November 23, 2016
I am rather terrible at needlework. I mean, really terrible. If anything that involves sewing clutters my desk, i shudder. I am not one to procrastinate easily, but sewing related...always!! I put it off until it is definitely the last second, but even so, my family still ask me to fix things, bless their souls! Just small things like Sewing on a button or Fixing a seam....nothing serious or too challenging for their sewing impaired mother!
And so, on this Thursday morning i was trying to fix a small seam that came apart. I made a mess of things, as i did not even look to see if the thread matched the colour of the fabric. Nothing out of the ordinary! I was picking away to undo my work (oh, for a delete button on sewing!) and i was struggling. I mean struggling more than usual....
The extra problem was, that i did not have enough light where i was working, so i took my "work" over to the window to get more light on the .....uhm, subject - and then something clicked inside my brain - unfortunately still nothing in the way of making me an amazing seamstress, but still, something clicked. And it was this: I had to take my life into the Light. And only there could i really "see" what was going on.
I have had more than my fair share of challenges this past month - if only it was in sewinstuff! I had struggled to see what was going on. I was wrestling daily with things that i could not fix. I became really despondent at times and even a bit depressed. These things started to consume me. They heaped upped. I could not stop thinking about it and it dragged me down. An unhealthy downward spiral. It also started me on "What were others thinking of me?" I could feel a thick condemnation roll over the, oh, so dark, hills.
At the height of all this and quite timely (God's timing, of course!) a friend wrote and said that i need only be concerned by what God was thinking about me. He knows my heart AND my motives. Am i good with Him? Bringing my life into the Light is the important factor. He needs to be the One convicting me at times, comforting me at others. God is the One True Standard. This does not say i am not open to a word of warning or caution or conviction from people, but rather to always make sure before God. It does not matter what people think - rightly or wrongly - of my "name", only what God thinks of me. And i mean this where others might think bad of me and i cannot defend or explain myself kind of context. Obviously our conduct should be above reproach, that is also not what i mean. So don't get me wrong, i am talking about those situations where i need to put my name/reputation in His hands and trust Him for the outcome.
Just this week i taught my kids "Life is unfair/ hard but God is always good!" (I didnt realize then i would learn this lesson again myself!) Jesus did not explain or defend Himself in His last hours, even though we might think it could have changed Pilate's mind, or clarified things a bit! He said Nothing. Suffering for His Name is normal but worrying about my name is not!
If He convicts, i need to make it right and if i need justice i must trust Him for it. Only by bringing it all out in the Light will i have peace. There He can show me what i need to do - confess my sin, make it right, or just fall into His loving arms and know that He is on my side.
By bringing it into His light - all my troubles, all my spiralling thoughts - He brings calmness and perspective once again. No other way.
And so i stand in His Light in this new day!
Bella, who needs to go fix that seam.....
November 17, 2016
When Jesus told us to be the light and the salt of the earth i don't think i realised that being just that would cause quite a lot of pain and suffering on my part. It is so easy to be the lamp under the bucket. No-one enters, no-one disturbs. It is just you and a few chosen ones and you shine, albeit in a small space. But that is a no-go. The command is to be a light in a dark world, not be a light in a nice comfy place.
Where the real world is and what the real world needs - that is where you and i need to be as lights and as salt. Guiding them to God, the Ultimate Light source.
Sounds so easy, right? nope. I haven't seen the easy side of this....
You know, i see some really bad wounds out here from time to time. Wounds that need washing, with salt water. And it hurts! But as all physios or cleaner-of-wounds like to say/think, "no pain, no gain", or something like that. Salt stings but cleanses really well.
Same goes for light. It can hurt eyes accustomed to darkness. It takes a while for eyes to adjust to a really bright light. Pain again.
I guess the light and the salt need to enter the eyes and the wounds for them to get better. Painful if you think about it - and this pain is not just for the receiver, but for the giver as well. Sometimes you give all you have (hopefully in love and kindness) to only then receive a slap across the face as "thank you". Or rather "no, thank you." Extremely painful to the giver. Esp if you know you are in God's will and doing His bidding. God doesn't guarantee the outcome, He only asks my obedience. Be salt, be light. It is of no concern to me how they will respond. Hard at times. Very hard.
And just in case you think my theology is a bit off track....1 Peter 3:15-17 says
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
Suffer for doing good....
Stepping out from under the bucket, jumping out from the salt bin, i venture into the world relying solely on my Father to use me as He sees fit, and trusting Him for the outcome; helping people get closer to Him.
Bella,with hurting heart.