By: carole l. Haines
I found this quote in my FIRST 15 devotional, by: Craig Denison, this morning.
“In the midst of any trial you can have transcendent, tangible comfort in God. In this midst of any suffering or pain you can find rest in the loving arms of your heavenly Father. And in the face of great opposition you can choose to live courageously. Your God is with you. He will never leave you. Courage comes from acknowledging the reality and power of God’s nearness.”
I immediately had the thought, “But I am MY TRIAL, Lord.” Do you ever get tired of dealing with yourself? Have you ever tried to out-run your own problems, side-step them, so to speak? I tend to try to study enough, read enough, write enough to get away from myself. I read Psalm 139 and am glad for how ever-present God is, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to deal with ME.
Sometimes I read this Psalm and I think to myself,
Where can I flee from myself, where can I run from Me.
If I go to the lowest depths of the Sea, Still there I am.
I am so grateful God is there, but tired of dealing with my own problems. I have social anxiety disorder, and it can cause great awkwardness for me. In the realm of the Church, we are to be Christ-conscious, not self-conscious. Does anyone else feel this way sometimes, like you want to take a vacation from yourself.? Is this even possible.?
I do believe it is, but only by handing that poor, weak, naked, vulnerable self over to God and leaving her there.
I love what Paul says about it:
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:10)
Do you ever feel like God’s grace toward you has been in vain, that your problems are just too big to overcome? Well, they’re not. People may give up on us, and we may be tempted to give up on ourselves. But instead; we need to place that naked, broken, vulnerable heap of hurt we know we are, right into the Hands of the God who loves us. He is the God who knew what we were and who we would be. But He views us differently than we view ourselves. He sees us as finished works of Grace, purchased by Jesus Christ. We see the difficult process, but He sees the finished beauty.
So as I woke up this morning, to yet another day of dealing with myself, I decided to spend time in prayer and hand that woman over to God, unashamedly, without reservation. I can’t change myself, I’ve tried, but I know He can. Scripture says
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)
So I will rejoice myself over into the hands of the only One who can bring real change. Isn’t that what Being a Christ-follower is all about, Him in me, the hope of glory.
So come to Him, Dear one, and admit, “I am what I am,” as Paul did. Then hand yourself, just as you are, all you are; over to Him, unreservedly.” He will make a way for you and I to be completely transformed. Praise God for transformation.