Right now, right this second, I am not succeeding to accomplish the things I would like to
I am getting fatter every day. I feel more swamped at work and less accessible to my church for ministry. I have very few wise words for anyone, and I haven't been able to directly share the gospel with coworkers in months. My sleeping habits and nutrition are at a low. My house...oh, my house. I am not moving forward into greater and more glorious things. Things feel like a big old slumpy slump.
Someone is NOT feeling like a Proverbs 31 woman!!!
But you know what is amazing about all this? Somehow I am in God's will right now. Everytime I try to wriggle around and pray and ask Him to use me, He reminds me to be still and know that He is God. He is still accomplishing His purposes through me. I don't always know how or see how...but in the morning, I pray He will use me to do all things that He wants me to do that day, and I believe He is faithful to answer my prayer. Some days, all I seem to do for Him is care about my clients, care about my husband, or listen to one of the youth tell me a story about the funny thing that happened at school. Eternity is happening all around me, and God is letting me be apart of it, but He's not letting me see it right now. There's a strange liberation in that. I don't know what He's going to do with me next-and I don't have to figure it out or create a master plan or be all together. Thankfully,He knows His vessel well enough to know what I am capable of and He will take me little baby steps at a time.
Part of this newfound comfort in not feeling "successful" is that I am learning to lean on my Savior, Jesus. Lately He has been my comforter, and I have started praying in a different way, a way I have never prayed before. I am giving my pain and distress to Him as an offering.
Huh? You say? That's kind of wierd. Let me explain. I believe I often hold onto my worries and my stress and I don't give them to my God, who has told me to cast all my cares upon Him because He cares for me. I am sinning by holding onto my problems. And they are a vanity into themselves, aren't they, really? "Me, me, poor pitiful me, I suck so much" ought not to be the cry of the believer. Instead, I believe God is asking me to bring all I have to him and sacrifice it at the feet of the cross. And you know what I have right now?
Sadness. Confusion. Turmoil. Fear. Worry. I have these things, and these alone to give.
So I will give what I have, believing that Christ has already borne all my pain and suffering, and that of all my counterparts on the cross. I am not adding to his burden- rather, He has already taken mine. I think of him telling us His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Jesus conquered death on the cross, and that included all suffering and pain. It is going to be wiped away on the day He makes all things new. I needn't hold fast to it today. I can leave it at the feet of the cross.
So if I am overwhelmed by emotion, I have prayed, "Jesus, I give you my sorrow. Please use it as you will." Just a few minutes ago, it was, "Jesus, I give you my fatigue. Please use it as you will."
So, I am working on allowing myself to be a failure for Jesus. If I must be a wretch, I will be his wretch, and I will be content with the abilities He has given me. I understand more and more the words of Paul, when he said, his strengths are made perfect in my weaknesses. I have been poured out as a drink offering and I will rejoice in whatever role God would have me play, whether I can see its effect or not.
So, I sacrifice the need to personify MY idea of success, with my mental checklists and "supposedto's." My Lord's idea of success is total and utter obedience to Him. So obedient, even to the point of disgraceful death (as was my Lord) is what I will strive for. My goal? To be like the perfect Lamb, who received no earthly accolades and allowed himself to be humbled. I will meet Him with the disgraced outside the camp, which is the only place He will be met this side of eternity. And, Lord willing, and through His grace, in this I will