In bible study yesterday we talked about how often we get sucked down by the negative things in our lives. I realized while we watched the video in our study that I give way to my emotions...terribly. And I had a verse strike me in a brand new way (that is why its called the living Word!)
Jeremiah 17:9a "The heart is deceitful above all things..."
What did this mean to me? It made me realize that I often choose to respond to life and people based upon my feelings instead of the truth. Now I always try to see the truth when I analyze things however I realize that my feelings distort the truth. The study talked about it this way: our feelings can be in conflict with our calling. My calling is to live a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control through Christ. My heart conflicts this when my feelings tempt me to react in ways that are contrary to the above characteristics.
The relief I find in this realization is that I don't have to figure this all out on my own! Whew! One of the greatest differences between a faith based on God's grace and power versus a religion based on good deeds is if I could do it myself I wouldn't need God! My relationship with the Lord started when I admitted "I need help". What a relief that the Lord desires to provide all we need when we just admit our need and accept His help.
I will look forward to the process of God doing His great work in my heart regarding my feelings verses my calling. I know that after He reveals something to me that needs work (which I often pray for Him to do because I sure don't want to stay the way I am!) then He will begin the process of cleaning out the wound and healing it up. Yea! Is it pretty? Nope. Is it painful? Yep. But I would much rather endure the pain of cleansing then the pain of staying in a rotting, wounded state.
Here is a song that I love that speaks of this awesome process that I am learning to better embrace. You might have heard it a few weeks ago playing automatically on my blog:
The key words that I think describe this awesome process of "wound cleaning" are
"at the cross You beckon me. You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love, I'm sweetly broken, wholly surrendered."
If you knew that someone you loved had a festering, infected wound under their skin would you leave them in that state? Or would you find them help? The Lord loves me enough to help me out of such a state with the wounds of life. He knows how to choose just the right wound, at just the right time, to gently open up, clean out and heal. I know that I have a choice in the matter though. We all do. We don't have a forceful Father. We have a Father who patiently waits and hopes that we will accept His offer. We can choose to surrender to that sweet brokeness that takes place before healing or we can resist it and stay in a wounded place. Lord, may I never resist the healing that You want to provide in my life.
Now back to that negativity stuff that I mentioned in the very beginning of this post before my very deep and long detour. I don't think I have a clue as to how blessed I am. I am blessed; blessed beyond my understanding. I often read a blog about some projects taking place in Mozambique just to keep myself in check with my gratitude (or lack there of). If you want to check it out click "Pam" under my friend's list. Sometimes I will take my prayer journal and just thank God for everything that I can think of that He has blessed me with. And I also pray that He will show me how I can share those blessings with others. Maybe some day I will be in Mozambique taking a cup of soup and a dose of love to a woman dying of AIDS. Until then I will look for opportunities to share blessings from right where I am at.