Many of my ideas came to me while reading Emily P. Freeman’s new book A Million Little Ways. I read it on the tails of her first book Grace for the Good Girl. Both books are excellent! I couldn’t put them down, and they inspired me to start writing and painting again (I’ll save more about that for another post).
I have to admit, reading the eloquent words of others that so thoroughly peg my life and thoughts, I find myself wishing and dreaming that I had written them — to share with others, of course. So they would know me… GLORY HOG!
It’s my tendency, the natural bent of my flesh. I wanted to be the one so brave as to be transparent and so smart as to interpret the Bible for others. Thank goodness I am humble enough to see the jealousy and still learn from others.
Oddly enough I feel called not to writing something profound, but to smallness ( explored in an upcoming blog). A quote from Emily Freeman, “The small only get that way because they first recognize how big we thought we were.” I have felt I must make things happen. Do things for God… BIG things. You know, “to whom much has been given…”
Instead, while great in many ways, my 49 years of life spent trying-oh-so-hard have been seasoned with frustration, disappointment and grief. I have realized I can not be and do all that I have asked of myself. I feel like a nobody. A failure. Despite all my good intentions, all my best efforts, I know the truth of how I’ve fallen short. I have hidden and worn masks. I’ve been self righteous and condemned.
But all this is a GOOD thing, because I am not all alone. I am in the presence of the king, and I am His daughter… a princess, no less! It is in His presence that I am free to be humble and small. Surrendered to His strength. Offering my life (weak and war torn as I am) and letting Him do the work through it. No more striving. It was never meant to be as I thought it was. He will use my gifts — in His way and to His Glory. I can trust Him.
I was never meant to strive to be like Christ. I worked at it, and failed bitterly. That was Lucifer’s sin. My sin, even with the best of misguided intentions. The good news? My failure in offering my best efforts at doing life is an opportunity for me to sink deeply into God. It’s not a liability, but a prerequisite for surrender and total dependance on God. The Glory Hog in me didn’t want to reflect the image of God, but to embody it. (Emily nailed the truth of my flesh here). But that is not what I’m called to do. Oh the freedom in knowing it’s not all up to me — but to my Father.
Possibly this sounds familiar, or possibly, like too many words that make no sense. Let me offer a metaphor. I absolutely LOVE sunsets and sunrises — especially at the beach. The clouds and colors change dramatically as God does His magic in the sky. Blue water takes on all shades of pink. Diamonds sparkle in its waves and we all take pictures, trying to capture that which never quite shows up the same as simply experiencing the beauty. That blue water is reflecting all the Glory of God’s work in the sky! Reflecting. Gorgeous, but never quite as magnificent as the sky, it is still blue water. But just by being in the presence of the heavens, it reflects all the colors of the sun and atmosphere as God paints his canvas in the sky, and the waters shine pink and wonderful. Through no amount of valiant effort could the blue ocean ever become pink. It is meant to be blue as He created it, and simply to reflect God’s glory — much like you and me. To God be all Glory!