Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let go |part 2|

     Almost a year ago I posted about letting go. Letting go of those things we cling to on this earth and clinging to God, with both hands.
     This past week, once again, God has been teaching me to 'Let go.' But there's more to it than that.
     We can let go, sure...but what happens afterwards? All to often it's easy to seek to try and figure out what to do after we 'let go'.
      Letting go doesn't just mean releasing our hold on something, it means releasing our hold and not worrying about the result. 
     I have spent the past two months searching for answers, trying to figure out what God wanted me to do...I had let go in my mind. Let go of so many things, but I was trying so hard to figure my life out...I let me focus slip from remembering that Christ is the one in control of my life. Yes, I knew He was in control, but I kept trying to 'help' Him out.
     Big mistake.
     God doesn't need our help in figuring our life out.
     God convicted me that I had been spending too much time in the 'trying to figure out' process rather than the 'serving Him in the moment I was at' and letting Him take control of the rest.
     Let go and let God.
     The past week has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life. Not because 'good things' have happened or I've done anything special. The hardships of my life are still there...but, by God's grace, I am learning to release my grasp from trying to figure it out myself. And once you do that, the joy that comes from seeking Christ is...amazing.
   
     To wake up in the morning, and to be able to smile and say, "today will be a good day because it's a day God has given me" is amazing. To be able to wake up without dreading what the day holds, because you know that with your focus on Christ, you're where He wants you to be.

    Just a clarifying note, I am not saying that I continually am joyful and have continually kept my focus where it should be. I am a sinner, just the same as everyone else. And I fail, continually. But I am also learning continually, and striving to continually be joyful and keep my focus where it should be. :)

     Colossians 3 has been extremely convicting to me lately. Verses 1-3 say, "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seating at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
     What is your mind on? Have you truly let go of the things of this earth? Or are you 'trying to help God' figure things out? He doesn't need help, I promise. ;)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Identity

     When someone looks at you, who do they see?
     Go read Colossians 3.
     Feel convicted? I know I do every time I read that chapter.
     Verse 13 and 17 stand out to me right now. 13: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." 17: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
      Are you clothing yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience? Are you doing everything you do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks?
     When people look at you, do they see you?
     Or do they see Christ?

     I want to live every moment of my life seeking Christ in such a way that those whom I am around, friend or stranger, can look at me and see not me, but Christ.
     I want my identity to be in Christ.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I want to love.

It took me awhile to sort my thoughts out. But to summarize what I learned over this weekend would be this:

I want to love with the love Christ has for us. Love shamelessly, with a love that isn't about my own gain but blessing the other person. With no fear of the future of losing those I love, but only a continued reliance on Christ's perfect plan.

How Great Thou Art

     Yesterday would have been Josh's 20th birthday.
     A year ago I never would have imagined that instead of sending him a happy birthday email, I'd be visiting his grave.
     God opened the doors for me to be able to make the 5 hour trip to Grants Pass and visit Josh's grave. What a trip. So many emotions. But I am extremely thankful God allowed me to go.
     Visiting Josh's grave wasn't what I expected it'd be. I'm not positive what I expected, but I thought that when I went there would be all this extreme pain.
      And while it did hurt, there was this overwhelming sense of peace. That THIS was how it was supposed to be. This was all in God's perfect plan, and I didn't want it any other way.
     I spent most my visit at the grave, walking around the cemetery singing praise songs and praying. One song I just couldn't get off my mind was, 'How Great Thou Art'. I sang it over and over. The lyrics are so powerful.
     One of the verses goes,
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works they hand hath made
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great thou art!

     I miss Josh. A lot. But God's plan is so perfect. He created the whole universe. I just look outside and see His mighty hand. God is so good. And His plan so perfect. I rest completely in His holy will for everything that happens.
     While in Grants Pass I was talking with a friend and we were talking about how in everything, God is so faithful. And how in the hard times, and in the unknown, it gives us all the more reason to trust and rely in God.
     It's easy to get wrapped up in our own plans for life. But when something happens to someone dear to you, everything changes...and then it becomes easy to worry about loving for fear of losing someone. But God is so faithful.
     Yesterday is a day I won't soon forget.
     Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, how great Thou art!