Tonight is Sunday April 22 2012. Today was a hard day. Allowed emotional pain to cause me stress which in turn caused me physical pain. I woke up thinking I was fine but within an hour I realized that I must not be "quenching my thirst" for God's word. I became quickly "dehydrated" and in desperate need of some hydration. Do you ever find that Sunday mornings seem to be "against" you? Do you walk into church feeling that you have no right to worship God in the mindset you are currently in because it would be empty worship?
Got to church, was aware of my mindset and allowed the Spirit to settle upon me so I could worship and learn. I soon felt as though I not only had a jacuzzi size cup of water to "hydrate" my soul but that I had submerged my whole body into that jacuzzi and was soaking in the relaxing warmth. I felt at ease and encouraged. I learned today that, and I'm writing from my church notes, The Holy Spirit's divine presence in our lives sets a new threshold of sustainability...Lamentations 3:19-24 "Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I have hope in Him.'"
I also learned that....from my notes again....We are free from our self-focused standards, to live according to Jesus' standard. Wow, while that is a high calling, it is also very freeing. Christ will not give me what I can't handle. If there are things in my life that are from God and I can't handle them then He will handle them for me. If there are things I have put on myself and can't handle, then I need to let them go and not hold myself to a self-focused standard. This is something that only God can reveal to me, I cannot allow others to tell me what is and isn't from God in my life. I will not be held to anyone's standards but Jesus'.
This revelation was so quenching to me I just about drowned in it. I've held on for so long to self-focused standards and now I can begin the process of letting go. Within minutes after church, as I was still deep in the "jacuzzi" I began feeling this "dry wind" blowing on my head. Like a blow dryer was hanging over the jacuzzi trying to evaporate the warm, intoxicating water of truth right out of me. The dry heat was catching my attention so much that even though I knew I didn't like being "dry" I couldn't help but be drawn towards it. So, here I am now, looking up at a blow dryer the size of King Kong, feeling just about completely dehydrated again. But still, the jacuzzi of truth and life giving water remains there. I continue to keep my toes soaked in order to not dry up and I struggle to get myself back in and completely submerged.
While God can use people's words and actions to speak truth, love, and hydration into your life, those very same people can be used (not by God) by their words and actions to speak lies, pain, and "blow dryers" into your life. It is so very hard not to take those lies and painful things personally. I myself begin to wonder "what is wrong with me and why do I deserve this. What did I do?" In order to protect myself I try and convince myself that I am a good person deserving of good things, I've done this or that and so on. I HATE when I do that! While being humbled through pain I begin to become self righteous and prideful through my self-focused thinking and standards. It makes me SICK! I don't want anything that I do be done for me, I want it to be done for the glory of God. But, when I think like this I am attempting to rob God of His glory in my life. Anything good in me is from God not from myself.
In my own thinking and trying to be the one to lift my spirit, I am lying to myself. I need to not allow lies and pain to humble me but rather be humbled by God and His amazing affection towards me. He then lifts me with that same amazing affection through His word. How quickly I forget what quenched my thirst to begin with. Oh, so human am I.
So, here is how I have kept my toes at least in the water. There is a song we sang at church today, it goes..."You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust; You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us." I remember from this that all those people who may speak lies and pain into my life are God's creation made after His perfect image. They are made just like me, from dust and YES we are all beautiful. Those beautiful people may sometimes hurt me but it is not a reflection of God's thoughts towards me. No, it is a reflection of their own relationship with God and His Lordship over their tongues and attitudes. They are dust as I am dust and they are beautiful as I am beautiful. Sometimes we forget just how beautiful God created us to be. So, with my toes at least soaked, I can forgive because Christ forgives and I can repent of my prideful, self-righteous thinking. I can become humbled by His amazing affection towards me and then lifted by that same affection.
How intoxicating it all can be, when we submerge ourselves in His truth and life giving waters. I was crying when I first started writing this post, but as God spoke to me and I freely wrote as I felt led, I am ending this post with a smile on my face. I get a kick out of Him when He reveals Himself to me through me. I think I might be up to my knees in His waters at this very moment. He truly does make beautiful things!
"I might have to do this all over again tomorrow." But I sure hope not.
PS. I had in mind something else to talk about tonight but I knew I had to remain true to the moment and decided not to. I hope to talk about it tomorrow....I'm really excited about it and want to share it with you.