Myself No More: Rejoice in The Lord

Lent is supposed to be a solemn time of repentance and turning to God.  But I believe that from the most profound of solemnities springs the deepest of joys.  There is no greater joy than walking in relationship with God, and something which will draw us closer to Him is sacrificing our fleshly nature and denying ourselves for His glory.

There was a man known as Brother Lawrence who lived in France in the mid 1600’s. He was not educated, nor was he particularly clever or talented. Most of his life he worked in the kitchen of a monastery. So why is his name remembered today? It’s because although he lived a simple life he did all his menial tasks faithfully, for the glory of God.

Mankind sees glory as having a big ministry, and doing great things for God. Heaven sees glory as faithfulness to God in the tasks He has given you, even if you’re just a kitchen boy like Brother Lawrence.

For years I wanted to live overseas and do great things. I come from a small town and I just felt so trapped and bored. Then I finally moved overseas and…became a housewife. I became excruciatingly bored as I had expected to become some sort of Mother Teresa.  It was through this boring, monotonous time that I began to learn more about God, and in so doing, I learned more about myself.

I kept saying to my husband, “I feel like I’m useless!”

All he would say is, “No, it’s ok.”

Maybe my husband and my family could live without me, but they don’t want to.  I didn’t understand why, but it dawned on me that it’s because they love me for who I am, not for what I’m capable of doing.

And oh, how focused I can be on doing.

I must ask myself sometimes, “Why am I worshiping and reading the Bible?  Why am I writing and blogging?  Is it to give myself a sense of worth and significance?  Is it to feed my ego and fickle emotions?  Or is it a way to connect to God, like writing a love letter to my husband?”

“DIY” is in my DNA.  When I want something, I try to get it done and make it happen myself.  But it’s absurd to think I could have control over everything which happens in life. Then, my unfulfilled desires turn into fear, my fear turns into worry and worry turns into depression.

When I’m afraid, my prayer can become a form of worrying.  I focus on my issue and forget who God is.  I pray,

“God please, please provide for us!”

“God PLEASE don’t let this bad thing happen!”

That’s me focusing on the problem rather than on The Problem Solver.  But when my focus shifts onto The Problem Solver, my worry turns into worship and my fear turns into praise;  and my own desires conform to God’s desires.  God can and will make His desires happen, so once you understand His heart and allow your desires to become His, you will find boundless joy in Him.

This Lent season, I encourage you to repent from trying to hang on to your own feeble desires and trying to make things happen in your own strength.  Rejoice in Jesus through whatever pain you are facing!

 

Psalm 34

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

[a] Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.

I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
    and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
    and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
    and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
    and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
    none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

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