Sunday, August 21, 2011

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

I'm trying to work through something...(incase you could not tell).  And it is insanely challenging to me so please bear with me as I preach to myself and search through scripture for answers.  (Yes, I wholeheartedly believe the Word of God ALWAYS has what I need to know lovingly enclosed within its pages.)

I feel God does not make mistakes...and that is the bottom line.  But when something looks so wrong, is it possible to find God's intent within it?  He does all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  But how can that be in some situations?  I suppose it is like what Joseph said to his brothers, "You meant it for evil but God used it for good."

I am quick to protect my children against situations and/or relationships that are harmful.  But what about the ones that are unavoidable?  It would be easy to write it off as "God messed up" or something slipped through His sovereign fingers.  But, it is my opinion, that does not happen.  I look at my own life, at what has drawn and continues to bring me ever closer to God, and would I not want my children to be solely dependent on God as well?  I feel tribulation and adversity press us into God's loving embrace.  We run to Him, our Heavenly Father, for comfort and refuge.  Yes, my kiddos need a good foundation and my instruction in what is pleasing to God but they also probably require the opportunity to exercise what they know, to practice serving God, and to tell others their understanding of God, His Son, and His character.

At the church I attend in San Francisco, the pastor has spoken a few times about not only fellowshipping with brothers and sisters in Christ but also hanging out with unbelievers, glorifying God through words and actions, and inviting them to get acquainted with God and Christ Jesus.  Being with like minded individuals is great nourishment and support but Jesus engaged with those who did not have faith...which is insanely more burdensome and strenuous.  Especially when one meets up with the "Saul of Tarsus" type who strikes fear into the hearts of followers of Christ...and harasses, hurts, and terrorizes them.

As a beloved friend of mine reminded me, God loves my young ones far more than I ever could.  Yes, He has entrusted them to me but ultimately, there is only so much I can do and it is not my place to speak for God or "play" God...and any attempt at either is highly prideful (a sin which comes before a fall).  Not to mention, I completely believe a person's sin seeks them out!  I do NOT want that either!  So, where does that leave me in conclusion?  I'm not quite sure.  What scripture springs to your mind?  What about,

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20. ESV.)

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.  (1 Corinthians 15:10. ESV.)
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