Monday, April 13, 2015

Beauty and Strength in Weakness

There is a restlessness in me. It has been there for quite some time.

One leg of my race has been completed. It is in the past. It was a long one. 8 years to be exact. I was tempted to look back at that part of my race and longed to run back, but if I had kept looking behind me, I'd miss out on what's in front of me, and very possibly trip and stumble and get hurt. I can't run with excellence if I'm laying on the ground injured. Or if I turn around and actually run backward, I won't finish the race going the wrong way. I have to keep my eyes up toward that finish line, and continue running.

What's done is done. It is in the past, and He is doing a NEW thing! Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

I'm not used to living in a stage of undefined ministry. Of sitting quietly with no outlet for what is longing to burst out of me. I'm like that little kid with the biggest secret of her life, and she's not allowed to tell. She's just sitting on her hands, bouncing and wiggling, and can barely sit still. Then finally, someone says, "ok, go ahead. You can tell the secret now." And the biggest smile you'll ever see spreads across her face, and she jumps up, clapping and shouting out the news for all to hear, probably so fast those listening can barely understand what she's trying to say. I feel like that little girl is me, and I'm sitting on my hands just longing to share what is in me, but not exactly sure how and when.

I long for the mundane to become purposeful. For the boring to become exciting again. Don't get me wrong, this time of rest has been so needed and the Lord has ordained this time over our lives. He specifically told both my husband and I that this was a time of preparation, so be patient. He said He was preparing us for something big, and when the time is right He will propel us forward and it will all become clear.

But I feel Him stirring something up within me for this next phase of preparation. I feel like He's ready for me to take the next step of faith in this. I feel like He is making my giftings and passions more clear, and He is telling me it's time to begin picking up the pace. We ran hard for 8 years in this marathon of life and ministry, then we've had the last 2 years to walk and drink some water and make sure our laces are tied, and now He's saying it's time to pick up the pace a bit. Not too much. Just a speed walk for now, and soon we'll start a slow jog.

This restlessness can be frustrating at times, but I'm beginning to see it as a beautiful gift from God. It forces me to not be content sitting still, to not be content to remain where I am or to remain in the past, but forces me to move forward and to seek out His purposes for me.

Those giftings and passions that I mentioned are becoming more clear to me...and yes, they are the very things that in my flesh I would avoid like the plague. And yet what I fear the most seems to very possibly be the thing that the Lord has chosen to use to fulfill His purposes in me and through me. The very things that I feel most unqualified for, God has not only qualified me and gifted me, but enabled me through His Spirit.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."

The beauty of this truth is coming alive to me at this stage of my life. The very things that are weak in me, God intends to use to make His name big and to show Himself strong. The very things that I feel unqualified for, He intends to use so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For when I am weak, then HE is strong!

What the Lord has called me to do, He will enable me to do. I can place my inadequacies, fear and insecurities aside and take those steps forward, forgetting what is behind, in confidence that His Spirit will work it out through me ("He is faithful to complete what He has started!! Phil.1:6), and when I am weak then (hopefully) nothing of me will get in the way of making Him big! He has begun my race, and He will finish it. So, here I go, running that race, seeking out some living water to strengthen and keep me pressing on to the finish line. Oh! How I long to complete the purposes He has planned for me, and to finish this race well.

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