Monday, June 19, 2017

You Can Always Glorify

I came across 2 Corinthians 12 recently. Here Paul talks directly about his thorn in the flesh. 

In light of my body being overcome right now with disease of some kind, this passage came alive. 

Paul tells about how he has things to boast about. 

God had revealed things to him. He had a message worth listening to! 

But then he goes on to say, "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me." 

I started pondering if maybe the condition of my body was there to keep me from being conceited myself. 

And I had to admit that I had experienced a lot of "grieving" and feeling of loss over this illness. 

Loss of time with my children. 

Loss of opportunities to serve my husband. 

Loss of countless times when I couldn't make it to church to enjoy teaching and fellowship. 

Loss of being apart of social events. 

Loss of pursing interests like gardening and hiking.

Loss of enjoying life without debilitating pain. 

It seemed that a lot of dreams were slipping through my grasp. 

Because I used to dream a lot about what kind of family I would have, and how I wanted to serve my husband and make life sweet for my children. 

No where in those dreams were visions of me curled up under blankets, shivering on the couch and gasping and moaning should a child accidentally bump into my pain racked body. 

I never dreamt of being the kind of a mom whose four-year old knew that when mommy stood up, she needed help. 

Being dependent on family and friends for my own family's survival is not what my pride rejoices in! 

But I'm not writing my own story. 

The thing is, a lot of those dreams were born of good desires. 

Desires to serve and enjoy life, living it well. 

But I had made it my god and determined that living out my desires was the best way to glorify God. 

Whenever life started to not look like the picture I wanted, I grew anxious. 

I've been forced to lie in bed and ask God, "How do I glorify You, lying here? This is where I am stuck and it feels nonsensical."

I used to try to get my heart right and fix my attitude before I prayed. 

Now it's just an open dialogue. 

He knows it all anyway. 

He wants me to come to Him without ceasing; not reserving my prayer life for when my heart is happy and my house is clean. 

He has answered my question. How do I glorify You, right here, right now? 

Enjoying God is glory. Obeying God is glory. Trusting God is glory. Rejoicing is glory. Interceding for others is glory. Thanking God for your sight, and eyes, and teeth and hair is glory. Reverencing your husband and loving him any way you can is glory. Smiling at your children is glory. 

He doesn't command us to keep clean homes, or cook organic food from scratch. He never demands that we have perfect marriages or raise perfectly obedient and well educated, creative children. My laundry pile and unmade bed do not condemn me. 

He commands us to glorify.  

I've found that it can be done under any circumstances that life may offer us. 

I feel internal rest mingled with a resolve to fight and overcome. 

He has broken my mold and shattered my dreams and I have found freedom. Freedom to trust Him and glorify Him and know that that is my purpose for all of my days whatever may come. 

Freedom to rejoice in whatever He has - though it be very different from what I had pictured.

Fear is gone. Trust and obedience have taken its place. 

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