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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Let's Face It

I am so lucky to have a husband who inspires me daily and who pushes me to grow in my relationship with God. I'm also lucky that he agrees to write blog posts for me! Take it away, Will!
Lets face it. There are normal days, and there are bad days. Most of my days are normal--school, ping-pong, more ping-pong, and then afternoon activities. Normal days are great, but every now and then one of those bad days creeps into the forecast. Bad days take a pretty wide range, including anything from a rough day at work or losing in chili cook-off contest to Amanda (side note: I’m only just a little bitter about that). 

Last week I had one of those bad days. The majority of the day I felt like I had this huge weight on my shoulders, and there was nothing I could do to make it move. It all started as I was sitting in class (seminary, aka Bible college) surrounded by a room full of guys and a professor who all seemed like they had their life plans pretty well worked out. I could point to most guys in the room and tell you where they worked or their plans for the future, but when I got to myself, the answer became unclear. For about a year I have been doing some serious recalculating in figuring out where God wants me in life. However, it is beyond hard as a married, 25 year old, graduating in May, Masters student to not be able to answer the question, “So, what are you going to do for a career?” Or the next question, “So where do you work,” when your reply is a couple of part time jobs when so many of your peers are full time employees or making headway in pursuit of a lucrative career. The reason unknown, but on this particular bad day, all these thoughts seemed to be rising to a crescendo. I was officially in the dumps. 
After class I went to the library to work on some homework, and it was there that I ran into my friend Jim (Jim Jimmy Jim Jim Jim as I call him). We struck up a conversation about the new semester and just life in general. Jim, who works at the seminary, was pushing a big black trashcan. He proceeded to tell me that he just finished cleaning up a monster pile of fresh puke, and that he was pretty much having the worst day ever. It was in that moment that my bad day was totally put into perspective. Compared to my friend Jim, my day really wasn’t bad at all. The entire day I had been praying for peace, for guidance, and assurance. It was in that moment that God gave me a reality check. No, I'm not saying that Jim was worse off than me, but I think God was telling me to stop hanging out in “dump-land.” 
It is easy to look at our lives and be unsatisfied or unfulfilled. Maybe your job isn’t as exciting as you hoped, maybe college is turning into a hassle, maybe you are about to graduate and don’t know what to do next. What God spoke to my heart that day was for me to take a step back and get the big picture. All too often we fall into the trap of letting certain circumstances bring us down or to the point of frustration. It might make you feel better just to know that I’ve been there. But even more beneficial is that God doesn’t want us to stay there. Looking at the big picture in my life God has done some incredible things. He showed me last week that He is not done with the work yet. 
I’m convinced that the reason that we have those bad days, those unsatisfied moments with life, the uncertainty of the future, all boils down to a lack of trust, a lack of faith. In a world where so much hinges on the tangible, the real, we find ourselves crippled when the real becomes uncertain. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, we find ourselves settling for less because it is reachable. 
God did not call us to settle. God did not call us to be empty broken vessels. Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected that we might live in the bountiful grace that He supplies, and the comfort of knowing that He has our best interest in mind. I’ll finish with some verses the apostle Paul writes from 2 Corinthians that give a practical approach to taking off the microscope that we put on our circumstances and moving towards a Godly vision. 

Rejoice in the fact that God comforts. 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 
In trusting God, the baton is passed from us to him. His comfort is much more knowable than anything that we can offer ourselves. What a peace to know that in our affliction God gives us His grace. 

Remember the fact that God changes. 
2 Corinthians 3:4-6:
“Such is the confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.”

Trusting Jesus as your Savior is life changing (2 Corinthians 5:17, “For if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”). In the Christian life it is so important to remember that you have been changed. God gives us what we need to press on, to complete our goals. Our goodness is not an outflow of ourselves; it is an outflow of the grace of God within. Paul mentions the covenant of the letter (the law) because of the inability of all people to uphold it perfectly. It is only through the sufficiency of Jesus that the new covenant (of the Spirit) allows us to live in confidence and joy. Because we have access to this joy through Jesus, live it! Don’t be brought down by life’s negatives when the ultimate peace of Christ rests in your heart. 

Rely on the fact that God challenges. 
2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

It is through affliction that God often shapes us, molds us, and sanctifies us. Often life’s difficulties are looked at with resentment and remorse. Hold fast to the confidence that we have in faith that God will see us through. Though affliction may seem overbearing, the weight of it will never destroy when faith is rooted in Christ. He will provide. 
 Rest easy, the best is yet to come. We’ve only just begun. 

A Royal Daughter


Terra said...

Gaahhh this is exactly what I needed to hear this morning! You two complement each other so well.
Found ou from LIY and your newest follower :)

SH said...

What an inspiring post!


Anna TTIL said...

This is a great post and so true! We're in the midst of an unknown situation and I keep reminding myself that God is leading the way and is taking care of us!

The Sequined Spaniel said...

Will: Thanks for such an uplifting post! I needed that today. Sometimes I feel that same way so it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

amanda the chili champion

Heather said...

Just found your blog! i LOVE IT! I cannot WAIT to read more!!!

- heather

Lindsey said...

Just as God sent Jim to see you on that day last week, God led me to this post today. I have been a bit down in the dumps over the last couple weeks. I made a job change and have been questioning if it was the right decision. God has me where He wants me. I just needed you to remind me. Thank you!

LB @ Walking in Memphis in High Heels said...

I love this post! God works in great ways. This is what I needed today! And I sure wish I could get my husband to post lol.

Melissa Knott said...

Wow. Very well written. It's amazing what it takes to put things into perspective. And being that I am a bad-day-have-r lately, this is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you!!

Sarah Weaver (A Beautiful Life) said...

Thanks for the inspiration!


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