Monday, March 1, 2010

All Up In My Grill

Today I took a break from work, and spent the day at home reading and relaxing. I listened to some great music on CBC Radio 2 and was then later reminded that Matt Anderson was playing at the Grand Theatre tonight.  Inspired, I spent the evening listening to some great contemporary blues artists, a little Keb Mo, Matt Anderson and Bonnie Raitt. I love most all music genres, indeed, I am very eclectic in my tastes, and blues is no exception. I love the stories the music tells, not to mention the incredible guitar and mouth harp stylings.  Blues always has the affect of bringing me back to simpler times of friends gathered together to jam and of course reminds me of my times in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mississippi.

All this being said, I do not have much else to share today. Except that I was going back through some old notes, and came across one I decided to post. Even though it is over 3 years old, it is still pertinent. Our spiritual walk is just that - a walk - a journey - a process of being refined into the likeness of Christ and this post touches on that process.

Recently I have been confronted by my own short-comings and personal weaknesses. I hate it when they get all confrontational and up in my grill…lol. Of course I have always known about them, but since they are not so apparent to others, I reason them away, never really thinking they were that much of an issue. We all have our little idiosyncrasies. In fact mine are a part of who I am – how would I ever change such a thing. I have come to learn, and it is a difficult lesson - that I can not do it on my own - but if I allow God too do so – He will. It won’t be easy, it will probably be painful but in this I have gained a more personal understanding of what it means to die to “self? so that more of Christ can live within me.

Have you ever been confronted by your weaknesses. Not the obvious outward ones but the inner personal ones, insecurities, worry, pride, jealousy, fear, the list goes on. Ever experienced those moments when you are all alone struggling with your “self?. It’s these weaknesses, these sins that are the hardest to overcome and it is my belief they are among the greatest hindrances to us living a joy-filled life as they rob of us opportunities to bless and be blessed.

We pray "search my heart oh God and reveal any unclean way in me" and our faithful God does indeed reveal to us, those subtle, personal weaknesses that create huge cracks in the foundation of our faith - those stumbling blocks that keep us from living a joy filled life in His will. At first it is ever so gentle - a whisper - easy enough to ignore if we choose to -then a tug on our heart, that this is just not working - our pride, insecurities, fears, jealousy or worry is keeping us from great things - yet still it is too much to deal with so we run in the opposite direction.

When confronted with your personal weaknesses do you subconsciously run the other way, reasoning away the opportunities to overcome it or do you simply ignore it – pushing it back into the deep abyss, moving on to other things.

There comes a time when we have ignored the truth for too long, when we are smacked in the face with the truth of our own cherished sin that we either have to face the challenge God places before us - A challenge to let go - to rise above - to step out in faith and deal with the hardest things we face - our inner carnal self - or ignore it and become complacent misguided in our thinking it is easier to remain as we are then go under the proverbial knife for removal of the malignancy.

If not pruned, this unripe, if not bad fruit festers within our soul, hindering healthy growth and risks holding us back from achieving all that God has planned for us. Think of it – how many times have your insecurities, worry, pride, jealousy or fear kept you from doing something for God, prevented you from stepping out, and held you back from greatness.

How sad it will be to get to heaven and have God say well done good and faithful servant – you lived a life of contentment – you did what you had to do – you served me but this is how much more I had for you, if only you had trusted me, if only you had stepped out – let go – let more of me live within you - guide you!

Often times it takes being honest with our selves and then trusting God enough to allow Him to bring us to a place where the dead branches can be pruned - it is not without its pain, or suffering, but without it - we can never truly become who are in Christ or achieve all that God has in store for us.

1 comment:

  1. WOW! That's quite a challenge to start the day with!

    Lately a lot of your words hit very close to home with me Cathleen, whether it be on Sunday or in your daily writings. Thanks for that.

    P.S. Matt Andersen and his opening act Wil were both fantastic last night. You missed a great show.