Forgive me for what very well may be the most scatter-brained post ever! I just needed to get that disclaimer out there before I proceed. If this writing reflects anything that’s been going on in my head, then that disclaimer was extremely necessary. Okay, here it goes:
I’m a Christian woman. I am saved by God’s grace. I am a new creation. God says. This is true. I know that. My mind, however, is trying to figure out the “how”. How is this going to work? How is God going to change this lump of mess that I am? How will He quiet my mind and spirit? How will I break free from my insecurities?
The “why” is easier for me to accept. He loves me. He loves us. That’s the beautiful “Why”. But the “How”? That’s a big, humongous question mark for me – one that has me doubting and comparing and coming up short on answers. I mean, if you really knew me, you’d shake your head too. I cling to verses like:
1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.
For the last few weeks I’ve been reading the book of Romans. It was in chapter 7 verse 18 that I read Paul’s words and saw the word “how” like a huge magnifying glass was right on it: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” I thought, “You too, Paul?!” From verses 19-24 he paints a vivid picture of the battlefield for Christ followers. I’m thankful for those verses right now. I need to see that this is “normal”. I need to see that striving for perfection so you think I’m good, I think I’m good, God thinks I’m good – is a waste. It’s nothing. That kind of thinking is motivated by me, not God’s Spirit.
I don’t know if I’ll ever truly understand the “how” – maybe I’m not supposed to. This is what I think the “how” looks like now, though, as I still look to discover Him in this process:
In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus says a prayer for Himself for what He is about to face. In the gospel of Luke (chapter 22, verses 42-44) He kneels down and prays in agony. His pain is real. The grief is evident. The emotion raw. Verse 43 is, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.”
Jesus, God in flesh, needed strengthening and in His humble humanity, He allowed it.
He didn’t take anything by force. He submitted to His Father’s plan. He surrendered in that moment in the garden. In verse 45 of that same chapter it says, “When He rose up from prayer…” The battle of His mind was center stage here, but I think I see some of the “how” here:
Look heavenward for strength…surrender in the garden moments…rise up after praying, don’t just stay on my knees…get up and do it by faith…be okay with it not “looking” right…and finally humbly admitting the truth of who I am and who God is in me.
God is in control of the “HOW”. I am not. I am only able to be willing and to seize opportunities of change, and THAT is not even me, it is God Spirit who lives and moves and breathes in me.
For those of you, like me, who struggle with the ugly truth of who you used to be, please know this, in God’s Hands, you are beautiful. The process of becoming a free flying butterfly comes, it will come. With pain, with struggle, with gardens that only God sees, it will come and this is what God says,
“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
ALL MY HEART….the good, the bad, the ugly. He wants all of it. That’s some of the “How”.
That’s all I’ve got to write today. Thanks for reading this.
Still seeking Him,