July 26, 2013

Being With Jesus: Part Two

This post that I wrote last summer has been playing around in my head this week and reminding me of what is true... of how I want and need to live in order to find and experience the freedom and life I so desire.  I hope it has the same effect on you... 

My last post was a difficult one.  It wasn't the writing of it that was hard, it was the living out of it that got me.  I wrote the post in the quiet morning hours before my children got up and my day had yet to really begin.  The coffee was hot, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I was enjoying some quiet, reflective time with Jesus.  But once I hit publish and closed my computer, I realized what time it was and my day exploded and the frantic pace of life set in.  I had places to go and people to see and time was running short.

I was leaving my kids at home for a bit while I went to a hair appointment and the grocery store.  I had "hired" them to do a few jobs around the house while I was gone and I needed to go over those with them before I left.  I also really wanted to squeeze in a work out, but there wasn't enough time for that.  And I had hoped to go over my grocery list, thumb through my coupons, and scan the pantry and fridge to see what else we might need, but there wasn't time for that either.  Instead, I raced around the house like a crazy woman, took a quick shower, reminded my children not to fight, to have fun, get their jobs done and eat healthy, all of which I'm sure they didn't appreciate or need to hear, and I left the house in a hurry hoping not to be late for my appointment.

As I drove to the salon, my mind going in a thousand different directions, I thought back on my post and felt false and phony.  Nothing I had written just a few hours before felt true of my day or of me.  My words just seemed pretty and flowery and nice but so completely insincere and impractical that it was almost humorous.  Relaxed?  At rest?  Not needing to come through?  Not needing to be anything more than what I already am?  Enjoying the peaceful presence of Christ?  Really???  I said a little prayer out loud, "Jesus.  Help.  Be here now.  Help me to hang on to all I wrote this morning.  Make it true in my life."

I arrived late for my appointment, sat in the chair and chatted with my stylist while she worked her magic and later, while I sat under the dryer with a head full of foils, I pulled myself away from the latest issue of People magazine to pick up my phone, pull up my post, and read it again.  Another prayer... "Jesus, help me get this back.  Help me stay in this."

Jesus warned us in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy but I have come to bring you life in all its fullness."  I think it's safe to say that any movement towards life, towards freedom and rest, is opposed.  We live in a fallen world, a world of clashing kingdoms.  There is light and there is darkness.  There is heaven and there is hell.  If we want to truly and freely live, if we want life in all its fullness as Christ intended, then we have to live like we have an enemy and we have to fight for the life we prize.  Though Jesus certainly comes and fights for us, we too have to take a stand and use the authority he's given us through his work on the cross.  Freedom doesn't come easy.  It isn't just handed to us.  James 4:7 says, "Humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  The enemy will flee but we must resist and that can sometimes feel immensely difficult.  It's worth every ounce of effort though.  It's very much worth it.

Looking back, I honestly felt opposition most of my day.  There were moments I fought well and hung on to what I had written, to what was true, and there were moments I failed miserably.  So much so, that at the end of the day, I even contemplated deleting the post because it felt terribly inauthentic and authenticity is hugely important to me.  But through the kind and encouraging words of my husband, I realized that though my day had not gone as I had hoped, nor had it looked a whole lot like my post, I had fought for it.  I didn't throw in the towel.  I had stayed with it and in it and had fought hard.  I had lived well.

As I grow older, I'm discovering there's a real strength and scrappiness to my heart.  Maybe it was there all along but laid deep, buried in wounds and the healing and growth I've come to know has brought it the surface.  Either way, it serves me well and is helping me to continue to be and become all God intends me to be.


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