Lessons Along the Way
"I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has STRENGTHENED me, because He CONSIDERED ME faithful, APPOINTING me to the ministry - one who was FORMERLY a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. Since it was out of ignorance that I had acted in unbelief, I received MERCY, along with the FAITH and LOVE that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance - Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - and I am the worst of them. But I received MERCY because of this, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate the utmost PATIENCE as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be HONOR and GLORY FOREVER and ever. Amen." 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Lately I've been really struggling with things beyond my control. I've been fighting invisible battles within my mind and heart. And I've been debating with myself what the root of these battles could be, failing to ask God what the root was. You see, it's in my nature to see a problem and want to solve it. And in this case, that nature failed me. I spent so much time and energy trying to find the answer to the riddle of why I was being attacked, that I failed to go to the Commander and Chief and ask Him to see the battle plan, ask Him for the supplies I needed to walk through the gun-fire unharmed. It's a painful lesson but one I definitely need to learn now, here in this place, before I continue down this road of ministry with Him. I am not the one in charge of solving the problem or finding the answer. I am simply the one who must report to my Leader and follow His orders, in light and darkness, trusting Him to strengthen me and guide me to safety.
Once I realized my mistake and came to Him for help, He was faithful and just in helping me to understand my situation. And I soon realized it was a common tactic of the enemy, just involving people I never would have suspected. The enemy LOVES to taunt me, to remind me of my past, to plague me with bad dreams and memories of dark times, and to surround me with reminders of my failures in order to make me feel as if I am not worthy to be in the Lord's presence or even attempt to do work for Him. And, in some ways, this tactic does work to make me feel weak and vulnerable. But ultimately, through the course of turning things back over to Him, I am reminded that I am not called to be strong. I am not called to be perfect (praise Jesus!). I am not called to be great. I am not called to be worthy. I am simply called to be HIS!!! He is my strength. He justifies me and sanctifies me, over and over again. He strengthens me and He places me where He wants me to be in order to bring Him glory! I am HIS! Nothing else matters.
And it is through His mercy that I am called His daughter! It is through His love that I find myself here in South Africa walking closer and closer to Him. It is in His grace that I am being used, even when I don't know it, to shine His light in the darkness both back home and here in my new home. And it is in His great patience that I am learning and growing and changing in ways I never could have imagined.
So go ahead, Devil. Remind me of who I used to be. Remind me of who I am now, who I really am inside, a sinner in need of a savior. But then let me remind you of who HE says I am! I am HIS!! I am His daughter! I am His beloved! I am His child, a co-heir with Christ! I am used for His glory, even in my weakness! And I am appointed by Him to do His will wherever He places me. And nothing you can do or say will ever change that!
For when I am weak, then He is strong!! To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen!