In the Storm
The intensity of life has been building over the years and I'm so worn out. I no longer have a shell to protect me. My skin is vulnerable. No scales to cover or shield me. I'm completely exposed. Raw. Pathetic and broken.
I have gone to some of my close friends and sought help. So much good encouragement. My Grandma reminded me to listen for God's answer. And this morning in the middle of cleaning the kitchen I heard Him. Nothing audible. Nothing life-shattering. But a simple prompt in my heart, "I've already lived life perfectly. You are released."
Whoa. You mean I don't have to keep trying... I had found myself saying over and over lately, "I just can't do it anymore." But this can stop. I don't have to do it anymore. I can surrender myself to Him and say, "You do it. I'll stop trying."
God is showing me that any good thing that's going to come out of my life, my heart, my family... it's going to be His. He's the One who is going to make it happen. He will make it possible. He will receive the glory. It's not me. It's not my attempts to survive or even venture to thrive. When people will look at me and my life they will be aware that it's not anything I've done. It's God. It's Him preserving me. It's not my work. It's not my frail efforts. It's His power of the Holy Spirit at work in me.
I realized this morning that I had lost my confidence because I had forgotten who I am. I had been constantly second-guessing and doubting myself. I would over think things to the nth degree. But when I am reminded that the same spirit that empowered Christ is dwelling within me... and I can trust Him to lead me, guide me and carry me through this. My friend Amy reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
3 fBlessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
8 For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
(Bold and italic emphases are mine)
I can relate to being so burdened you despair of life itself. That has been a struggle of mine lately. Yes, I've been in a very dark place. But my hope is also the same... that I wouldn't rely on myself but on God who raises the dead. He will deliver me from myself. That same power that raises from the dead dwells in me.
Thank you Jesus that I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have it together. I don't need to pretend I'm okay. Thank you for your life lived perfectly and for your sacrifice on the cross. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and for making me into a new creature. Bringing the dead back to life. Thank you that your Spirit lives in me. You are bigger than the mess I am. You will make all things new.