Thursday, July 2, 2009

Words from Wednesday (Devotional)

(oops-kinda late. We've been hit with a wonderful flu bug, so . . . bed is looking more exciting for the family that ANY type of activity!)

A few months ago I found the book, The Life You Always Wanted by John Ortberg (2002), sitting on a shelf at my sister’s house. I took it home with me with good intentions of reading it right away. That never happened. So many other things—pressing things of the day—got in the way. Free time was non-existent. Free time . . . what is that anyway?

But I finally did pick it up again now that I’m officially on summer vacation. Guess how far I got? The first few pages. And then I had to think a little. Well, I had to think a lot.

You see, Mr. Ortberg seemed to be eloquently writing the very thoughts I was thinking as I opened its pages. He started talking about the disappointments he has in himself and his life and his world. Although I don’t echo all of his disappointments, I have a grand list of my own. On page 13 (which is only 3 pages into the book, or rather, the end of his very first introductory section) he asks where all this disappointment come from. They could be equated to self-esteem and self-worth. But he pinpoints it to this one phrase: “The older and wiser answer is that the feeling of disappointment is not the problem, but a reflection of a deeper problem—my failure to be the person God had in mind when he created me . . . to be at home with the Father.”

I have this little problem at times. Sometimes I can agonize over things. Sometimes these things are pretty small. Sometimes they are big. I find myself constantly asking “What is the right thing to do in this situation?” because I am well aware of my own ability to mess things up, to treat others badly, to act selfishly, to bring glory to myself, to sin repeatedly. I am well aware of my ability to deface Christ because I call myself a Christian. I hear those words of that song, How Deep the Father’s Love For Us, go through my mind, “Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders, ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers.” Yep, in my thoughts, my words, and my actions, I am doing the very things I never wished to do. I feel like Peter right before the rooster made his three calls. I feel like Paul, agitated to be doing the things he doesn’t want to do and not doing the things he desires to do. I’m not doing the right thing in the situation at hand. And that is when I suddenly realize that, yet again, I am not being who God intended for me to be.

As I struggle through my lack of communion with my Creator, I am also reminded of the words from the song, You are My King/Amazing Love, that say, “I’m forgiven, because you were forsaken. I’m accepted, you were condemned. I’m alive and well, your Spirit lives within me because you died and rose again.”

Oh, I am thankful for God’s love and salvation. I am thankful for His forgiveness and grace. And I am thankful that, even though I am not the person God had in mind when he created me, He promises to bring me home to Him where I won’t mess it all up, but I’ll worship Him in word and deed. Where I won’t treat others in a way that disrespects them, but praise God for his diversity and splendor in creation. Where I won’t do things out of envy and selfish gain, but place Him and others above my own wants and desires. Where I won’t seek glory for myself but bring glory to His name alone.
Until Christ brings me home, I am going to make some choices each day—each minute and second—about who I am and who God made me to be. And I will mess up, I will have to face my many disappointments, I will have to admit that the things I have done do not reflect the Christian name I give myself, but I am going to make living as God’s intended creation my goal and keep asking, “What is the right thing to do in this situation?” in order to try to be who I was created to be.

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