Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Did I dare say it? Yes I did.
I am not stating this to say we have become poor and now we are finding our faith comes easy, nor am I making this statement to condemn those of us who have riches and comforts... I am saying this to bring forth the truths of the dangerous lies our world can trick us into believing will bring security, happiness and true meaningfulness.
The only promise that will give our life security, stability and depth are the ones God gives us in his scriptures.
Like Romans 8:28:
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purposes."
This is where we never be blown over, becoming the freest, strongest and most generous people the world has ever known.
Matthew 5:16: "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven"
And yes, the promise says 'all things'.
James 1:2-3: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Don't get me wrong: I don't like to suffer, to feel trapped, uncomfortable and stretched to my limit. It's not enjoyable... but according to His promise, it brings the most joy: the testing of our faith produces endurance...through trails, BECAUSE of trials.
Sure, none of this was God's perfect plan for us, but we have chosen it as a result of the choice in the garden, and so many poor choices after that. However, in Christ, we are told that now instead of loathing the trials that will come as a result of the fall, we should instead chose to see them as instruments of grace.... in a sense. Hear me out:
We are all running the race. However, I am easily inclined to stop throughout the races to sniff flowers.. and forget about the race all together. Yet in my luring away, another runner knocks me over and I lose my desire for roses altogether as I realize the race is still on, and only those who finish get the prize! It was by his grace I was knocked down, though it hurt and didn't feel good at all, and now I am back on track to see what is really worth fighting for.
"If through losing what the world prizes we are enabled to gain what it despises--treasures in heaven, invisible and incorruptible-- isn't it worth any kind of suffering? What is it worth to us to learn a little bit more of what the Cross means-- life out of death, the transformation of earth's losses and heartbreaks and tragedies?
Poverty has not been my experience, but God has allowed in the lives of each of us some sort of loss, the withdrawal of something we valued, in order that we may learn to offer ourselves a little more willingly, to allow the touch of death on one more thing we have clinged so tightly, and thus know fullness and freedom and joy that much sooner. We're not naturally inclined to love God and seek His kingdom. Trouble may help to incline us-- that is, it may tip us over, put some pressure on us, lean us in the right direction." -- Elizabeth Elliott
I can directly relate with the second paragraph of her wise words, as I have not suffered in the way of monetary losses, but of comforts and pleasures of familiarity as I seek to depend on God in the Last Frontier.
It's not an easy race we run, but we can be sure it's full of the most joys.
"If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next."-- Elizabeth Elliott
-- <3 --="" div="">3>
As promised :)
No, these are not in order, but it was the best I could do to collect the ones I liked best and post them here for you to see just how much fun Elyse had on her first visit to Disney World!
Too much fun with Grandpa!
Did I mention she had a blast?
Memories that will last a life time.
Thanks for sending all 798 pictures, mom.