September 24, 2010

When Good Things Happen

I am still struggling with my sciatica pain, but the extra strength Ibuprophen has helped a lot. Now, I am getting twinges on the side of my left knee (outside). This is the knee I had orthoscopic surgery on some 26 years ago. It is also the side that had a slight tear in the crucia ligament. I am wondering if the pain I feel is more tearing, and less nerve? Oh yuck -- I don't want to have to do knee surgery!

On another note, I am thanking God today for His Goodness. God is Good all the time (like the Don Moen song), and His Goodness stems from who He is -- Good. God is never anything BUT Good, and when we recognize that the Good we receive is from Him, then we have no other choice but to offer up a sacrifice of praise.

God is Good to me all the time. Today He provided a down day so that I could rest with my back and knee pain. He provided a convenient way out so that I didn't have to go to cello/chamber -- even though I really needed to do that, the very thought of sitting up straight and trying to play cello was too much for me. Moreover, He has given me rest today, and now I am more refreshed and able to read my journal articles for my Chaucer course.

As I contemplate my schooling, the one thing that stands out to me is how God is in the midst of everything I am doing. There was a time, not so long ago, when I believed that I was trying to do the Lord's will, and God was either in it or out of it. I have since come to understand that God is always in the midst of His will. You cannot even begin to do His will without Him. Furthermore, you cannot attempt any measure of His will without His annointing. You can try, but you will fail. You can think you are doing God's will, but it is just imperfect man's attempt to please a Perfect and Holy God. I spent years trying to please God, thinking that all my Bible reading, and keeping of His commands was doing the "trick." I thought if I kept His word, then He would bless me. I thought I had to do a "list" of things before He would even bother to be interested in me. Oh, how I was wrong!

I have done nothing over the last four years to earn God's approval. I have not even read my Bible, studied His word, or obeyed His commands (though I have done these things) -- none of these things made one iota of a difference to Him. He is impartial and has clearly told us that we cannot 'earn' anything from Him. He is a rewarder of the faithful, but it is not based on our doing things at all. It is God who choose to reward based on what He determines, and we are blessed to receive all that He gives to us. I kow that everything I have done has not been of my own strength or of my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Rather, I have received His reward and His blessing because I have chosen to sacrifice myself, my pride, and my time in thanksgiving, and in recognizing that He is God.

When I focus on Him alone, I am able to rightly discern my true place in this world. I understand who I am, and who I am not; and, I am able to rest in the security of God's Providence. I don't have to try and do anything for Him -- I do what He asks of me, and He imparts His will into my life to enable me to do it. He does it -- even the doing part of His will. He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, and the Author and Finisher of our faith. God -- from start to finish-- does it all, and we are simply participants and observers who get to see His Glory as it passes by us (just like Moses in the rock). We see His Glory in others, in the work He does through others, and in His Spirit's outpouring of faith and new life. We see His Glory, and we give Him praise.

God is so Good to me.

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