Monday, April 26, 2010

Shining is Always Costly

Good morning all! It has been over a week since I wrote my last post. Usually when I write something about things God is teaching me I am well into the process of learning it! Well God surprised me this time (I don’t know why I should be surprised though… He’s God!), and the lesson from my last post was brought up over and over in the last week in many different forms. When I least expected it God would reveal another aspect of what it meant to trust him fully.

For example, we were at the Salter’s house for dinner, and there was a devotional book sitting on the table. Will opened it to the days date, and read it, knew it was not meant for him, and quickly handed it to me. There it was, clear as day, God pointed out the lie that I believe that makes me not trust completely. I make planning an Idol. When there are idols in our lives, we are unable to fully obey the first commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”. When my mind is busy planning all future possibilities, I am unable to hear the Lord’s voice.

The Spirit has confronted me over and over through the psalms about my worrying over what the future holds. I realized that if I go to the Lord in Prayer about a circumstance and walk away still anxious, I have not really exercised trust. If I have trusted I will have laid it at his feet and be able to walk away in peace that the Lord is in control, and no matter how it turns out, it is to His glory.

Will and I stopped by this giant Christian bookstore on Monday. I am not usually one to decorate with outright Christian artwork. But we were walking through the home d├ęcor area anyway. As I turned a corner I came face to face with an oil painting that took my breath away. It was Jesus in the desert, sitting down with his head on his knees. The sky above him had a sunset in the far background, but a dark cloud over Him. The scripture reference was to Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have shared feelings with our weaknesses and infirmities and liabilities to the assaults of temptation, but One who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” I was in tears as I stood before this painting. My savior knows my pain. He has been in darkness, in isolation, and felt loneliness on this earth, and it was for His good , and part of the defeat of evil. He spent His time in prayer, seeking intimacy with His Father, should I not do the same?

Also this week I got the results from a Uterine Biopsy. All was clear, so I am very thankful for that. On the flip side, my headache seems to be getting worst again. There is not a point in the day when I do not have a headache. What was once subsiding slowly is coming back with vengeance. To be honest I am not sure how to proceed from here. I am praying fervently for some relief, and yet for God’s greatest glory. I have often thought that once I am healed I will be a great testimony for God’s grace and providential mercy in our lives. But I ran across this in my QT this morning…

“Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.
We are apt to feel that we are doing our greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service. When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; when we are consumed by pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.
But if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning.
Many want the glory without the cross, the shining without the burning, but crucifixion comes before coronation.”

I don’t know how this works. I don’t know how I am shining in my current state of constant headache. But I do know that it is not me who gives off the aroma of Christ, but it is Christ in me. And if I believe Galatians 2:20 as I do (I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me) then I expect no less than God’s glory to shine brightly through my sufferings.

Please pray for our little family… a few things to keep in mind…
1- Wisdom for interactions with Doctors and with medications
2- That the headaches would subside
3- That William would be given an extra amount of strength as he cares for me and Caleb
4- That we would all grow more intimate with our Savior through the process

Much Love- Teresa

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