Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Joy, Hope, and Peace or Fear, Loss, and Pain
I start to feel better, more joy, more hope, more peace and then out of seemingly no where it hits me. Pain, loss, fear. These things I wish I could be rid of. They want to pull me down and never let me breath. How they hide and wait for me. Loss, I lost, within 6 months, two people I cared about. Both unexpected. But....I only lost them in earthly terms. I shall see them both again in heaven for we have all of eternity to share. They just got to the better side of eternity before me. Still, at times I miss them so much it hurts. Pain....How incredibly weak I feel. This week I was striving to be a stronger person spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I was reminded about how weak I am. Outside of God I can do nothing. Outside of God there is no good in me. Why do I still set a standard of perfection and think I need to hit it. Why can't I just let go and let God lead me through each day. That is what I want to do. That is what I need to do and yet.... Fear...I feel as if most of my life has been lived in fear. It sometimes overwhelms, so I ignore it by procrastination, laziness, mindless distraction, and what seems to be a never ending stream of unforgiveness for all my flaws. Who am I to be this way? A fallen undeserving sinner who has been offered the gift of life by Gods grace through faith. Not of my own works, but by God alone. He loves me, forgives me, and supplies my needs. Forgive others so that God will forgive you.(Matt. 6:12) I always think of it as forgiving others, but now I wonder if it is not for me as well. I should forgive myself. It seems so much easier to forgive others, but to forgive myself....how can I? Don't you see all my faults? If I can't forgive myself than why should anyone else? I expect people to see my faults and turn away. I do not forgive myself for imperfection. I expect it. Why try if I'm going to fail? So, instead of fighting the battle set before me, I make excuses and settle for complacency. I'm a coward. Truly. But...on my own strength I can not succeed. God must be my strength. If I can believe who He says I am, if I can rely on His strength, if I can live today by His leading....what are the possibilities? Endless. Innumerable. Beyond my dreams. If I can stand on the promises of God and have the courage to proceed despite my fear, what victories can God bring forth? To destroy the lies of the enemy. To replace fear with courage. To replace unforgiveness with forgiveness that releases me from bondage. To truly love others. To be free. To do anything God calls me to. Who am I?
I lost a dear friend. I don't want I to lose another, but if I hide myself from friends to avoid the loss, it is a worse loss indeed. A life without love is no life at all. Faith to believe God, hope that His promises are true, love..the greatest. Love your neighbor as yourself. Oh...to live to love. No greater joy. Lord, give me courage to live for you in true love. Honest, transparent, patient, forgiving, long suffering. I feel as if those words just now really start to mean something. patient, forgiving, long suffering...it goes on. It will take the rest of my life. Lord, please replace my fear with peace, my loss with joy, and my pain with hope. May I live a life surrendered to you. May today be the day I stand on your promises and strength and run the race set before me, fight the good fight, and be a light for you to shine through to the world. The battle belongs to the Lord.