Tag Archive | worship

Time & Struggles & Unfeigned Faith

It’s been almost three years since I last posted in this blog. Even longer since I wrote something of substance, or did more than post a graphic. I wish I hadn’t let it be so long. I wish I had kept up with this blog – my way of journaling.

So a lot has changed since I posted in July 2015. I was working in a nursing home/rehab facility – and I’ve been working in a hospital since May of 2015, full-time since July 2015. I love nursing, and I’m learning a TON on the med-surg/ortho floor I’m on. So many different types of illness, injuries, and elective surgeries – and I get to help the people admitted here feel better. I get to teach them how to take care of themselves when they get home. I get to be a part of their lives for a small period of time – just a small moment in which I have to make a difference. A song here, a prayer there – it all matters, all adds up. I continue to try to be the Light for those who don’t know my Jesus.

I am hoping to go back to school soon, and get my RN. It’s now a requirement of my hospital, actually, so I HAVE to go back. It’s good, a time limit will keep me from making excuses. Even better, once I go back for my RN, I won’t stop (I hope) until I get what I really want – a Master’s of Science in Nursing with a Concentration in Pediatrics, and Nursing Education.

As for church – we’re in a new building now! We’ve been there a little over a year, now, and are slowly but surely renovating it. I will be SO excited once the Sunday School finally has a permanent place to meet! Bible Quizzing has also started back again, and we’ve had some real accomplishments and successes! I started it back up again as Head Coach, and now am in charge of Beginner Quizzers. That’s the 5-8 year olds – and it is a challenge, let me tell ya! But the level of challenge is directly correlated with the degree of excitement when they accomplish their goals. I love my kids, in Sunday School and Bible Quizzing, and am so excited for what God is doing! We are having revival – in just the last 4 months, I believe, THREE little girls have received the Holy Ghost, all under the age of 9, and two of them 6 yr olds in the last 2 1/2 weeks! Others are SO close – it’s only a matter of time! There’s been a mighty powerful move of God lately, here in the Northwest Indiana area.

How about me, personally? Well, I’ve had my ups and my downs. I’ve struggled. But, I’m still pressing on. Still keeping the faith. I’ve had reason, lately, to remember the poem, “Footprints.” And yet, though I fail Him often, He’s still there every time I utter His Name.

Today was a hard day for me. I have been dealing with sickness since Sunday, so four days now. Other things were weighing on my mind, too, and I was so upset, so discouraged/depressed – or so I thought. Because as soon as a phrase from a song was before my eyes – and it wasn’t the same song I know, just a line that was similar – I automatically started singing the hymn, and immediately I felt the presence of Jesus, His peace calming my spirit.

Sunday, we read a verse that has really stuck with me. You know how you can read a verse many, many times, and it never makes an impression until, one day, it does? That’s what happened here. It was in II Timothy 1:5: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” 

Unfeigned faith. I’m not there, not yet – but I desperately want to be. I want to be Eunice – the women whose mother was filled with unfeigned faith, and whose child was recognized by the Apostle Paul and having unfeigned faith, and who was full to the brim with unfeigned faith, herself. I don’t kid myself – there will be days I will struggle with the fleshly tendency to think and believe and feel the worst. There will be days when I have to really fight to get through the discouragement. But isn’t that what faith is? Pushing through, despite the immediate evidence, because you know there’s something better to come?

If so… then maybe I’m learning my unfeigned faith now. I will get to the point that my faith-muscle is strong enough to handle every struggle that comes my way – because I know that my Spotter is right beside me, lifting the bulk of the weight until it is something I can handle. That kind of correlates with what else we were taught in church on Sunday – the things we go through are designed to build our spiritual muscles. Just like when someone lifts weights, they don’t stay on the same 5 pound weight forever – they start small, and add more and more weight.

How does this compare to faith? You know the saying, “You can’t have a testimony without a test?” You can’t build muscle without a struggle; you can’t build faith without having a reason to have faith. Each time you work out, you have to change-up the routine, add more weights, or your body gets used to the workout and you don’t get stronger. In the same way, if you only ever face the same tests, pretty soon, your faith will get weaker, because it’s used to the current struggle. That opens you up to being vulnerable to the enemy.

Unfeigned faith. It’s going to be a workout, for sure, and there are days I’m going to be as “sore,” spiritually, as all get-out; but I don’t want to be the one depending on the strength of others. I must have my own strength, rooted in God’s strength, if I’m going to survive.

Unfeigned faith. What a goal!

 

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Chasing After Jesus

Some people think I’m crazy.

They are right.

I am crazy. Crazy for Jesus. You see, I love my Savior.  I can’t live without Him.  And the more I get to know Him, the more I want of Him.  Psalms 42:2 says, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”   Some other verses that talk about longing to have more of God, of His laws (which, remember, are like the guidelines a loving parent gives us to keep us on the right path; His laws are guidelines that keep us on the “righteous” path), of being thirsty for the wellspring of Living Water, of a deep desire to know Him more:

Psalm 43:4  Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.


 Psalm 63:1  A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.


Psalm 84:2  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.


Psalm 84:7  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.


Psalm 119:20  My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times.


Psalm 143:6  I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah


Isaiah 55:1   Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

I can’t help it; I want more of Jesus!  Every day, Lord, I will seek Your face; every day, my soul is crying out for more of You!  I yearn to know You more and more.  Kari Jobe sings a song that kind of epitomizes what I’m feeling:

The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming

This is why I chase after Jesus; I have to know Him more.  I can’t rest on my laurels, I can’t go about my day as if everything is under my control, I have to, have to, HAVE TO have a closer relationship with God!  I have to know Him more!  I canNOT live without more of Jesus!  Being satisfied with where I am spiritually is a death knell for my spiritual life.  If you aren’t growing, then you are growing stagnant, right?  I can’t BE stagnant!  I want to have “rivers of living water” (John 7:38)  flowing through me!

Chasing After Jesus

By Melissa Warren

I can’t be shallow any more
I won’t be content with the status quo
My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God
I yearn for more and more of You
I’m chasing after Jesus

No more satisfaction with the way things are
No more living day to day without a change, stagnancy
Rivers of Living Water flowing out of me now
You are my joy and my delight, my God
I’m chasing after Jesus

Every day holds something new
Hand in hand with Jesus
Learning about the breadth, length, depth, and height of God
The love of Christ surpasses all knowledge
I’m filled with the fullness of God
I’m chasing after Jesus

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19