A while ago I made a commitment to contribute as a writer twice a month to Bloom. I have not written a blog in a very long time. I had many reasons as to why I hadn’t written in a while. One, I would tell myself “Today is the day I will write!” but not surprisingly this would turn in to the next day which turned into another day and then another just because of excuses I could make in that particular day. Two, I could not justify being involved in an area that I felt so weak in and three, I found other tasks or mindless things to do that did not require my writing at all, but did occupy my time and keep me from this commitment (TV, Phone, Social Media).
I share this with you not to announce that I have FINALLY written a blog, but to share how the Lord used this season of my life to illustrate very clearly for me that pride is sneaky!
A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly came out of this ridiculous funk of having absolutely no desire to write. I wanted to make sure that my blog posts would be “inspirational” or thought provoking to readers and I just felt as if I had nothing to contribute. I went from having a season of no inspiration and just plain ole discouragement about my writing to actually feeling as though I could contribute SOMETHING! I was ready to write because on this night Colossians 1:9-14 was brought to life in a whole new way for me.
Here is the scripture I had read from the Daily Light devotional that impacted my heart so greatly:
9 “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
I picked up my personal Bible, turned to Colossians 1 and continued in my reading. As I poured over word after word again, highlighter in hand, and journal in the other, I finally came to verses 15-29. This would have concluded the chapter for me, but what was even more exciting was as I was reading I thought that I could actually have two blogs that would hopefully read well and would be packed with what I thought was worth-while head knowledge. But just as quickly as I became excited about being suddenly inspired, I burned out and I became annoyed. Yes, I became annoyed while reading the Bible, I found myself being distracted. I told myself “Just stop, wait a moment, read through it again” As I said this to myself, I closed my eyes tightly and tried to refocus my brain but I could not. This studying and thought provoking quiet time I was having for the blog, started falling apart. Every thought fell out of my head as quickly as it came into it.
This was so frustrating. I felt like I could clearly articulate my thoughts on what I had learned from verses 1-14. I could not lose that. I could not be seen as not keeping my word regarding my commitment to the blog again! But unfortunately, my train of thought was gone and I found myself consumed with even more distractions. My brain felt foggy. I’ve felt so weak when it comes to my blog posts, that nothing I write brings any new revelations for readers. I was so sure the Lord was going to allow some major “light bulb” moments for me so that I could contribute once again to the blog the way I thought I needed to, and when that didn’t happen the way I thought it should, the focus shifted from Christ to self.
I want so badly to feel as if I am a strong writer, to be like my mentor and people I admire. To be able to construct this masterfully worded perspective on a particular passage is something I deeply desired. Let me be real, a lot of times when I am not at the level I THINK I should be, I do a ton of “Lord, why would you have me even involved in something I feel so weak in,” or I flat out avoid anywhere that I feel weak.
So, in frustration I got up from my desk and asked the Lord for His grace and mercy to show me why I was struggling so hard in this. Was there something I was missing, or is this His way of saying that I should not continue on with this commitment? In no time it came to my attention that I approached my time with Him not with eager expectation, but in pride. I have wrongly questioned the Lord and his plan for the commitment He has called me to. I would even say I wrestled and fought with it.
He gently showed me why I struggled to be obedient. I hate being weak. Like many people, I feel extremely uncomfortable with being weak, vulnerable, exposed, and wrong. All this outweighed my desire to fully surrender and allow the Lord to have all areas of my life—including a small commitment to contribute to a blog.
I was reminded that The Lord is not only going to allow scripture to come into a new light for me in different seasons of life, but He is also going to be constantly shining a light on my sin, showing me the areas I have knowingly or unknowingly resisted complete surrender to Him. He does not do this for me to be ashamed, but because of His deep love for me. You all, if He did not love me, He would not correct me. He could allow me to foolishly walk through life without correction. And you know what? God would be completely justified in doing so, He has no need for man’s pride.
He mercifully showed me that my pride was impairing my vision and mind. I could not see I had taken this beautiful passage in the Bible and tried to turn it in a way to promote self, to behave as though I had pridefully grown in understanding. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to help fellow sisters and brothers in Christ by placing each other in remembrance of God’s word, but when I am doing so in a manner just so that I can boast or feel proud, then it is wrong and I am in serious danger of stripping away from the message found in scripture pointing to Christ and what He has done for us on the cross. Sadly, I wanted to use this passage to show that I could finally try and be strong in an area where He has not necessarily called me to be strongest, but to simply be obedient, and I’m learning that’s okay!
When I read Colossians over, it was humbling to realize that despite myself, despite my futile human thinking, Christ still loves me. Just to think, I can rejoice with gladness when I read how He has qualified me, a gentile, who had no claim to the promise God made to His people. It is only because Christ Jesus made a way. Despite my need to be approved by man I am loved deeply by my Savior. Jesus came to the earth, He lived, died, and rose again so that I can be counted among those who have been redeemed.
This saving grace does not get handed out based upon my ability to write a blog, or my ability to be the most articulate student of the Word, or my ability at all. It is an honor to serve the Lord in any capacity, in any way He would have me lay aside self so that He alone is glorified. I want my prayer to be “Nevertheless, Your will be done in every area of my life.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2: 8-9).
All for His glory