As I sit here and watch the beautiful green leaves rustle and the branches swaying in the wind, I am in awe of all the shades of green I see. The grey clouds over head unleashed a fury of rain in the night. New growth of green is evident on most of the evergreens. The image is beautiful and serene even though it is tumultuous, like my heart. This space is my favorite place to write. I am surrounded by large windows that give me a front row seat of God’s awe inspiring creation. You can find beauty in most places if you are willing to see. It is in this place that I come to connect with God. My Bible is open and my pen is beside my open journal.
My heart feels turbulent, like the weather I am watching. There is beauty and life and tumultuous winds all in one space. I find it beautifully fitting that the very first verse I read says “May God give you grace and peace.” 1Thessalonians 1:1
I feel that these past two years have been a wild ride of challenges, emotions, big life decisions and it has challenged me and forced me to look deeply for what I believe to be truth about God.
There was once a time in my young adult mind where I had a very idealistic concept of what a Christian is. There were upright and moral. They did not sin because they were God following people. They overcame temptation, they overcame their weaknesses, and they did not yell or swear or lose their temper. They never drank too much, they were always joyful and happy to help and serving others was second nature.
I learned very quickly that idealistic view was and is not possible. I am human and human nature is inherently selfish which can only mean one thing.
There will war.
War between who I am and who I want to be.
I remember some years ago when this realization first dawned on me. I was in church and we were singing a worship song. It was as if the room of hundreds of people became silent, and God spoke just to me. It was unmistakable and perfectly clear. I would mess up again and again, but God’s grace is real and He is waiting for me to come back to Him each time I make a mistake. I realized in this moment, that there are weaknesses I may never overcome. The victory is that I choose to come to Jesus each and every time and ask His forgiveness, and get up and try again. And repeat. And never quit. This is the good fight. And not just trying again on my own willpower, but relying on Christ to help me.
“For I do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13
I can get back up again, and try again because God gives me the strength.
We live in a broken world, there will be brokenness. That is unavoidable. The victory is choosing God’s grace and not quitting. Not staying down when we have fallen, but getting up and standing tall knowing that we serve a God who relentlessly loves us.