My life exists in the midst of a war and my life resembles war. The maneuvers of my life are best described as preparing for battle, engaging in battle, recovering from battle and disengaging from battle (aka battle fatigue).
I cycle through battle preparation, battle engagement and battle recovery with periodic stints in survival mode when I disengage from the battle. Often, I canít tell the difference between these maneuvers. It is only upon reflection that I recognize that movement occurred and that Iíve learned some pivotal life lessons.
1. Iím not who I thought I was.
Iím appalled at how Iíve allowed myself to be deceived. The enemy has done an excellent snow job, a combination of distraction and deceit bound together. Distraction in the sense that Iím focused on everyone else and what they have or Iím fixated on my past so I donít have my eyes on God and where He is leading me. Iíve discovered deceit in the sense that Iíve learned to lie to myself and believe it as truth. It is only when I look into the mirror of truth, meaning the Bible that I realize how deceived Iíve been. And, unfortunately, the more deceived Iíve been, the more content I actually thought I was. In digging beneath the surface, Iím unhappy with what I find, but, I canít get better without an immersion in the unvarnished truth and an acceptance of who I truly am.
2. Iím miserable unless Iím doing the will of my Father.
No matter what is going on in my heart or circumstances, unless Iím doing the will of My Father, Iím one miserable woman. When I look to Him to lead me, when I ask the Holy Spirit to come take up residence in my heart, then Iím content. The Presence of God provides comfort and contentment. Nothing else can provide the completeness that I have tasted and that I so desperately crave.
When I start feeling unhappy it is a sign Iím trying to wrestle control back from my Father. Iím in that pattern of giving all to Him, and slowly trying to regain control only to reach a frustrating impasse, when I give all over to Him again. Generally what happens is Iíve made a very significant and devious turn from knowing that only Jesus can provide salvation into thinking that Iím earning my salvation by my works. How very ludicrous, and I know better.
3. I donít get to choose which burdens Iím given.
There are some burdens I simply donít want to carry. I donít want to exist instead of live. I donít want fear to drive my decisions or influence my life. Above all, I donít want to fail. Iíve spent many an hour, audaciously telling God what I donít want. The bottom line is that any and all burdens given to me are His to choose. And whatever He may choose, it is for my eternal benefit, not for my immediate comfort.
4. I donít get to choose when to lay down my burdens.
There have been times that Iíve been tired and battle weary. I thought I was done, weighed down with exhaustion. Surely I was ready to leave this earth and go home? In His infinite wisdom, He knew I wasnít ready. There was more to learn, more to experience, and more to give Him.
5. I donít get to choose which gifts Iím given.
I want to be a singer, to belt out those gloriously rich and sweet notes. I want to praise the Lord with music and song. I want to feel the beat of the music in my soul. The truth is, singing isnít my gift, no matter how much I want it. For some reason, God has chosen to give me other gifts. Only God has the power and the right to give me the gifts He chooses.
So, whatís left? What can I choose?
It is my choice to use the gifts He has given to me. It is my choice to pray, passionately and consistently. It is my choice to persevere until My Father calls me home. And, it is my choice to love while persevering.
What brings me personal peace is an acceptance of Godís pure and perfect plan for my life. Lastly, it is my choice to engage in this war, also known as life.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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