Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The flavors of Joy...

I've been putting off writing this post, because I haven't been sure where to begin.  Anything humbling, always begins with hesitation for me.  Ashamedly, that's the honest truth.  Over the past few days, I've been attempting to right a wrong in the inner corners of my thinking.  You see, somewhere along the path of our journey into the unknown, I forgot all about our ultimate destination, (our desire to live our life in a way that allows us to make an actual difference in this world for Christ) and began focusing singularly, on the circumstances.  Namely, selling our house. 
A couple of nights ago, I was laying in bed discussing this all, with my man.  I told him that God hadn't struck me with a lightning bolt, but rather, soaked me in a marinade of his correction and love.  (I know, my pillow talk is mind-blowing.  I like to cook.  What can I say?  It made sense at the time...)  Go with me here.  Often, when I blow it, I get that lightning bolt of correction.  (I always deserve it.)  But... every now and then, a lesson is so good, so powerful, so direction-changing, it hits you more like a marinade.  The flavor of the message just gets stronger and more potent with each passing hour, as the richness of His word melds together in your heart.   You're left more tenderized, and full of the flavor of His joy, as you turn toward Him in obedience.  God is so gracious with me.  He gently brought me back to the very passage that stuck my heart, in the first leg of our journey, back in May when I was terrified to step away from the life I've become so comfortable in, and step out, onto the waters of the unknown.  (Matthew 14:22-36.) 
 You see, I'd become so concerned with where we were going to live, I'd forgotten how we were going to live. 
 I've been cruising through Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself" bible study.  After I'd come to all the above realizations and convictions, I had the blessing of reading these words.  Beth says, "We have one, and only one, reason not to fear- the presence of Christ in our circumstances; but He is more than enough reason.  He was reason enough for Peter to step out on the water.  As long as his focus was straight "toward Jesus," Peter remained on top of the waves, but then he began to sink.  What happened?  Why couldn't  Peter stay afloat through the power of Christ Jesus?  Because Peter switched his focus to his circumstances while Christ remained tightly focused on His destination.  Then came Peter's fear...the same kind of fear that binds weights to our ankles and submerges us in the waves of surrounding circumstances." 
As I work my way back onto the path of joyful obedience, and walk away from staring hopelessly at all my circumstances, I feel wrapped in peace.  The same peace I haven't experienced since we first made the decision to begin this process.  Peace that allows me to say that I'm actually fine- no, better than fine- happy to remain right where we are, if that's His will for us.  I'd rather be obediently focused on Him, than fretfully striving amidst my circumstances. 

I'm closing comments on this post, which is something I've never done before, because I don't want to be tempted to see what "everyone else thinks" about what I've just said. 

I want to let the flavors of joy marinate a little longer in my heart. 

Thank you, Lord.