Sunday, November 30, 2014

??? Why Me ???

I’ve been going through a long trial for the last 2 years. In this time I’ve been stretched spiritually, emotionally, and physically…and all the while resisting the question: why me? As a maturing believer, I know better than to ask that question just as a teenager doesn’t fall out in a temper tantrum over spilled milk (or do they?).

What makes me think that I shouldn’t have times of suffering just like my brothers and sisters across the world? Should I not have times of crying, sleepless nights, and overwhelming disappointments? Should I expect everything to always go as I planned it should go? No, not if I want to grow in my faith.

While the agony of my situation hasn’t changed…I have. I’ve grown to be tougher and tender—tough on the deceitfulness of sin in my life and tender towards those who are deeply wounded. I’m not perfect, but I’m being perfected through the grace of God to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

So if I embrace the question: ‘why me’ in trials and temptations—should I then also ask the same question in times of blessings? I’ve yet to hear anyone ask God ‘why me?’ when things are going well.

Why should I have a relationship with Jesus Christ instead of living a lie? Should I expect to have joy and peace in the midst of a storm? Should I enjoy the grace of God that gives me strength to make it day to day?

I have this quote from Joseph Bailey on my wall: “Save me God from success. I fear it more than failure which alerts me to my nature, limitations, destiny. I know that any success apart from your Spirit is mere euphemism for failure.”

Why me? Because I’m uniquely chosen by God to go through this time of trial to become everything He wants me to be. Why me? Because no pain nor tears are ever wasted in the kingdom of God. Why me? Because He is preparing me for a greater glory in order to draw more people to the cross. Why me? Because I’m growing into this relationship with God slowly, but assured of His presence and hand over my life.

So what about you? Why you?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Facebook Envy

Spoiler Alert: Please don’t unfriend me…

Have you ever been green with Facebook envy? I know I can’t be the only one struggling with looking at pictures of tropical islands in the dead of winter, couples being in love, children and grandchildren graduating with highest honors…and these are my friends!

Okay I confess…I’ve been guilty of Facebook envy. I’m saved, sanctified, used by God in great ways, blessed beyond measure…and yet there it is—envy. It never lasts long at all, but sometimes it pops up an ugly face without warning.

Let’s be real…confessing my fault is the first step to coming out of it. I’ve learned that Facebook photos don’t tell the whole story either. For all we know behind that same palm tree, families were fighting right before the photo shot or perhaps they just came out of a wonderful group hug.

What does it matter?

It’s a beautiful way of sharing what is right with life at that particular moment in time. There’s plenty of heartbreaking and depressing news on the Internet for us everyday. How refreshing it is to witness a wonderful moment in the lives of my friends! In truth, the envy isn’t really directed towards others as much as myself. Note to self: don’t look at Facebook when having a down day.

What does scripture teach us in Romans 12:15?

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

I do rejoice with my brothers and sisters who’ve overcome many trials to stay in love for decades, with those who are blessed to get away for a much needed vacation, and with the success stories of their families. The same God who blessed them also lavishes His favor on me in His perfect timing and will.

There really is no room for envy in the lives of believers. We are blessed if the only thing God ever did for us was to send His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins. It’s enough.

There’s great blessing on the lives of those who rejoice and mourn together in this lifetime. I love my sisters who rejoice with me in the good times and cry with me in the bad times.

Joy is evident in the Facebook photos because the Lord is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So smile!