"Oh to live open-handed! Ready - happy - to take whatever God decides to place in my palms. Hands raised in full surrender, face radiating joy and contentment, for that is where it is found. Tears of thankfulness on my cheeks, lost in engulfing grace. This miracle of redemption, transforming the grey and ugly into God's beauty. Each moment a gift of mercy. I am given moments of grace to show and give moments of grace. I am given everything; what holds me back from reciprocating?"
Can you tell I'm stressed? lol Nothing like a little pressure to make a writer blog a thousand and one times in a month - or week, for that matter. The above quotation comes from my devotional journal. I wrote this last month. It seems to be something God really wants to work on in my life, as He's not letting me get away from it. :P You know how that happens? You read a convicting verse, then Pastor preaches on it Sunday, your kid colors a picture with that verse on it, it's randomly on an egg carton somewhere? Yeah. That's what it's been like for me.
I would tell you that I don't believe in works-based salvation. I also don't believe you can lose your salvation, ever. Yet if you looked at how much I stressed in my life to DO all the right things, you might think I believed both. In fact, I am reading through the Psalms right now to remind myself that God IS loving, and He does care for His children, because I finished reading the NT and was SOOOO overwhelmed with the million "do this and don't do thats" that I felt like a TOTAL failure. I mean, I struggle with mercy. I struggle with being wise with words. Thinking of everyone higher than myself? Let's not go there. I especially struggle to trust that "everything will work together for good." When you're told that your whole life, as the perfect little ending to a counseling session or a sermon, it's hard for it not become cliche-ish.
So how to keep it from becoming a cliche to myself? Experiencing it. Not just believing it's true; truly living it. Have I really never seen God take care of an ugly situation? If I really believe the Bible is true, then are there not hundreds of stories that tell of His grace and provision? What a shallow person I must be if, as soon as the water is troubled on the surface, I forget the solid peace underneath that only trusting the Lord gives!
God can't give me opportunities to trust if my fists are clenched. I am unusable if I refuse to uncross my arms and say, "Okay, Lord." This morning I am, for the millionth time, resolved to give it all to God. I'm tired. Physically, spiritually, just...tired. If I empty my hands of the stress I've been holding on to, suddenly they are free to take anything God gives.
**I literally threw this on here. My proofreading and editing skills aren't even part of the equation this morning, so forgive the randomness and lack of coherence.