Wednesday, May 27, 2009


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." This has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture, but in all honesty it has also been one of the most difficult for me to follow. It has been my M.O. to try to maintain control of my life and all situations. Fortunately that has worked well most of my life (at least for me - those around me may not feel the same), but I feel like I have missed some direction from God and some blessings because of this. Then with my surgery, I completely lost control of my life and I was forced to re-examine my way of doing things.
The other day I was driving back from the lakehouse with my mother who is now very confused. She was not sure where she was or what was going to happen to her and after answering many questions, I finally said that she just needs to trust me. Her response was "What else can I do?" It really got me to thinking that that was what God is trying to say to us. He just wants us to trust Him. There are times when we do not know where He is leading and events in our life just do not make sense. At that point we just need to trust Him. But for me the bigger problem is that I don't realize that I am confused. I go through life trying to control it and thinking that I know where I am going, while in reality I am lost. The first step in trusting is to realize you are confused. We often call this humility. We all need a good dose of it.
When I asked my mother if she thought she could trust me, she responded that she knew me and that I was trustworthy. In the same way we can trust God because we know His character. We know that He is good and that He is powerful, and therefore He can take care of us and do what He says He will do. And that is the gist of it. We have to admit that we do not know it all and turn to One who does. Of course trust is earned and it starts out small and grows as the One we trust shows His trustworthiness. I have a lot to learn in this area. But if God can speak through a donkey, surely He can speak through a confused old lady. We just need to be listening.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jars Of Clay

Since my bypass surgery I have been trying to determine what God wants to teach me through this. The thing that keeps popping up is the passage in II Cor. 4:4-12 where Paul talks about holding a treasure in jars of clay. Let me see if I can communicate what God has been teaching me through this.
The first thing that he mentions is this treasure that we as believers have but nonbelievers do not have as they are blinded. This treasure is His light shining in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. In other words, because we have Christ in us and we have seen Him through the Gospel writers, we can truly see and understand a glimpse of the glory of God. In fact we have that glory shinning through our hearts to others. A city set on a hill cannot be hid and we want our light to so shine forth. In Heb. 1:3 we also see that Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being. That is the treasure we have and it is a beautiful thing.
But here is the hooker. We do not have this treasure in a golden vase. Rather we have it in jars of clay. That seems so preposterous, but so it always is with God. Why would this be? In verse 7 he says that it is to show that this incredible power (God's glory) is from God and not from us. He does not want us or others to be distracted by the vessel. It is simply that - a vessel.
What are the characteristics of jars of clay? First of all they are common, used by common people and not for great show. Secondly, they are frail and easily broken. Thirdly, they are cheap and can be easily discarded. But they are useful for the task of holding things and then pouring it out when needed.
So what is it that God is trying to teach me/us through this? The first thing is that our bodies are like clay. They are very fragile and break down. I used to think my body was like a steel canister and was very proud of how healthy I was and what great shape I was in. Well that has all been thrown out the window. Secondly, we really have nothing to boast about - we are just humble, common everyday vessels. Thirdly, we cannot allow our broken bodies to affect the inner man and our ability to hold the treasure. In fact God is more glorified when we offer our broken bodies to Him for service than when we try to do thing in our own power and energy. And lastly, the treasure was not meant to be hidden or stored but to be shared, poured out, shinning forth and bubbling over. So when I see my broken down body, I am not to mourn or get depressed. That is exactly where God wants me. He needed to humble me. I have always said that we can either humble our selves or God will humble us. He did me in a big way and hopefully when I look back I can be truly thankful.