Ride of a lifetime
It seems at times I just can't stop thinking about this affliction. I mean to go about my normal life and actually forget that I have limitations. But, it never leaves me. This is very difficult. I just read this verse:
For who makes you different than anyone else?
1 Corinthians 4:7
My husband and I had just finished listening to Pastor Andy Stanley on his sermon titled, Doubt Not (click here to listen to message)
Then I was doing my Bible study. I had in my mind that God is working in me through this affliction and even in my doubts God is here and He is real. He is the only One who has life. Where else would I go? And then I read this verse. Yes, indeed. Who makes me different than anyone else? Jesus does. And He has used this affliction to put His stamp on me - to say...
"I am working on this one.
I am molding, shaping, and changing her into my image.
She is different.
She is unique. And she is Mine."
So how can I doubt what He is doing? Oh, let me tell you, it is easy to doubt. As Pastor Andy says, we don't fall into doubt, it reaches out and grabs you. It is not something we look for, it creeps in and grabs hold. With a grip like a vice. It is our enemy whispering "Are you sure?" "Is it worth it?" And if we let it go further without stopping, we land in the territory of lies. Jesus did not reprimand Peter when he started falling into the water, after he was walking on it. Rather, He questioned him. Why do you have so little faith? Why do I have so little faith? Can't I see that God is doing a mighty work in me? Can't I believe that He has called me to a narrow road, a different life, one that is full of Him? Can't I just let go and live? Why do I question myself? My faith? What I read in the Bible? What I know to be true? I guess, it is here that I want to camp, and yet it is also here that I have trouble. I quickly loose sight of the refining process. I forget that God is able to complete that which He has started (Philippians 1:6). I doubt that God is on my side. And yet.
My gracious Heavenly Father calls out to me through His Word. Nothing can separate me from the love of God.
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Lord, to Whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
He does not leave me alone. He brings, carries, drags, pulls, pushes me on this journey. I am the proverbial 3 year old that does not want to go where she does not want to go. I kick and scream. I put up a decent fight. Why do I do that? Because I am selfish and not dying to the flesh. Bottom line. It is when I die to self and take up my cross and follow Jesus I find peace. I find grace. I find life. It is when I lay down my rights to myself that I actually find myself in Him. A self that is different and one that is designed to carry the stamp of Christ. His Cross on my heart. His grace on my life. As I lay down my rights to my way, I live in the light of grace. His Son shines brightly on my path.
I know the way to walk because it is the one illuminated. It the the narrow road. The one less traveled. The one that has been marked out for me. And only me. And Jesus is the One marking out this trail.
So why do I doubt? Honestly, for me right now, the sheer length of this affliction has made it a place that is easy to slip into. When I was on a roller coaster this past January at Disneyland, I kept telling myself, I can do this, it's only 1-2 minutes long. Or, drinking apple cider vinegar straight - it's only a tablespoon! But 2 1/2 plus years with an undiagnosed pain in the core of my body??? It's hard to keep focused. To keep my eyes on the prize. To know that I live in the light of grace. To know that God keeps His promises. That He is the ONE and only One who has eternal life.
How do I move past doubt? By worshiping and praising Him who created me. By thanking God for what He has done in my life. He has set me free from sin. I now have eternal life in heaven with God. I have a purpose and plan. I have the very Words of Jesus to aid and comfort me. I have been put in a family.
I know and have love..
I have so much...
I have Jesus!