As Christians we are called to live an examined life. We are to be set apart, in the world and not of it. In our conversation, in our character, in our convictions, in our conduct, we should be a reflection of God. The Christian life is designed to purify us, through trials and tribulations, struggles and losses.
And then there is GRACE. Yes, we strive. Yes we have a standard. But when we compare ourselves to that standard, we will always fall woefully short. Because the standard is Jesus and we are human, still subject to and limited by the flesh. When we falter, when we are tired, when we have been scooped out and hollowed by the demands of Earthly life, God understands. He is not so much of a taskmaster that He doesn’t understand the need to pull aside once in a while and just be still.
We are driven too hard by compulsory pressures. We have to take stock once in a while and ask ourselves what the benefit is of all the ways we spend our time. Even in terms of our jobs, or the kid’s activities, and yes, even church. Sure, people are counting on us because we said we would go/do/be this, that or the other. But how’s your marriage? Is your spouse getting the time with you they deserve? Are your kids? How about the Lord? I mean, just sitting still, reading His Word and chatting with Him about what you have going on and saying thank you as you enumerate your blessings?
We ask more of ourselves than God does sometimes, I do believe. We forget that God’s approval and love for us is not performance-based. Our own confidence and self-approval may fluctuate wildly from one moment to the next, but God never changes.
Now, I know we live in a world where self-esteem has become the ultimate achievement.
I am not really talking to those of you who are “fine the way you are”, but rather to those who really live each moment conscientiously, striving to be a good steward of all your resources, whether internal or external. People who put others first. Moms who aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman, teens who diligently aspire to rise above the cesspool of secular school and be a witness. Businessmen who “finish last” for being honest, but are honest anyway. Dads who work 65 hours a week, pay child support and still have to deal with a vindictive ex-wife who talks them down in front of their kids. Those people who are doing the best they can, but never get ahead. God sees. He is taking note. It is not wasted. He is pleased with you. And in a world where there are no standards anymore other than to be as rich and as hard and as invincible as possible, you still are willing to submit to God’s measure of value, though it is utter foolishness to the world.
My friend, we are almost there. You can do it. Keep caring even when it feels like you are the last. Keep being honest, even if it costs you everything. Keep obeying the Lord, even if they mock you. Stand firm, and while others lift their heads in defiance, bow yours in humility and ask God for Grace for one more day. Do not give sway to fear or to flesh. Hang on until you can’t and then trust the Lord’s hand to catch you.
It’s okay. We aren’t all we hoped to be, but God has been working in ways we didn’t even know, and some day soon, we will understand it all. God will unroll the tapestry and show us the upper side.
“Walk On” by Sandra T. Lloyd©
Underneath the overshadowing of my greatest fears
You walk with me while I struggle to see through the blur of my tears
You hold my hand and help me to walk on
When I knew I had nothing more to give, You made me put one foot in front of the other, promising you would take care of the rest, if I’d only do that.
“Just hold my hand, my child. Never let go”, You said. “That’s all I ask of you. I will see to the rest”.
Somewhere out there tonight, while I am resting peacefully, there is a light on in a house in these wee hours. A man is suffering, and holding Your hand in his own private darkness, while his wife lovingly does what she promised to do, on their wedding day.
And they walk on.
And somewhere tonight, in a poor neighborhood a woman falls into bed, exhausted, heartbroken as her husband slips away, leaving her in her grief, to hold it all together while no one seems to share her burdens.
You ask her to walk on.
“But we can’t, Lord”, we cry.
“Why should we?”, we ask.
“Because I have a plan”, You answer.
“But I just don’t see how all things work together for good!”
“My child, nothing touches you without my permission. I will not call upon you to endure anything that I will not also provide a way for you to bear it. Do not concern yourself with the details. Some things you do not need to know. Do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord, but it is so hard”.
“I know””, the Savior said, as a great drop of blood fell from His brow and mingled with the tears He cried for me………………..
“But walk on”
Copyright STLloyd 10.27.95
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
There remaineth therefore a rest, for the people of God. Hebrews 4:9
It’s been a hard “week”, but the Sabbath is coming!
He restoreth my soul!