Saturday, February 4, 2012

For the Display of His Splendor

One of my biggest blessings since saying "Hey, my life isn't perfect," here on the blog has been the amazing fellowship that I've had with other women.  Real fellowship.  Not just "Hey, how are you?"  We're good. How are you? We're good." I have been blessed a hundred times over by other women who have come to me via phone, email or in person and said, "my life isn't perfect, either, let's talk sometime." It's been such a great conversation starter. This is real fellowship and it is so good and has been a tremendous blessing to me!

1 John 1:8 says "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." Because really, if I claim that I have not sinned then I make him out to be a liar.  (1 John 1:10). At the heart of it, the reason for not admitting that life is full of struggles is my own pride.  Not wanting others to think less of me.  I want to keep up the image that I have it all together.  Yet, 1 John 2:16-17 says "For everything in the world . . . the boasting of what he has and does . . . comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."

When I admit to my (and our family's) struggles I am admitting that I have a need. The need for a Savior.  Jesus actually guaranteed that this life would be full of struggles - for those who believe in Him and those who don't. The apostle John recorded Jesus saying "In this world you will have trouble."  (John 16:33)  Really, is this a surprise to anyone? Every person I really know as a friend admits to having struggles.  To keep them hidden away, to only boast of those things that I have and do which I think of as praiseworthy or admirable, is to deny God the Glory that is His due.

I want to say things have been hard because Jesus said they would be. But, the beauty is that the struggles can drive us to eternal perspective. When things are hard here on Earth, it compels me to depend on Jesus Christ. I can "take heart" ... He has overcome the world (including my own and others sin, selfishness and pain.). When things are hard here on Earth, it drives me to desire the perfection of eternal life, and causes me to find my satisfaction in Jesus and Him alone.

And, it makes me want to shout from the rooftops (or apparently, shout through my blog) that Jesus provides redemption, restoration, and beauty in the midst of my struggles. He promises "to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." (Isaiah 61:3).  It is just so overwhelming to see Him fulfill that promise - in the biggest or smallest details in this life.  Uh-mazingly. Awesomely. Good.


...michelle said...

Well said. Shout it out, Joc!

Dana Gay said...