This is primarily so I don’t forget…today at church, Reynold was preaching away and suddenly I got off on a rabbit trail. I followed it…
The sermon began with a description of the default of my heart – to live life as if it is a problem to be solved. I desire to know the “formula” so that everything lines up just right and I can be a winner at life. This causes my hope and fulfillment to be put in me and not in Him. It also makes me difficult to be around.
I began to think about Pinterest. Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with Pinterest. I like it. I find it scintillating. But what Pinterest exposes, in me, are the desires of my heart. I often find myself fighting the covetousness that rises up. I have to constantly remind myself that even if I could make all those things or have that body or finish decorating my house, it still wouldn’t be enough. It will never be enough.
But what I thought about today was different. I began to think about how I really do hope that everything in life will be perfect – ultimately that I will be perfect, producing that perfect situation. I, deep down, know that this is the deepest desire of my heart (a perfect life, externally) and my deepest need ( a perfect life, internally). So much of my life is spent seeking what I cannot gain now (inward perfection) so that it will produce what I will someday have (outward perfection).
Four questions to ask myself:
A) Do I really understand that I will have a perfect home [with a perfect family] in eternity?
(an imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance – 1 Peter 1.4)
B) Do I really understand that it is the righteousness and perfection of Christ that has won this for me?
(he has caused us to be born into a new and living hope through the resurrection of Christ Jesus – 1 Peter 1.3)
C) Do I really understand that this perfection in heaven is secure, no matter my temporal and earthly situation?
(who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time – 1 Peter 1.5)
D) Do I really understand that He will do the work in me on this earth?
(so that the tested genuineness of your faith…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ – 1 Peter 1.7)
I don’t want to seek the American dream – to live a good life so I can get a good life. I don’t want to be an elder brother, trying to please the Father so I can get His “things” on this earth. I want to just live.
I often have trouble in my heart with closed doors – primarily with guys. I just have a hard time recognizing that doors are closed and that God, in His sovereignty, has said no [to that guy]. I began to ask myself why I have such problems with fully letting go of these romantic interests. I think so much of it is fear that I won’t get what I want, which is a husband. I have this fear that if it doesn’t work out with [insert guy], it will never work out. He (whoever he is at the moment) seems like my last chance for that. So I cling.
I know that many times my friends (you, lovely friends) will say encouraging things like “oh, of course there are other men” or “stop being so dramatic, of course you won’t be single forever”. I know because you have said those things. But this morning at church as I was kneeling to take communion, my mind and heart went to Helen Roseveare. If you went to CIU and took ICS, you know her story. I began to think of her kneeling there and how she sacrificed everything for the cause of Christ – because He was so dear to her. And she was willing to do it because she, like many others, knew that there was an eternal weight of glory that far outweighed her sufferings.
As I looked up (while kneeling there) and saw the cross, I was reminded of Hebrews 13.13 – “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured.” What if I, like Helen Roseveare, am called to suffer in this life – to go to North Korea as a single woman rather than work hard for a Pinterest-worthy life with a husband in America? What if I have been clinging to these men and clinging to my “goodness” because I don’t really understand the reality of the eternal, living hope that awaits?
Christ is the Risen King. He is good. He is trustworthy. And He has bought me from slavery to my idols so I can serve Him freely and gladly. I don’t have to fear the future. I don’t have to cling to hope that someday it’ll work out with this man or that man. I don’t have to make myself better or try to squeeze out goodness and obedience from a wicked flesh. I don’t have to aim to impress others or please myself. I can face suffering, whether that is giving my life away in another country or never knowing the joys and heartache of marriage, with rejoicing, knowing that one day I’ll see the eternal weight of glory and stand before Him gloriously complete.
Oh praise Jesus that He calls me to a bigger life than the one I am content to live. Praise God that the resurrection of Christ gives me real hope. Praise the Spirit for His continuing and ever-faithful work in my life.
May I be counted worthy to suffer for His sake [Acts 5.41].