Friday, April 22, 2011

Who can estimate the value of a living fountain of water in a barren desert? - Finney

I haven't been blogging for a while now...between working from home, homeschooling, taking care of my home and my pocket beagle business...I just haven't had the time to remember to blog. But I have to say that I miss it so much. There is definitely something about blogging that encourages me in my spirit.

Blogging for me is about sharing what God is doing in and around me and recently he has really done something beautiful inside of me. About two weeks ago I went to a new church and while I wasn't expecting much from the church itself, I was expecting from God. Let me explain what I mean by "I wasn't expecting much from the church". I try not to expect too much from churches these days because honestly if you walk in trying to measure a church by some standard you've created then more than not, you'll be disappointed and once disappointment sets in, so does distraction and a judgmental attitude. When those things rear their ugly head I am no longer able to really learn and receive.

Just as no one individual is perfect, no church is perfect. So when visiting I expect little from the church but great things from God. As I sat there and worship began, I just started talking to God about the numbness I've been feeling. The "joy of my salvation" wasn't so joyful anymore, it was like a dull "hooray" on an honest day. Peace and hope for MORE change in my flesh tomorrow was hard to come by.

Have you ever felt this way? There is a great Keith Green song that quotes scripture and it says:

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me...
And renew a right spirit within me

I could write a lot about each line of this but I'll stick with "Restore unto me the joy of my salvation". This comes straight from Psalms 51:12 and has always resonated in my spirit. From the time I was saved I knew that I would never be the same. God saved me from so much but yet it was so much that not many could see.

I was not currently in an abusive home, my mother provided for my needs, I made good grades but on the inside, even at age 10, I was a wreck. I've always been one of those individuals that can not walk away from the question: "Why?". "Why in the world are we here? What happens when we die?". No matter what I did, once I got alone and it was quiet...these are the questions that plagued my mind. I couldn't understand why others weren't bothered by these questions and why it seems as if they sat solely on MY chest each day.

I was depressed, selfish, visionless and of them all...I was hopelessly hopeless. Hopeless is one of the most ugly places to be. Living day in and day out with no hope for tomorrow is no way to live at all. I'm going to try to not make this a really long post and say that God saved me at a camp that I went to as a child. They reenacted Christ's crucifixion on a hill and it was on that hill that I fell in love and was given hope.

I will always remember the nights and mornings that were thereafter totally lacking in hopelessness and how much I didn't miss it! The joy that sprung forth was amazing, I woke with a smile on my face and I dug into the word with giddiness. I was changed forever.

That same love has motivated me for the past 17 years but there are times when I feel as though that love and the reality of that love is a memory more than a reality. If you've walked with God for any number of years you've more likely to have experienced this - either due to allowing the cares of this world to entangle you, getting busy with the WORK of the ministry without keeping the relationship that started it all, allowing your time with Him to slip away or just consistently choosing what you want over what God is speaking to you.

Now back to church - as I sat there and the worship began, I began listening and singing along. As each word came out of my mouth about the blood of Jesus it was like a flood of remembrance washed over me. I remembered the darkness I once lived in and the hopelessness that plagued me as though it was yesterday. Hot tears began to stream down my cheeks uncontrollably and as I sang each word my heart pounded violently. I thought I might bust at the seams...what a gift I had been given, more precious than silver and gold, a gift worth my life.

While the teaching was very good that day, I walked away from the church building realizing that had I just come to him...expecting, this could have happened days ago. He is the reason for living - Yes, I love my husband and my children but HE IS MY REASON FOR LIVING. Without him, I don't know if I'd still be here. Nothing fills me like He does and nothing moves my heart like the love that I have found in Him....AND from THAT realization...the joy is unleashed, HOPE is restored.

I am saddened by the increase in Christians who have let go of the relationship and traded it in for the busyness of the ministry, they can only go so long until they sputter out. Or those who have just grown tired because of wrong teaching and they no longer feel that they can "do" what it takes to be right with God.

If you are one who has allowed ANYTHING to get in the way of the relationship that started it all, I plead with you to remember what you are saved from and the love that saved you from it. MAKE the time to spend in His word, REMEMBER what he saved you from AND even more importantly what He has saved you FOR.

I have hope for change TODAY, I have LOVE that not many know of and BLESSINGS not of this world.