Monday, March 28, 2011

we do not lose heart

it's amazing to me how much God speaks to us in our seasons of brokenness. i've been pondering that a lot lately. perhaps it's not that He speaks to us more, but rather that now He actually has our attention in order for us to listen. when will i learn to TRULY seek Him with all that i have when things are actually "going well?" why does it take a time of crushing and disappointment for me to really press in to the love that He has for me? it's the age-old question. just when i think i have this thing called life down, something happens to show me that i don't and that i am utterly dependent on a power higher than myself. i don't say that to say that God causes the pain and anguish that we go through in life, but he most certainly uses it to draw us back to him. one of my favorite quotes about this comes from william p. young in the book the shack:
"Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
so true. i'm discovering that grace every day.

this morning i was led to read 2 Corinthians 4:7-16 and it's like the words were jumping off the screen at me! go read it, then come back.  :)

see what i mean? God entrusts us- these jars of clay, so easily broken, with the truth of His love and grace! though we are hard pressed on every side and we feel like we are being crushed- we aren't alone. God's all-surpassing love is there to carry us through and to ultimately lead others to that same knowledge. if God can use my brokenness and shattered dreams to lead myself and those i share with to the arms of Jesus then it makes it all worth it. this life isn't about me getting what i want or even what i feel i deserve. it's about sacrifice. it's about dying daily to my desires, my dreams and embracing what God has for me. i'll leave you with another quote from that book i'm reading called shattered dreams.
Happiness must be stripped away, forcibly, before joy can surface, before we will value and pursue dreams whose fulfillment produces true joy.
that's what i desire- TRUE JOY! and that only comes from intimacy with my creator... i love the last part of those verses in 2 Corinthians... it says "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 

day by day, moment by moment, God is renewing you- he's renewing me. doing my best to relish in that today.

in His all-surpassing love and grace,


Katie @ Loves of Life said...

I think its pretty inspiring that in the midst of things that are hard going on you can press in so deep. I can learn from you. Well, when CAN'T I? But really, thanks.


Unknown said...

amen sista!
no but really it's amazing how when things are going "good" we don't rely on God as much but when its going the opposite he's all we need.
I love that last part as well :)

Tatiana said...

such beautiful words. A big Amen to all that! I especially like the "Happiness must be stripped away, forcibly, before joy can surface, before we will value and pursue dreams whose fulfillment produces true joy." part. I had such a hard time seeing that in my life. I'm glad that amidst the pain, you can see God's love. You are a true inspiration love :-)

Kristen said...

Amen and amen. You are challenging me Susan! Knowing that in all seasons I should be seeking Him in this way! Thank you for your honesty and for your contagious pursual of our Creator!

Michelle said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for your honesty & inspiring words. What a great reminder. Love those verses. Your true beauty shines through, even in the midst of your pain. Much love.

Ruth Witmer said...

Susan, you inspire me to seek the Heart of the Father! We just do " life" until something happens that wrecks us and then we cry out. I want to cry out in the good times and in the bad times! Thank you for teaching your mom how to seek the Father heart of God with such passion. What a testimony God is giving you! I love you so much!