Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Losing Myself

The Lord is always with us and always caring for us.  He knows of our sorrows and tears and shortcomings and fears. 

But. He does. not. let. go. A heart that is surrendered to obedience and sensitive to his voice is putty in his hands. This has been my life since I was saved at the age of 24.

Since then, the Lord has tested my faith on a continual basis.  Sometimes I feel not unlike an onion from which God just keeps peeling away layers.  But unlike physical onions, spiritual ones have never-ending layers. Just when I think there could not possibly be more to peel, another layer bites the dust. :)

For this I am thankful. Like a sheep to the shearer, it's uncomfortable, but necessary. In each process, I lose more and more of myself.  I must decrease, He must increase.

Moving across the country twice in three years and now settling in a new region has been a tremendous learning experience. I've learned (still learning) to wait on the Lord, trust in God to lead my husband, remain cheerful when my heart is confused or fearful. These are not "fake" behaviors. I cry when I need to and have my bad days.  But I am learning, on this journey, to lead my feelings not follow them.  Because feelings are carnal and temporary and oh-so-finicky.  In other words, I can't trust my feelings. (Neither can you.)   Instead, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Sometimes I wonder what the Lord wants of me, and feel panicky that I'm not measuring up.  I guess we all feel that way at times.  But when I focus my trembling spirit upon the face of my Lord, I just know he's doing something good.  How do I know this?  Because it hurts so much. I know that when something hurts a lot, the Lord's doing something good.  He chastens those he loves.

Corrie Ten Boom, a lady I admire so much, once said, "Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open."I know what this means.  The lord has pried many, many things out of my fingers which has been excruciatingly painful.  Each time he's taken away, I sat like a child and through tears have said, "ok Lord, it's yours. You can have this if you want it. I will still love you. I will still obey you and worship you."  These are serious words that I don't utter lightly. 

I know the Lord's doing some serious testing in me and I have no eloquent musings about it. My soul just looks up to heaven and whispers, "Hallowed thy name".  Like Peter stepping out of the boat, certain that he could walk on the water to Jesus, I am trusting the Lord knows what He's doing.  And like the disciple Peter, there are times I'm on the verge of panic and hear the Lord saying, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

But even in the face of Peter's panic, the Lord did not let him drown.  The scripture says, "immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him." He's doing the same with me.  And he'll do the same to all who call on His name. The Lord is still the same and never changes.  He immediately stretches forth his mighty hand, and catches me.  Oh for grace to trust him more! 

So, while the world is marching to the drum beat of "Self Discovery", I am losing myself. And that's a wonderful thing.

Matthew 16:24-25
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

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