Today was glorious for a few reasons:
A. I got to be at home for most of the evening
B. The sky was clear, the sun was shining and everything here is green, thanks to last week’s rain. And…
C. I get to mow the lawn.
No sarcasm here. I love mowing my lawn. It is quite large and takes 2.5 hours to mow, but I enjoy every minute. Mowing is mindless; a task that can be done with little intention or effort, leaving the mind the heart the opportunity for reflection. As a teacher whose days are bombarded with non-mindless tasks (yep, just made up another word…you’ll get used to it), and as a farm wife with many things to tend to, I savor a moment to sit, yet accomplish much while being able to think and assess my soul deeply.
Tonight’s thoughts centered on my relationship with Christ. I struggle to get quiet with him without allowing the barrage of clutter from getting in the way. I’m quite conscience of what my sins are, and have an ongoing list of how I fall short. While one may think that awareness may be of help in my process of becoming sanctified (more like Jesus) for me, it prevents me from getting to the heart of my heart. I’ve been raised in a lifestyle of faith my whole life (thanks, mom and dad) and now I feel, more than ever before, that I am, or God is helping me make it my own. Really my own. And I want that…most of the time. Trust be told, I feel condemned by my lack, at times, of deeply passionate, self-sacrificing motivation to seek, learn and grown in Christ. And this fact baffles me. Why does a girl who has known Christ as long as she remembers, and read and absorbed time and time again, the sufferings of Christ and the fact of His great sacrifice, seem so indifferent to it. Why does it become common. Something of this magnitude never should. And yet, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt this way and struggled.
This summer I had the privilege of going through the Beth Moore bible study “Believing God” with some beautiful and gracious women from my town. It was an incredible experience in that I began to, in a more complete way than ever before, understand what faith is. What does it mean to believe God; to take Him at His EVERY word. And in addition, what it means that when we BELIEVE God, it is credited to us as righteousness. This Lutheran born and raised girl who should have grace formed and molded into the core of her existance still struggles with thinking she has to do good stuff to be saved.
The study helped me realize that I can’t DO anything to save myself. I have to follow the whole law to be saved by it (for which the opportunity has passed)…THEREFORE, thank God, I can believe God and confess Him as my Lord and in that moment I am saved. YES!!!!
Now…back to my struggle. I see that I can earn salvation, but I worry now about staying saved. I’m not wanting to launch into a debate of once-saved-always-saved etc. I’m wanting to learn from Jesus Himself. I fear my inconstancy…I fear my inability to be faithful. I know that God’s strength is present when we are weak. I need to hold to that. I just feel so unworthy at times. I see failure so much more than I see grace. But yet, He is there. Always there. Like the Psalmist, I can remember this fact:
When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever. (emphasis mine)
Aren’t you glad He never gives up on us. Thanks be “To him who is able to keep [us] from stumbling and to present [us] before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—”