For as long as I can remember, I’ve known Jesus. Not just heard, sang, & talked about Him; I’ve known Him. I can remember being 4 or 5 years old and feeling bad for disobeying mommy & daddy, because ultimately I was disobeying God. I thank & praise my Father, Who is in heaven, everyday for the gift of knowing. Growing up as a church kid, it’s hard not to live as though you’ve earned your faith, but recently the Lord’s given me a new perspective on that.
If I, as a child, felt conviction & awareness of my sin, how could that be of my own doing & not His? Hebrews 10:4 says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
What that verse means is that no sacrifice or apology I muster up within myself can clear the debt my sin has created. So then, no good deed or effort of obedience could earn me salvation or conviction; only His grace alone. But honestly, I’m grateful that His perfection is the only option for the redemption of my missteps; if it were to rely on my behavior, I would have an impossible reputation to maintain…how exhausting.
It is tiring, the walk of sanctification. Truly, it is. And it’s supposed to be, constantly reminding me that I need His tireless, unwavering Spirit living inside me.
Recently I’ve often found myself feeling run down when I think of all the little, seemingly unnecessary things I have to do and just the “up-keep” of living in the ‘burbs. But He has reminded me that suburbs of the U.S. are part of the nations He speaks of in the scriptures. Wow, talk about conviction. I certainly don’t treat everyone around me with the same love & patience as I do those in third world countries, but shouldn’t I?
If you would, pray for me? For patience, love & grace towards others. The children of God have complete, unbridled access to conversation with the Father of creation; why not take advantage of that gift? His ability to hear your cries will never grow weak. He won’t get too busy for you. He is constant, as His word repeatedly reminds us.
This New Year’s Eve I went to dinner with one of my best friends & her family [Shout out to the Hackney’s!]. After the appetizers were served, we all closed our eyes for 5 short seconds and thought of a word to be our “focus word”for 2015. ‘Patience’ popped up in my head. I wondered why – “I’m pretty patient, right?” I thought to myself. Welp, not really. If you know me at all, you know my greatest desire is to not be planted or secure in one place, have the ability to go anywhere, and not have a plan or agenda, ever. That lifestyle, however, is just not easily found here. So naturally, I get frustrated by the pace. However, it’s been made clear to me that being “stuck” here is obviously part of my sanctification process, and being thankful for that is a hard feat for me.
By the time my internship at TVC ends, July 31st, I will not have internationally traveled for 2+ years. That’s long for me. And it’s driving me crazy. I need some culture (no offense, America). This is unimportant, but my most recent hang out spot has become World Market. I think you can figure out why.
With alllllll that said, I have scheduled for some fun/learning/growing time to spend in Germany with the Campbell’s (Berlin) & then my Uncle & Aunt (Wiesbaden) for a couple months this fall! I’m beyond elated to see different parts of Germany & it’s borders near the end of this year. What do I have planned after Germany? What do I want life to look like after October? I have absolutely no idea. And I ain’t frettin’.
I’ve discussed with several friends over past weeks of the vision I see when considering what my life, after the end of the year, might look like. The Lord, more often than not, speaks to me in pictures & dreams. The picture in my mind right now is a tricky one to explain in text, but I’ll give it a go. At the end of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Aslan and several other characters are about to walk through this gargantuan wave which leads to “heaven”. You can see about 10-15 feet into the water, then the rest is a blur. That’s the vision I get when thinking about my life and my “plans”.
The message in Proverbs 16:9 has been ever-present in my mind because I have a slight idea of where I’d like to be, but just can’t seem to grasp a fully desired goal for myself. I mean, the biggest goal of mine is to be right in the palm of the hand of the Lord, but once it comes to specifics, I feel as though I’m trying to grab the wind. But the funny thing is, it doesn’t scare me. I feel safe; cared for.
Verses like Psalm 139:1-5 are so comforting in times of unknown, reminding me that the only one who doesn’t know is me. To relate back to the top of this blog, knowing He is the only reason my life isn’t normal feeds my soul excitement for what He has next in the journey. I believe that God is a unique author, Who has already, in ornate detail, written out a story for His glorious Name’s sake, and He picked me to play this role, and for that I’m grateful.
I find rest & peace in believing what Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now thus said the LORD that created you, O Jacob, and he that formed you, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine.” Wherever I go, whatever I do, I know I am His & He is mine.
His promises don’t have an expiration date, praise be to God! His mercies never cease. His love is unconditional, praise be to God! His provision is all I need. His holiness never lessens, praise be to God! His light will never grow dim. His compassion for the weak never weakens, praise be to God! His word is ever trustworthy.
God bless you, Han