Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pop Quiz

God is so good! We returned last night from a short visit with my family. My sister, whose husband is stationed overseas, was back in the States with her daughter for a visit. I enjoyed the time with my family. I enjoyed the climate. I enjoyed the scenery I grew up with. I enjoyed the fireflies. I enjoyed eating at restaurants we don't have where we now live. And I enjoyed the test.

Yes, there was a test. Not the written variety. Not an oral test. But a test from God Himself. He gave me a few opportunities to fall back into the approval pit, and I didn't! It's all God's doing. Sometimes I had just recognized the temptation to worry about something when I felt God's Spirit remind me that I had been delivered from such things, and that I didn't have to think that way anymore! And He gave me the strength to choose to think differently.

I count this test as a blessing. It was totally for my benefit. God already knew my heart. But He wanted me to know my heart. To know that when confronted with the people whose approval has been important to me the longest, that I could confidently walk in Christ and not worry about what I think they might be thinking. Not that there were any major problems or conflicts, but having that many people in one house can lead to minor issues. In my pit days years even these normal, minor things would have set me to fretting and feeling bad. But this time I was able to walk in freedom from worry or condemnation (even self-condemnation!).

God even gave an extra credit test! During our visit
Paul learned of a family situation that required our help. In the past, this would have bothered me. I would have whined (in my heart if not out loud). I would have been resentful. (My reasoning would have gone something like this: "Why is this our responsibility? Why is he willing to go to this trouble or expense for someone else when he doesn't spend time doing X (whatever it is I've been wanting him to do) or spend the money on Y (some extra thing I happen to want at the moment)? It's not fair!" But this time I was able to discuss the situation without being defensive (I think). I was able to support him in his decision.

None of this is to brag on me. It's all to brag on God! He is so faithful! He rescued me out of the pit, and keeps me from slipping back in! And He graciously shows me the extent of His grace and deliverance! He gives new assurances of His love and faithfulness every day! All I have to do is look!

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. ~Jude 24-25


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