Wednesday, October 17, 2012

just one more reason to lean in to You...

Tribulation…it visits us all if we've lived any amount of time. I won't go into the details of all God has grown me through or by way of tribulation but I'll say this. I know Him, I really really know Him. His voice, His presence, His touch..Not in a I'm so wonderful & it's all rainbows and skittles kinda way. More of a I feel like I might just break, can't take much more, desperation way. The times I've had the opportunity to run from my hurts, my upsets over things I simply had no control over but instead chose to face them head on & take a seat beside Jesus. I believe most would envision walking with Jesus as perfect, always beautiful and totally the coolest thing ever or quite the contrary and say it's a complete waste of time. I would tell you that yes, it's beautiful & pretty cool and by far the best investment of my time & heart I've ever given. I mean what can you say about a God who, when I was at my lowest and my heart was a crumpled mess,He was there. He offered a hand when I couldn't pick myself up from crying.  He gave me worth & most of all purpose. To most I've had a tough go at it, a lot to cry about including watching my wonderful earthly father battle brain cancer  while having the privilege to be in the room when his spirit left his body & became a member of the great cloud of witnesses, talk about finding beauty in dying. That was by far the most beautiful act I've ever been apart of.  I've watched my mother battle illness that is obviously outside of her control, which in a way has left me parentless at times. I've been stretched further that I thought possible, stripped of me but in the process replaced with more of Him. You see in being brought to the point of desperation I found my Savior. I encountered Him in a way that I now, will live to tell anyone who will listen of His great love.

"Everything about which we are tempted to complain may be the very instrument whereby the Potter intends to shape His clay into the image of His Son~a headache, an insult, a long line at the check-out, someone's rudeness or failure to say thank you, misunderstanding, disappointment, interruption."~Elisabeth Elliott

I agree wholeheartedly with Elisabeth Elliott because I am fully aware that without all that God has brought me through lately I wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to grow in Him. To become who He designed & purposed me to be…So the tribulation comes & I've learned to "glory" in it. Because just like Paul, who pleaded with God to remove the thorn in his flesh, heard the answer "no" I understand that all this adversity & sadness has proven to me without a doubt that "God's power comes to it's full strength in weakness" In the words of Amy Carmichael "See in it a chance to die," meaning a chance to leave self behind and say YES to the will of God!

 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.~2 Corinthians 12:7-10(The Message)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.~Romans 5:1-5(NKJV)

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