If you’re like me, you probably find it difficult to adequately express, in words, the feelings of gratitude that we sometimes have and feel for the patience, love and faithfulness that God gives to us through this journey we are on. You’ll note that I said “sometimes” because again, if you’re like me, there is a certain mindset that has to be brought into our awareness, in order for us to see the “big picture”. Far too often we overlook the “big picture” and we focus on the smaller picture, you know, that one that looks solely on ourselves. I find it more than interesting that Jesus continually expounds to us about the reality of the Kingdom of God and how we need spiritual eyes to see this spiritual reality and to value and focus on His spiritual truths (Matthew 13:14-15 NIV).
Last week I posted an article about how God, infrequently, in His wisdom, reminds me of my utter dependency and need for Him. Well it’s not over yet. This one is lingering and multiple layers are unfolding. From what I have seen, in the walks of other dedicated Christians, we all have our own individual set of circumstances to deal with on this journey. A lot of the circumstances have common threads yet there are also some threads which are more difficult to traverse than others and these difficult threads cover a wide spectrum of varied circumstances. Some of these more difficult threads have to do with addictions, some have to do with past sins and some have to do with difficult situations like unfaithfulness of a marriage partner, chronic illnesses and children with disabilities. The list is quite long and none of these circumstances are easy to deal with.
Yet all of the circumstances, whether common or varied, without exception, lead all of us to come to the place where we encounter the end of our own strength and endurance and the acknowledgement of our own absolute need for external assistance beyond ourselves. The island that we think we are, has deficiencies.
As I read through God’s Word, I can’t help but feel encouraged when I see the mistakes of others who have gone before me. The list is long and the examples are many. The important aspect of all of the circumstances that the other great characters within the Bible show me is that we all fall short and yet it is faith, not in ourselves, but in He who has created us, that is always put forward as the path to acceptance in God’s eyes. This theme is consistent throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
And how am I dealing with the particular set of circumstances that God has given me? Not so great. I’m still far too susceptible to looking inward versus outward. I still take words and unfolding events far too personal. I still focus my attention far too often on me versus God. If one was to externally look at me, one might incorrectly assume that things are not going all that bad. There are an awful lot of things that I used to do that I don’t do anymore. There is a significant reduction of words spoken in anger or without consideration for others, my focus on self has also diminished and my ability to not react as I often times would in the past has radically changed.
But the heart of man goes much deeper than that.
As the light of God’s holiness shines on me I see more of the darkness within me and it grieves me. Yes, I know, that is a good thing but it doesn’t change what I see. And once again, I fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for His forgiveness for that which is in me that is not of Him.
Psalm 51:16-17 NIV
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart heart
you God, will not despise.
I don’t know why some of us have been given different circumstances than others. I don’t know why these circumstances can be so difficult but I perceive that they are designed to bring us individually to the awareness of our need for God, in the area that we individually are most prone to NOT want to entertain Him. I could be wrong.
I am also aware that these difficult circumstances are not uncommon. My difficult circumstance may be different that yours but this should show me that even though God is working in a different area in your life than mine, this does not mean that He loves you any less than me or vice versa. Nor does it mean that I am more intelligent that you because I know or have learned things in one area that you are not aware of, while you likewise know or have learned things in another area that I am not aware of. We are of one body and our source and teacher is the same.
I am reminded that we are commanded by Jesus to love one another.
John 13:34 NIV “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have love you, so you must love one another.”
Correct me if I am wrong but that’s not an option. To me that means I have to really start looking at everything with different eyes, especially my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!