Raining in Seoul.
Everybody is out- perfect sunday afternoon.
Kinda how I felt the day we flew into the country last week..
…Aaaannd this is probably one of my favorite pictures i’ve ever taken.
I attended a church service in Seoul today.
During the service I gleaned from the ponderings that I’ve so rapidly pondered this week.
One prominent thought that sortta settled in my heart was this concept of choice. The theory that we humans have total and complete control over nothing in this world except over our choices.
A choice I made, by an act of my will, completely unaccompanied by any emotional extravaganza, was to believe that God is near me (James 4:8), that He cares about me (1 peter 5:7) and that He does know what He is doing in my life (jeremiah 29:11).
Although I don’t feel like I can trust Him, or though I feel like I have to make things happen for myself if I wish to get anywhere in my life, the truth is simply put: I can and I don’t.
I can trust Him because the Bible says I can (proverbs 3:5-6). I don’t have to make my way because He has already set my paths straight (delight yourself in the Lord etc…Ps. 37:4, jer 29:11, Ephesians 1:4).
Not to mention that the fruit of my labor (worrying and not trusting God) has made me chronically stresses and continuously dissatisfied with my choices.
Why do I keep thinking that I know better than Him?
Plus, all of my anxiety has contributed NOTHING to my progress towards goals and aspirations (Jesus said it well in Matthew 6). Its only adding more stress.
But I don’t like being idol. I often feel passive just ‘believing’ that what i want out of this life will just ‘happen’ and that all I need to do is sit back, relax and watch my life make itself.
Theres has gotta be a better why to look at this. Where is the balance?
As long as I am living and maintaining a constant pursuit of nobility and righteousness (in other words, letting the work of Christ in me overflow form my heart and penetrate my actions, values and beliefs and affect those around me), I am secure underneath His “umbrella” of protection/promises (2 John 1:6, Psalm 19:11).
God loves you if you’re not living the right way.
He died for you, me, him and her.
You can’r argue that (John 3:16).
But his heart is for the broken; orphaned and widowed. His heart is for His children. His people. The ones who are alive to Him; the obedient ones. Anyone who should call upon the Lord will be saved (romans 10), but until you make that choice, you’re not underneath His umbrella of protection and you’re not heir to the rich promises here and those to come. (read Revelation).
The gospel without right living is just hypocrisy. But right living without the gospel is just legalism. You can’t pick one or the the other. Its a heart thing. It’s deeper than a smile on sunday morning, and more pulsing than a catchy rock– I mean–worship song on the radio. Its the work of Christ in us, changing our core beliefs in a powerful way by speaking the truth to us in our hearts in a soft spoken, authoritative tone (John 8:32).
You call, and He answers. He honors a heart that is hungry for truth.
I panic and whine and grumble and pout because I’m doing everything I can to be better and to live fuller but I still feel lost, unimportant, aimless, unloved, forgotten, useless, worthless and discouraged.
But it isn’t about what I’m doing or feeling. That brings the focus on me; Skylar.
It is about what He did and does and is doing for me.
He is following me every step I take, holding an umbrella over my head, whether I feel it or not. Who knows what He actively protecting me from as I walk through each day.
I wax and wain; I am not perfect. Funny though because He didn’t ask me to be.
I pray and ask for wisdom and guidance towards the path of righteousness. I have an honest, imperfect heart that longs to be what it cannot (perfect). But God hears it beating and knows that it is true, and tough my faith is that of maybe 1/2 of a mustard seed at most times, I know that He see what little good is in me and He is working on that little glint deep beneath the rubble so it will soon (or not so soon) over shine my flesh so I may live in full freedom and power of the holy Spirit.
And I won’t start the next phrase with “until then” because there is no “until then”. I will never have a perfect heart. Not on this earth. This cycle of testing and resting will go on until my body dies.
Along the way it is my job is to not conform to this world (romans 12, 1 John 2:15-17), and live in obedience by walking in love (matthew 22:36-40, 2 John 1:6).
Along the way I pray that I will be an influence in some way in somebody’s life.
If I ignore God, and agree to hold myself more important than the work He has for me, then He will ignore me and move onto another heart that is more willing serve.
Then I will have missed it.
Funny, none of those ‘tasks’ are passive, but very intentional, constant and hard.
Ironically, I have been idol in my my mind. I’ve been doing exactly what I was afraid of. I am depleted because I am not doing the work He has given me to do. I want more but I am throwing away the opportunities He has already given me to practice loving people and trusting Him.
These last two posts have been rough drafts of rambling thoughts that have me brewing in my mind. I cannot seem to express them with eloquence, but it is nice to have the convenience of typing them out.
I don’t really care if I do ramble (well, that is only partly true.. I don’t want to bore you!). But I cannot be so consumed with what my readers (Hi Mom! Hey Jenny and Aunt Jayne!) think of me in my reckless state.
Back to the umbrella.
My heart is hardened to the reality of God being near to me and caring for me. I cannot see it very well and I need an awakening! I know I am lavishly blessed and loved, but I don’t feel it.
Which brings us full circle, right back to choices (where was I going with the umbrella analogy here?).
Believing what the Bible says vs. what our hearts are screaming at us (Jeremiah 17:6) is an active choice you make over and over (romans 12, 2 chronicles 10:5) and I haven’t been doing that which is probably why I’ve been in “The pit of yuck” lately (“Jungle Jam reference.. anybody? Anybody?).
I need to hold onto the reality of His love/care/plan/purpose for me and trust that He is following me with His umbrella.
Little my faith may be (Matthew 17:20), BUT, the truth is that He is looking at my heart- a heart that is growing in obedience out of Love for Him.
It is a slow process, but as it keeps on raining, He is there with the umbrella to walk with my through the storms.
I just have to believe.
The rain was a HUGE blessing today.
I also finally had my first bubble tea!
I’m officially a native now.
Sorry Mom, I have to stay!