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Joy Pleasing Him  

Dec 22, 2012 - 0 comments

Part of my illness before I lost the weight was terrible weakness and trembling in my legs. It got so I was terrified to step into the shower...I could stand up long enough to wash my hair or wash up but not both.

The long term effect of that lasted after I lost the weight and had done months of leg exercises that improved the blood circulation in my legs... It was almost impossible to get myself to step into a shower.

That lasted until my horrible two weeks in the camp ground in Arizona, when I didn't know which direction to drive the car in from there. In addition to being stressed beyond belief it was, as only the high desert can be, hot and dry, often windy, always dusty. I washed up thoroughly from a bottle of water every night, but by the time I got my nerves sufficiently under control to leave my tent area and take my first walk up to the bathhouse I had been there for a week and I was DESPERATE for that shower. I must have stayed under that water for an hour and a half!

I haven't had a bit of trouble getting in a shower since then!

I love the spiritual lessons that come like a slap with a fresh fish up the side of the head. :) You know the ones.

They're the ones you've already learned. The ones you studied and asked questions about and maybe weren't even sure what it was you were looking for. The ones that came slowly together like a cloud of condensation and when the rain finally fell it lifted your spirit, refreshed your soul, and in wonder and holy awe you said, "Oh...oh, yeah, I get it...I never knew!" ...And then you (I) promptly forgot in the buzz of living old habits.

The ones that come again by Divine grace when I'm mentally fidgeting because I "thought it would be easier than this" or am helplessly asking the Spirit, "Why is this so difficult?" Then the answer drops from the least expected place and I stop...even, for a moment, stop breathing...and when I can get my voice I maybe blush and say, "Huh! [wide eyes] I needed that reminder...!"

There was something I wanted bad for someone else. Something I knew was in God's will. Mind you, in true newbie fashion it felt like hope against hope when I prayed about it, so that when it looked like it was going to happen it sort of took my breath away...then it didn't happen. I've had a fair amount of waiting on God's will as I'm learning the facts of faithful living, so I wasn't too distressed about it...I thought.

I actually found out how worked up I had become when I spoke with someone about it who was an old, experienced soul at handling this very thing. Someone who I could tell by his voice had seen it all and accepted that it was a long row to hoe. I asked a bunch of "what if" and "how" questions, and waited somewhat breathlessly for the answers...when smack! I got the fish up the side of my head.

It's not the first time I've needed this particular lesson re-taught to me. For someone who used to pride herself on being a quick study, my resistance to accepting spiritual lessons can be confounding. But, oh, the joyous refreshment when the reminder comes and the understanding quickens my spirit and almost lifts me off my feet with its liberating truth.

He said, "All we can do is the best that we can and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit...that's how we get peace."

Oh...oh, yeah...

Trust Him. Some things are just not my job and never will be. Let Him do what only He can do.

I forgot again, didn't I? Oh...my. Yes! Oh, sweet relief! It's not up to me to "do", only to pray, to trust, to rest, to thank God, and to be ready to give God the glory.

There's another term you won't understand if you haven't learned that lesson yet. This Christian lingo! Like any other discipline, Christianity requires its own vocabulary to avoid having to use 138 words to describe to the uninitiated something those who know understand readily. I used to hate that, because "it was all Greek to me." What do you mean, "Give God the glory."? What glory? Why? What *is* glory?

Hmmm...interesting. Humility. Isn't that the gift God gives us over and over again...even when He has to crush us to get it across? He made us in His image. If it were me, would I endow a mere mortal with my own Divine image? (More lingo, that word "image", but that's another Bible study.) Would I give me free will? (More lingo!! Arggg...no wonder this is so hard to explain to those who haven't a clue! The Biblical word "makes" - also translated "causes" - as in "He makes me lie down in green pastures."...now there's a tough bit of exegesis!) Would I sacrifice my own self to clean up the problem when my free-willed creation didn't get it right?

How humble. To lift me up at His expense when I owe the very life in my body to Him!

And there is only one thing I can give Him... Only one "work" I can do that means anything. I offer back to Him the very thing He gives...the very thing He sent His Son to teach us...

Humility.

Humility...another one of those wondrous paradoxes that used to be such stumbling blocks (more lingo) to me, that now, when I consider them in the light of what I've learned and begin to see them from His eyes (ooh ooh ooh! Does this mean Christ within me is becoming practical and real? That I'm becoming more like Him?!?)..... Ahem...sorry about that. Where was I? Ah... Finally understanding the truth in the paradoxes triggers some of my most exquisite moments of joy!

Humility...a lowly thing... turns out to be better than all the gold, frankincense, myrrh, and drum solos ever offered. What can I give to Him? I can try to mirror the servant's heart of His Son, Jesus the Christ...the Salvation Anointed One.

I'm way too far out there for you who don't know the Way, the Truth, and the Life...but at this point I don't care...I'm blessed *out*!

I need You, God. I can't do "it" on my own, whatever "it" is. I'm never farther from You than when I think I can. (The lingo for "I can do it" is "pride".)

I can't, but You can. I *need* You. I need You like I need air!

I *glorify* You, Lord. You are mighty! You are wonderful! Wonderful!

You are majesty. And I don't care who else is listening and I don't care if they're amazed or amused because they don't get it. You are. Just that...whatever it is, whatever it could or should be...YOU ARE. And I need You. You are. In my darkest hour...You are. In my greatest achievement...You are. In my weakness or my strength...You are!

You are my strength.

Take me under Your wing when I'm fearful. Keep me from myself lest I fall. Lift me up again and again until my eyes are stayed on You. Amen!

Whew.

Now, you have to have experienced what I'm talking about to know what I'm on about. :) I have to grin, because it makes me feel so...good? happy? light? relieved? thankful? glorious? Sigh...there really is no word for it. The Bible calls it "the peace that passes understanding." Once you've felt it...well, I like to daydream that it's what heaven is going to be all about. "Joy, unspeakable joy. An overflowing well, no tongue can tell." That feeling that's more than a feeling...that studied Christians call "conviction"...a deep, soul knowledge that comes only from the Holy Spirit working in my heart.

And, once again, I'm reminded that this is not a works program, it's a gift. The glory ALL belongs to God. He did it all. There's a word that comes up often next to His name in the Bible, "makes". It's in the 23rd Psalm, "He makes me lie down in green pastures." Some translations render it "causes". I do the action, but God's power is key in the movement being able to occur...but I get to choose.

I just love it. Maybe one day I'll know I mean it when I sing, "Joy, unspeakable joy Rises in my soul, never lets me go." :)

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