself, my faults. 

  My favorite verses in the Bible come from 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, where Paul says,

"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.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  Every time I read these verses, my heart is moved.  I'm completely aware of my weakness. I know I'm unfaithful, sinful, very faulted, I make mistakes, I say the wrong things, and am altogether worthless on my own.  What I also know is that I have been given abundant, overwhelming grace.  My heart has been enticed and captured by the One who knows each of my faults, yet loves me with an unrelenting love.  As I look into His beautiful face, I'm reminded that He has chosen me, loved me, forgiven me, given me a new name and made me whole.  My life is not my own.  It bears the name of the One who knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:6-7) and drew me to Himself with loving kindness (Titus 3:4-7).  My life is no longer about me, my faults or shortcomings.  I was freed from myself and bought with a price.

1 Corinthians 7:22-23 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.  You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

  He has called me His own.  My heart is branded with His seal.  Beautiful grace, I'm so overwhelmed, so undeserving.  How can I focus on my own faults when I have my precious, beautiful Savior to live for?  Praise Your sweet name, Jesus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Thought I'd also share my new favorite song that seems to fit along pretty well with this blog :)

 "For You I sing and dance, rejoice in this divine romance, lift my heart and lift my hands to show my love, to show my love."

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