Thursday, May 2, 2013

Disbelief from Festering Wounds

"Sin is trying to meet real needs in illegitimate ways."

It is amazing to me the deep peace one feels, when they know their life is not their own….and can lean on His sovereignty. For the first time ever, a few short weeks after my arrival in my new home, I found myself severely struggling with the concept of the sovereignty of God. I didn’t believe Him...but it took me a while to actually say those words. I was ashamed.

During that time of struggle that wouldn't seem to let up, I sent out a tough email asking for people to pray. I felt as though I was gasping for breath. I needed prayer, and couldn't be too proud to ask for it. And God's people prayed. 

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, as I was sitting on my back porch overlooking our village, that I felt the voice of the Holy Spirit firmly, but gently asking me to believe Him. 
“You know Me…and you know I control everything. Stop fighting me on this. It's your own fault that this is tough.”  
 I responded through a long overdue surrender. For a few weeks now, I have been able to rest and relax emotionally, on a level I haven’t in a very long time.
Thinking back through this past year, I was able to trace back my disbelief in His sovereignty and goodness, to a time where I was compromising my moral convictions to fit my desires. Basically, I talked myself into a gray area where there wasn't one. And it got easier because eventually I didn’t believe Him enough to stand by what I knew was true. 

Soon enough, that disbelief leaked into other areas of my relationship with Him. That sin festered…it spread…and it contaminated a strong faith. My faith that had previously gotten me through intense trials, but hit a roadblock when it came face to face with sin.

Prior to this, even in times of dark despair, I was able to trust Him because I knew He was involved and that He willed the pain. I accepted it because I saw it as a gift from Him. I knew He was using it as an opportunity for me to grow so He could pour out His glory. But it was my sin that led me to disbelief…not my pain. “I know better God; you aren’t really as involved as I thought."  

But He was. He is.

 My disbelief exposed itself  in a newly found fear. This anxiety I was dealing with was fear that I controlled my life and its course through every decision I made every day. I found myself terrified to make decisions. If He wasn't in control, that meant I was. I became overwhelmingly afraid. “You better not screw this up, Christy.” That’s a lot of pressure.  I doubted if His sovereignty even existed at all the way I had thought… and the fear that I could mess everything up if I wasn't careful, was excruciating. 

So when He confronted me directly about my disbelief, I collapsed in His arms. I didn't want to be afraid anymore. It had silenced my joy.

 I can’t imagine living a life of doubt, not knowing my God personally. I can’t imagine suffering through pain without the joy of knowing Christ. Many people in this world deal with tragedies severely beyond my ability to understand…and yet they suffer without the peace of a life in Him. The joy I know is not something I can keep to myself…it must be spread. It is evident to me that His sovereign grace purifies, restores, and anchors hearts in truth. Truth is our freedom. It's our only assurance of internal peace. It's the only method that works...and that is proven time and time again in the lives of those that know their Maker.

What is the purpose of meeting people’s earthly needs, if Hell is their destiny? I don't want to live my life putting band aids on oozing wounds. Humanitarian work is necessary and rewarding, but it's not good enough.  There is an infection deep in the souls of many…yet somewhere along the line, I found myself more concerned with people’s earthly pain, than their spiritual depravity.

It’s not about my story going the way I want it. It’s actually not about me at all…even though my choices often contradict that. What can I do to help others know this peace I have been reminded of? I am unsure of all that today, but I am relying on His sovereignty to lead me in showing me step by step.