I was looking at my arms this morning. They carry the scars of the times I tried to "do it myself". I thought about posting a picture, but I remember the gridlock of my battle with the addiction of self-injury, and I do not want to cause anyone to struggle.
Every time I look at them, though, I remember the failed attempts to control, manipulate, and survive this gift of life. Everyone carries scars from the times in their lives that they tried to handle things their own way instead of His way. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it a "privilege" to carry my scars on my physical body, but it sure is easy to notice. Although, it wouldn't take much soul-searching to find the "hidden" scars as well.
This morning, I woke up to an amazing string of text messages from a friend of mine. They spoke life, authority, support, and encouragements into my circumstances. The thing is, I know that those words didn't just come from her. I know she would agree that they came from the heart of my Father God. One of her last statements was, "you are surely on the heart of God today!"
My husband was getting ready to go out of town for the weekend to help lead worship for our church's youth group retreat. Meanwhile, he's telling me about our son, Alex, who woke up at 5:30 this morning with a very high fever. At the same time, we're getting Isaac off to school and trying to arrange rides for my daughter, Annabelle, to go with her best friend to swimming lessons. It was a whirlwind from just before 8am until just before 10am. But as the dust settles, and I'm alone in the house with my sleeping son, I am brought to my knees by the simple statement, "you are surely on the heart of God today!"
What? Who am I? I'm one of billions... just trying to live out my life with a heart postured toward Christ. But He reached out to me through this dear friend, knowing that I needed to hear from Him now more than ever. And it's not just her... God speaks to me through so many people all of the time. I just have to be attuned to the tone of His voice.
Oh God, I don't want to do this by myself. I'm responding to your invitation to stand strong in the waterfall of your Grace. Take the lead. I surrender to your magnificence. You have the power to make the sick well, to raise the dead, to forgive sins, and to move the hearts of kings, nations, and mountains. I am nothing without you. I don't want any more scars. I want to do it your way - completely. Lead on, Holy Spirit. I will follow you.
"Remember how you were when you didn't know God, led from one phony god to another, never knowing what you were doing, just doing it because everybody else did it? It's different in this life. God wants us to use our intelligence, to seek to understand as well as we can. For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say "Jesus be damned!" Nor would anyone be inclined to say "Jesus is Master!" without the insight of the Holy Spirit." - 1 Corinthians 12: 2-3 (The Message)
"Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them -- living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life... This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike 'What's next, Papa?' God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children." - Romans 8:5-7, 15-16 (The Message)
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out." - Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)