Sunday, February 6, 2011

Acceptance and the Truths of Hope and Sacrifice.

Life is busy these days.  School and work are going at full force, but busy is good for me.  Busy helps keep my focus on the present.  The Lord has been teaching me some huge lessons this past month.  I knew it was time to share, as these have affected my journey in widowhood.  I read a poem a couple of weeks ago by Amy Carmichael and must write it here in order for you to fully understand where this change started.

He said, "I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places—
They shall be filled again;
O voices mourning deep within me, cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace.

He said, "I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir my spirit to flame;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood, cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace.

He said, "I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life's riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, "I will submit; I am defeated;
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings; why will ye not cease?"
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace.

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God to-morrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in acceptance lieth peace.

I have often said, "I know taking Troy home was God's perfect will."  Knowing and believing are good things, but they in themselves are not enough.  I was brought to the realization that acceptance is the next step.  This has not been an easy lesson to learn, but with grace, God's teaching me.  I must accept His perfect will, and there lies the peace I so desperately need.  I must continually go back to this truth because it is something I can easily forget.  As a wise man has often said, "Unbelief is believing a lie about God.  Belief is believing the truth about God."  How often I have found myself these past months wandering off the straight and narrow path of truth to the slippery path of unbelief.  It is very easy for me to get started down this slippery slope of lies, and once off, its so easy to keep slipping down.  The slip starts with thoughts that sound something like this...
I need something (not God) to make these tears subside. LIE # 1
I know God can, but I don't think He will change my life.  I will be forever stuck in this grief.  LIE # 2
I'm never going to be happy again.  LIE # 3
God is not working in my life.  LIE # 4
It is so so easy for me to start thinking these lies, and before I know it I've slipped into despair.  Thankfully my Heavenly Father has helped me numerous times out of this pit and back into His loving arms and the truth of His words.

This past month the Lord has so graciously continued to work in my heart.  I not only believe Troy's homegoing was God's perfect will, but accept it as His perfect will.  It is a constant battle of keeping my mind focused on the truth.  I know in this world there is a cost in discipleship. There is sacrifice in this life.  Sacrifice of things I want.  Sacrifice of time. Sacrifice of things I love.  This is not the full picture though.  The sacrifices are what Jesus calls us to do.  Those are the treasures we are laying up in heaven.  When we take our last breath and the coffin lid is closed, there is nothing of this material world we are taking with us.  However; if we have lived as we are called to do in the Bible our treasures are waiting for us.  This is the truth I must focus on, but there is a far better truth that I must constantly return to.  The Cross.  It is here that I see the ultimate sacrifice.  The ultimate gift of love.  It is here where my hope lies.  As I close this blog, I pray that each person who reads this will meditate on this truth when things are difficult or life seems overwhelming.  I (a wretched, selfish, prideful sinner) was loved by a Holy, Perfect God.  It was on the cross He took my punishment in order that I may stand redeemed in His presence one day.  This is the ultimate hope.  I will one day spend eternity with my Savior.  I truly can only imagine what that day will be like when surrounded by His glory. Will I stand in His presence, or to my knees will I fall?  Troy is experiencing this great joy.  He has finished his course and is enjoying the glories of heaven.  I must press on in this journey always keeping the prominence of truth and the glory of the gospel in my mind.  Father, not my will, but Thine!

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