Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the Desert but On Top of the World





Ah life. Who the heck are you.
For the past 5 years I've taken encouragement during this whole nursing school waiting list process in the fact that I had substantial amounts of time to enjoy things like home, family and familiar when I knew they wouldn't last for forever. But now I am so sick of familiar. In the words of Jo March, "I love our home but I can't stand being here!" 
I've become acutely aware of my inability to be gracious to myself by fighting God's grace whilst I'm nit picking at my flaws. I couldn't find anything better to do. To be honest? I can't stand myself. I can't stand my lack of progress as an adult or my inability to override my circumstances to the excessive extent that I want to. I give up way too easy under the shadow of my ominous goal. Yet I will fight with God for my pride and the position of being right before Him. It's a way of trying to beat Him to the punch by correcting myself in every thing before He can and still be comfortable in my bubble of "familiar". But then I'm overwhelmed with the responsibility of my redemptive process, which was never my burden to bear, and am angry when I haven't attained the blessing I was going for in my self purifying plan. Thankfully, and very painfully, God is not letting me have it. Meaning I'm forced to feel my sin, my immaturity and handicaps so that I can feel His grace after I've failed at saving myself. 
"By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!"
-Romans 5
Developing Patience 
(MSG)


Now, that I'm seeing it's His mercy that allows my world to be worth anything, I can move forward, away from the old familiar, even if I have no idea what that kind of future looks like or that I am so incapable of it. Right now I'm not waiting to sing for joy when I've arrived at my purpose in life (because I'm suspicious it's going to take years, thanks to the community colleges). But with God's grace (because I forget instantly), I'm learning to sing right now, in the midst of the frustration of life and my excessive failures. 
Take THAT nursing school!!






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