Monday, August 24, 2009

DIVINE ORIGINALS

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully
and wonderfully made."
(Psalm 139:14a)

Did you know that you are a Divine, one of a kind, original, created for a special purpose no one else can fulfill? I lost sight of that for a while, and in my frustration, wrote a post on my other blog which you can read here, if you are interested.

As I wrote, I had a flash of insight. I have been trying to compare apples to oranges. This was confirmed as I sat down to schedule my week in a planner. I really was trying to cram more than what is humanly possible into the 24 hours allotted to me, but because I was comparing my 24 hours to the surgeon's 24 hours and to my daughter's 24 hours, and the 24 hours of my single mom friends who are trying to juggle family and work, I felt I wasn't accomplishing anything.

What a difference a change in perspective can make. I was putting value on what I was getting done by human standards, which are quite different from God's. He did not create me to be a surgeon, or my daughter, or my friends. He created me to be me. If I am faithful to do the things He has called me to do, that is of the greatest value in His sight. That is what will make Him smile and say those glorious words I long to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:23)

Friday, August 14, 2009

LET YOUR LIFE BEGIN AGAIN

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(1 John 1:9)

Forgiveness has been one of my greatest challenges. Not the being able to forgive others kind, but the being able to forgive myself. It has been so hard to rid myself of the guilt laden memories that keep coming back to haunt me even though I know I was forgiven the day I laid them down at the foot of the Cross.

A few days ago, I had a sudden flash of insight as I read a devotional by Kenneth Copeland, entitled Let Your Life Begin Again. It was a devotional I have read several times before, but this time the words jumped out at me and spoke to my heart in a way I had never fully grasped. The moment you make Jesus Lord and accept His free gift of salvation, you are born again into newness of life. That very instant, your past is wiped away and you become like a new born babe with a clean slate. HELLO!!! I've known this for about 18 years now, but I guess I hadn't really absorbed it the way I should have.

With great excitement, I spent several hours dredging up every memory I could possibly think of that could produce guilt or unforgiveness, made a list several pages long, ripped it up, put the pieces in a pot in my kitchen sink, and lit a match to it. As I watched it burn, I madly waved a towel back and forth for fear that the smoke would set off the smoke alarm. Then I flushed the ashes down the toilet while replaying snippets of Scripture in my head such as, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18); "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).

I had to flush several times, because just as my memories had kept coming back to haunt me, some of the ashes kept resurfacing and floating on top of the water. But persistence paid off. The last ash finally disappeared, and with it the last residue of guilt that had plagued me for so long.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

LETTING GOD BE GOD

"'My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are
your ways My ways,' says the Lord.' For
as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Just when I think I've already let go of everything I can possibly think of that needs to be let go of in my life, I discover something new.

In my last post I wrote about the supernatural surgery the Lord performed on my face to remove a very large and ugly cyst. This came as a huge surprise since I was so sure that the answer to prayer was the surgeon He unexpectedly led me to, the peace I felt about making an appointment for the surgery, and most of all--wimp that I am--the total lack of fear as the surgeon explained the procedure and that I would have to return a week later to have the stitches removed. Under normal circumstances, that last statement about having to have stitches removed would have thrown me into a heightened state of panic.

So to say I was excited about the unexpected turn of events would be an understatement. It was one of the most awesome supernatural things I have ever experienced, and I couldn't wait to show everybody what the Lord had done. I shared my testimony at church, at my prayer group, on my blogs, with the person who had recommended the surgeon, and of course the surgeon's office when I called to cancel the appointment for the surgery and reschedule a follow-up instead so he could see my face and document what had occurred, and the Lord would get all the glory.

Well, the incision did not heal up as quickly as I expected it to, and once the soreness wore off and I could touch the area where the cyst had been, I could feel a knot under the skin. I started to regret having been so quick to share my testimony--especially with the surgeon. What would happen when I went for my follow-up? Would the surgeon think it hadn't been the Lord's handiwork after all? Now I was frantically requesting prayer that the Lord's glory would not be stolen. That is, until a wise intercessor reminded me that God is sovereign and does not need my help to make Him look good.

God is in complete control of every circumstance. His power is absolute, and He does things His way, in His time, in order to accomplish His purpose and plan, which His Word assures us is always for our good and His glory. This truth can be hard to swallow when we forget that He sees the whole picture and knows what He is doing. There is so much I don't understand, but God's sovereign design for our lives is so far beyond our comprehension that I am not expected to understand. All He asks is that I trust in His goodness and mercy.

Recently I came across a breath prayer that I have incorporated into my day. "Lord of my life, I give you my hopes." I don't know what will happen when I go to my appointment next week. I don't know if the healing will be complete by then or not. I don't know if there will be a scar. But I do know one thing. It's not my problem to worry about. God's glory does not depend on me.