“Remember not the former things, not consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
“The sun comes up, its a new day dawning…whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes.” Lyric from the song “10,000 Reasons”
“You make me new, You are making me new. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.” Lyric from the song “Beautiful Things”
Ezekiel 36:16-38, right into Ezekiel 37. The ever famous passage of ultimate newness. Holy newness. A total reconstruction of the heart (36). Cold dark stone to warm pulsing flesh. A work He preforms for His glory. For His Holy Holy Name.
Lately I’ve been feeling very beat up and discouraged and not too sure how to make the most of my days here in Korea. Day after day, what am I doing? All this time, how am I spending it? Some days are spent well, others I’d say I’ve just thrown away. As the enemy hovers with chants of failure, I find peace in knowing that what may seem useless and unproductive to me may very well be the definition of productivity and progress to God, the tender gardener of my heart.
The fruit of growth is maturity. Some attributes of maturity are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self control. These spiritual fruits take time to fully ripen. And although He digs and toils and weeds away the bitterness that chokes out the love and peace, evidence that these godly qualities have taken root in a persons life can be unconvincing to people other than yourself.
That is where I often stumble and become frustrated. I see how God is challenging me. I see how He has been working i my heart. I see the change in my habits and behavior. I see the growth.
I suppose people will be people and judge and condemn. Criticize and bruise and discourage and react. Whether these action are motivated out of love or not, I don’t know. Maybe. But my focus doesn’t need to be fogged by other peoples thoughts or feelings. Peace is when I focus, lock eyes, on God and the call of obedience He has put on my heart. A call to love everyone, forgive endlessly, do not resent, harbor bitterness or anger. But be a broken vessel so that the people He puts in my path can experience His love through me. That is the most important thing. Being filled fully by God so that He overflows through the cracks of my brokenness to other people on this earth.
It is difficult for me not to take attacks personally. But I’m being challenged to trade in hurt and potential bitterness for grace and understanding. A broken hearted perspective for a Holy view on things.
And then, something new.
I am not who I was, I am not my parents, I am not my family, I am not my old job, I am not my old friends, I am not my old church(es), I am not my old self.
I am absolutely something new. He is absolutely crafting and chipping and drawing me nearer to Him. Absolutely. Tuning my hears to hear His voice without the things that distract or discourage me the most. It isn’t my job to prove or show anything. I simply need to be. Do less and be surrendered heart, body and mind to Him.
That is where I find life abundant. In obedience. Abundance in Obedience.
Trusting God, loving God and loving Him enough to love others. . . I am imperfect, but in my weakness and failures, somehow He is made strong and beautiful and glorified. And that is what life is about. Glorifying God. Through the muck and mire, the hurt, the happy, the silence, the noise. God Glorified. He will be glorified regardless of our cooperation (Ezekiel 36-37!!), but participation in praise, sacrificial joy, is sweetness to Him.
Something new is on the horizon. Every moment of every day is ministry. I find it most difficult to be righteous and do think and say what is “right” when I’m alone. Those secret quiet moments are the rich ones where God digs the deepest. Or so I’ve found it to be.
“Now it springs forth” like little sprouts of victory. Green and fresh, vivacious. These sprouts will endure hard rains and difficult temperatures, but through it all, trials and such, they will grow. Trials must come, otherwise there is no growth.
Anyway, just a rough draft of some of my thoughts as of late. I hope to compose a more artistic expression of
-In the Secret Moments
a few words that have been buzzing in my brian for weeks now.