February 13, 2011

A New Day in Review

Today, I had a breakthrough of sorts.  At church, our Pastor spoke on wisdom, and quoted from Proverbs along with a passage from 2nd Kings.  It was foundational for me to finally accept some things about myself.  Among the "things," truths really, was the realization that I had been looking at various "needs" with the view that they were a means to an end.  By this I mean that while I gave God the credit that they were of His hand, a provision from Him, I was considering them only as a means to shorten or hasten my current suffering (and predicament).  I wasn't allowing God to complete His work, to finish His task, and instead I was simply looking for a way to bring all the unpleasantness to an end.  Granted, there is nothing Biblically wrong with wanting the unpleasantness and suffering to end -- the issue was more so that I was attempting to control the outcome using my own means.  I was asking God for a specific thing, not because I recognized it as part of His will for my life; but rather, as a way to end my sorrow, to bring resolution and closure.  Let me explain...

I have been seeking a full-time position for over a year.  I have been trusting the Lord for His provision of a job, but in reality, I was also looking at what a job would bring for me.  In short, besides the ability to pay my bills, put money into savings, etc.; it would also enable me to move out of my home, to file for divorce, move away, or whatever I wanted to do to put an end to the awkward and difficult times at home.  I was not considering God's will in how to use the job nor was I considering His overall plan for my life, my marriage, my husband's life, etc.  I was simply saying, "Ok, Lord bring me a job so I can end this sorrow."  God was not interested in doing this for the reason I stated.  You see, He had clearly told me that there was a good job for me, that it would provide well for me, and that it would accomplish His will for my life.  He never said "and it will enable you to move out, to move away or divorce your husband."  Nope, He only said it was a good job, would provide a good income, and enable me to do what He wanted me to do.

The same thing was true with my desire for graduate school.  I was looking at school as a means to an end.  I said, "when I get my MA, I can teach college English."  Then later, "when I get my PhD, I can get a better job at a University."  The problem, just like with the job, was that I wasn't considering the Lord's plans for my college education.  You see, my schooling is part and parcel to the accomplishment of His will for my life.  The Lord said to me, "Carol, your graduate schooling is for my glory.  It is for me, and not you."  I said I agreed (at the time), but then forgot what I had promised Him.  I looked at the degree as a way to get a good job, and hence, do what the job was supposed to do above.

The point of this is that I have known for a very long time that this sorrow, this suffering was specific to me, and that I was being asked to suffer to bring Him glory.  I accepted it, and agreed to it when the Lord asked me if I understood what it meant to suffer.  I was on board, wanting to bring Him Glory at all costs -- but when the suffering went on and on and on, then I just wanted it over.  I was tired of waiting for God, and wanted to make a way for the suffering to end on my own terms.  The Lord doesn't share His Glory with anyone, and He doesn't allow us to take over in any area in which He is Sovereign.  I was attempting to change the parameters, all the while, staying within them.  I was using God's blessing in ways in which it was not designed to be used, and God said, "no can do."

As I processed these truths, I understood what I had been doing, and came to the conclusion that perhaps this is why nothing has come to pass as of yet.  I am still in the exact same boat as before, nothing has changed for me.  All my crying to the Lord, all my wanting and hoping and longing -- none of this has changed one iota of my circumstance.  I had to face the wisdom of my life, and accept the fact that I have acted foolishly.  I have tried to be god in my own life, when my God is right there standing by at the ready to assist me.  How foolish I must have looked, trying to shorten my sorrow like that.  Instead, I could have been relaxing and abiding in His will, and trusting Him to determine the end date according to His perfect time.

So, as I begin this next week, this is what I have determined:
  • All Godly sorrow is beneficial for our edification and preparation/training as servants of the Lord
  • All Godly sorrow grows us to be like Christ, and as such, we are able to bring God the Father glory
  • All Godly sorrow produces fruit in our life, fruit that demonstrates to the world that we are His, we are faithful, we are like Him
  • All Godly sorrow is for a time only, and we are not the instigators nor the controllers of the beginning, the middle or end.  Only God says, "it is done!"
Furthermore, in light of this new understanding, I also affirm the following:
  • The job the Lord has for me will come when I am ready to receive it
  • The job will accomplish His will for me, and will produce whatever is necessary for my life
  • The job will not serve any other purpose than that which honors Him and brings Him glory
  • Therefore, my attitude must be in alignment with His will and my mind must be in accordance with His will -- until both are in sync, I will not step forward into a new job
Lastly, if I am determined to know nothing else but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, then I cannot decide when it is "enough."  God knows this, and if I trust Him, I can abide and relax and know that He will not test me or press me beyond what I can bear.  He will say "enough" when it suits Him, and not before.  He will do what is best for me, based on His judgment and determination -- because He is Good and He loves me best.

I can rest and trust in His plan for my life.  I don't have to worry about what doesn't make sense to me.  I can say "not my will, Lord -- but thy will be done," and mean it.  Lord, I mean it -- please accomplish your will in my life today.  In Jesus Name I pray this now, amen.

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