Sunday, June 23, 2013

Living Transparently

I'm always amazed at the way God meets me, especially when I feel like I'm in a dark place. I pick up my Bible or devotional book, and somehow always turn to a passage that fits my current situation or mindset. I don't think that's an accident. Lately, for no one particular reason, I've been not feeling myself. I've been anxious, sad, self-critical and caught up in my ever-growing "To Do" list. My brain feels cluttered and I haven't felt relaxed in weeks.

I don't often experience these 'down' moments for long, but it seems this dark cloud has been over me for a while now. It comes and goes, and I never know when a particularly difficult moment will arise. In these times, my only escape from depression is crying out to God and asking Him for the grace and peace only He can give. He never disappoints, and always meets me. But if I'm being completely honest, sometimes it feels the lift out of my despair is momentary, or for a day. I want to cling to it and make it last! But then I'm reminded this life is full of problems. Of sickness, death, stress, sadness and so on. We aren't promised happiness in this life. Instead, I can choose my attitude and decide how I will handle all the things I feel I carry on a plate I can hardly balance sometimes.

I know what true joy feels like. Too often people confuse happiness and joy. They are not the same. Happiness can come and go, but joy is something that comes from knowing you're a child of God, meant for more, working towards a higher goal and knowing this life is but a moment in comparison to eternity. True joy is everlasting and comes from the knowledge of Jesus as my Savior. When I remind myself of that, I'm brought back to my senses, slowly let go of the burdens I allow myself to carry and get eager to move forward.

If you can relate at all, let me encourage you from the way I've been encouraged this morning. I often go back and re-read specific pages from my Jesus Calling devotional. More than any other devotional I've read, it has been the most inspirational to me. This morning, these are the words I read that brought me out of my self-pity and sorrow, lifted my head and filled my soul. I encourage you to be honest with yourself if you have moments like I've been experiencing lately. We all need Christ. We ARE worthy. And most importantly, He WANTS us.

It's too easy to become distracted. For me, I strive too hard at times to 'have it all together'. But I'm grateful I'm not called to be perfect. I'm not capable of being perfect. And best of all, I am the daughter of a God who loves me beyond my wildest dreams, despite all my imperfections.

Taken from Jesus Calling:
- Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be charged. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Seek My face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you. I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite. I know and understand you completely. My thoughts embrace you in everlasting love.

- Relax in My healing presence. As you spend time with Me, your thoughts tend to jump ahead to today's plans and problems. Bring your mind back to Me for refreshment and renewal. Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me. Thus I equip you to face whatever the day brings. This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you. Do not skimp on our time together. Resist the clamor of tasks waiting to be done.

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