• Deep thoughts…

    Date: 2010.05.12 | Category: faith, parenting | Tags: ,,,,

    I’ve been feeling a deep discontent over the past few months.  Something is off in my spiritual life and I’m not sure what to do about it.  I’m active in my church and in a weekly bible study.  I love Jesus.  I’m trying to share that love of Jesus with my children.  And yet I can’t shake the feeling that I’m missing the big picture.  That God wants more from me – that I’m not living up to the potential that God has for me.  How do I balance being a wife, raising two small children, keeping a household running, and maintaining relationships with friends and family with the call Christ gives to all of His followers 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”  Matthew 16″24-26

    I have more questions than answers.  How can I live up to all I’m called to be… a bride of Christ, a fisher of men, a wife of noble character, one who looks after widows and orphans, a good Samaritan, etc, etc.  How can I stop going TO church and instead BE the church?  What does that look like?  How can I trade the urgent for the important?  What should I let go of so that I can cling to what truly matters? 

    Look at what Philippians 2:1-18 says…

     1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

     5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
     6Who, being in very nature God,
          did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
     7but made himself nothing,
          taking the very nature of a servant,
          being made in human likeness.
     8And being found in appearance as a man,
          he humbled himself
          and became obedient to death—
             even death on a cross!
     9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
          and gave him the name that is above every name,
     10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
          in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
     11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
          to the glory of God the Father.

     12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

     14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

    Raising children has shown me that if nothing else I am selfish and have all the wrong priorities.  I don’t want to be a servant!  I don’t want to be humble!  I want someone else to do the hard work.  The dirty jobs.  The boring stuff.  I want someone to notice that I emptied the dishwasher and paid the bills and spent 6 hours breastfeeding today.  I want my accolades and pat on the back!  But look what Philippians says- Jesus took the very nature of a servant.  He humbled Himself.  He became obedient.  And so should I.

    Years ago I claimed Philippians 2:14-16 as my life verse.  At the time I was battling my very nature.  As a new Christ follower I had some serious changes to make in my attitude and actions.  And yet 15 years later here I am again.  As I reread these words I see I still have so far to go.  I think that this discontent is God’s way of stirring up new change in me.  He’s showing me that I’ve become too comfortable in my skin.  In my faith.  I’m no longer stretching and growing, but like the Pharisees I’ve grown proud of leading a Sunday School class and reading my bible every night.  I don’t think God cares very much about that… I think he’s more concerned with my poor prayer life.  With the minimal effort I make to reach out to my neighbors who don’t know Him.  With the harsh words I speak to my husband.   

    So I’m working on it.  I’m trying to pray more and listen more.  I’ve been talking with friends about how they balance the demands of their lives with their faith.  I’ve been reading books and listening to sermons. 

    If you have any insight I’d love to hear it.  God is leading me… I just don’t know where we’re going.