The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
I read this verse for the first time yesterday, and I took a moment to ponder it because it really struck a chord with what the Lord has been teaching me over the past weeks. It creates mixed feelings within me, both relief and resistance.
Relief is probably easy for you to figure out... It brings me unexplainable peace to know that my Jesus has called me and is going to be with me every step on this journey, and HE will do it all... Even when my never-ending to do list seems impossible, and my weaknesses are too numerous to count, I can trust in this promise. HE WILL DO IT. Praise the Lord!
Now, on the other side of the coin, let me explain me resistance:
I had expectations of God teaching me some important lessons this summer. Lessons about trust and peace and contentment... but that has only been the tip of the iceberg - It turns out that the Lord has had much greater refinement in mind for me before I go. While reading Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis) a few weeks ago, there were a lot of things I felt the Lord speaking very clearly to me about... Things like - dare I say it... my pride.
I began to realize how much I credit my own 'goodness' to myself. I think to myself, I am a nice girl... I don't do 'bad' things... I am a good Christian... People should be like me. But while reading C.S. Lewis' perspective about 'niceness', I understand that I cannot take the credit of my own temperament or actions - no matter how admirable I think I am. In addition to this, I cannot judge other people for behaving differently than me. God has graciously given me immeasurable blessings that I do not deserve, and how I use those gifts do not make me better or more loved than anyone else.
This has been a HUGE thing for me because it's so easy for me to glorify myself for the way I live. And yet I wasn't created to do good for my own satisfaction, I was created to give glory to my Maker.
It is NOT about me.
As C.S. Lewis writes: There is nothing that I can give Him that isn't His already.
Let me just write that again for my own benefit... There is NOTHING that I can give Him that isn't His already.
That has been a massive idea for me to wrap my mind around lately, and believe me, I haven't even gotten close to the mark, but as I've said before, it's a process... It's the only way that I can live as He intended, so I don't have much of a choice but to give myself up.
So getting back to that verse... Yes, it does bring resistance because I want to be called by God, but I want to do it and then - can I be totally honest for a minute? - When it's all said and done, I want the glory, I want the credit, I want people to look at me and say - "Wow... Look at Diana! Look at what she did in Haiti with those kids... She is so wonderful for leaving her home and serving. We should all want to be like her."
I know it's so utterly selfish and awful... it's pathetic. I am disgusted with my pride! And I desperately need to break free of it. I know I will never become what the Lord made me to be as long as I hold onto glorifying myself. And really, what good is it to do something for someone else when the only reason I'm doing it is to make myself look good... How much more pointless can you get?
So that's what I've been processing lately... I am sharing it with you so that you can pray for me. I thank the Lord for exposing this area in my heart, even though it's painful, and I pray over these upcoming weeks that the Lord would remind me that 'it's not about me'... That I would have opportunities to practice humility, understanding the strength of the Lord only as I lay myself aside.
It's easy to get discouraged about all of this, because I was just starting to nail down the whole trust thing, and then this pride issue comes up, but I am reminded about a promise - He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. I am trusting that even as I take one step forward and two steps back, the Lord would continue to mold me and make me more like Him.
And above all, that I would glorify Him - not me - in every aspect of my life.