Taking my last post to a personal level…
(If you missed it, you can click the link above to read the last post. My apologies to the email crowd. I decided to break this post into 2 parts, but didn’t finish the edit before the email went out last time.)
Faith is a funny thing. Sometimes we start out relying on Christ only to find the pressure and self-effort of our flesh sneaks into the game.
Today, I’m sharing with you a past time when God showed me that I was relying on my own efforts rather than Christ. Strong emotions can reveal what we are really believing in the moment. They can uncover the fact that we are not truly relying on Christ as our source for life, value, and security.
I’m already having a bad day. Truth be told, it’s been a hard season. I look around the room, feeling awkward. Gathering my courage to take a risk, I have shared a couple of chapters I have written with women in my Bible study. I sent my work in an email. Unsure of myself, I long for validation that my words makes sense.
“Did anyone get the email I sent?”
Silence. And the conversation goes on.
I chide myself for expecting too much of people. Why would anyone have time to read my words and offer feedback in the midst of crazy schedules and crying babies? We are all just barely keeping our heads above the chaos.
Afterward, I scurry to the car, not wanting anyone to see my hurt. In my car, I stop at a quiet place nearby and all the hard things of weeks and months come undone with hot tears.
Sometimes a moment seems bigger than it is simply because it is piled on top of a heap of hard moments. Put one more thing on and the whole mess comes tumbling down when we are relying on ourselves.
Unraveled, I don’t understand all this emotion. My common sense tells me not to take it personally, but my soul will not listen.
Why am I so upset?
I have fallen into the old habit of looking to others as my source of affirmation. Craving approval, I put too much stock in the power of what others say and do.
I wonder if I have been sidelined by a God that I have disappointed. Have I not worked hard enough or prayed long enough? Have I disqualified myself with a lack of faith or tripped over my motives? A thousand questions spin in my self-doubt.
I’m a mess. My tears come to and end and faith rises up.
I speak to my soul:
You are loved and valued because you are a God’s child, made in His image. Though success has not come on my timetable, I will rest in Christ. I will rely on Him to be all that I need to meet every challenge. What feels like failure is simply another step in God’s process. Stay steady, Soul, and trust in God.
That day, I pried my hands loose from my desires and efforts. The hurt of the moment peeled back what I was really feeling and believing under the surface so that God could begin to set me free from the pressure I have placed on myself.
How about you?
Sweet friend, are you relying on your own efforts or the approval of others to affirm your value? Has your heart run dry from trying to meet your needs with everything and anything but Christ, our true source of life?
It is God’s fulness that we need, not our own efforts to prove ourselves.
Rest, my soul, you can relax. God’s got this.<Tweet.
Let go and let Him be your source…
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns… Cease striving and know that I am God”…Psalm 46:5-6,10.
He is in the midst of us…
Receive more of Jesus. More of His joy, peace, patience…right in the middle of it all.<Tweet.
Rejoice for He is Adonai Tsidkenu–the Lord my righteousness.
Leap for joy for He is El Elyon--God Most High–right where we are.
If you’ve got time, enjoy this song that goes so well with this post. You can find the other posts in the Soul Strength series here.
I’m sharing with the beautiful writers at Coffee for Your Heart.