Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Grateful for a lesson learned to hunger after Him...

Great perspective. Awesome song. And a neat Sermon link too.

Grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace...

Maybe not. Not today...
Peace might be another world away, and if that's the case--

We'll give thanks to you with gratitude for lessons learned in how to trust in you...
that we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream in abundance or in need,
If you never grant us peace, But Jesus would you please.

If you are going through a time of your life when peace seems far off, it might help to know that going in and out of these types of seasons is part of life and that you are normal. To live in complete joy and peace 100 percent of the time is actually not normal. You are, after all, human, with emotions, feelings, weaknesses, etc. etc. There was a time when I thought if I was a Christian it meant I needed to have joy and peace 100 percent of the time so I was frustrated with myself when I didn't. This mentality does not make much room for things like grieving, however, or things like a genetic make-up that would allow for the on-set of depression in my twenties. Joy and peace are fruits of the Spirit so it would make sense, then, that I would think that if I had the Spirit in me I should be exhibiting those things in my life all the time.

What I am finding, instead, though, is that when I am lacking joy or peace or any fruit of the Spirit for that matter, those are the times that I feel off-kilter and I have to pray,
"Lord, what is it in me that needs sifting out?"
"Lord, what around me is causing this angst in my soul?"
Whatever it is that is causing me to be "off-kilter" is the very thing that draws me closer to Him and makes me cry out to Him and lean into Him more because it makes me go to Him in prayer. It is in these precious, vulnerable, hard times that I discover who God is, and who I hate to be. And this is okay. Without those times of crying out to Him I would lack quite a bit of the Spiritual depth, understanding of who God is, and a closeness to Him that has been formed over the last several years that, to be quite honest, I would never replace if I had the option. I don't have to apologize for feeling the way I do, but you I have to decide what I am going to do with those feelings.

What do you do when life gives you lemons and you don't care much for lemonade??

My pastor, Pastor Tanner, did a sermon he called "Treasures in Jars of Clay" this past Sunday. In his sermon he encouraged us and reminded us what to do when we are put through a season of life when "our clay pot cracks" and we're left feeling "damaged" emotionally or spiritually: discouraged, struck down, persecuted, or without peace. He's kind of a really great pastor, and I think you'll like him, and I think you'll like his message too. To hear his sermon click here. It's good stuff and it's only a half hour long, so go ahead... have a listen!

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