Created to Praise

Just me being me the way He made me

Growth March 29, 2008

I know it’s late and I should be sleeping right now, but I’ve got something on my mind.  I’ve been thinking about how so many people seem so steeped in biblical knowlege and how I sometimes feel so immature in my own faith compared to them.  Some of the theological things I read get so heavy that I have to stop reading before I develop a headache.  lol  I read about how people are frustrated that today’s worship songs aren’t “deep” enough or that today’s typical sermon isn’t theological enough to stimulate their minds…..while I’m saying that today’s christian music is speaking what my heart feels and I’m sitting on the front pew every Sunday soaking up every word of the sermon.

I’ve been in church my entire life.  I’ve been marinated in the Word and surrounded by God’s love since I was a baby.  My family is filled with mighty men & women of faith.  With such a firm foundation, one would think that I’d never feel this way.  But sometimes I really do.

I know we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to other people, but there are some attributes that I see in others that I REALLY want for myself.  Here are a few examples:

1.  My pastor’s wife, Annette, is one of the most humble people I’ve ever met.  I told her once that I admired her because I knew it couldn’t be easy being a pastor’s wife, but she handled everything with such grace.  She responded that she really doesn’t do anything.  What?!  I was recently at her house and she only sat down once the entire time I was there.  She anticipated the needs of every guest, enjoyed her children and smiled the whole time.  I have trouble remembering to offer my guests a seat!  lol 

2.  Our Executive Pastor, Bro. Curtis, really impresses me.  He too is very humble, but what I admire most is his fairness.  He is completely fair in all situations.  I have to force myself not to respond by emotion, but to stop and think before acting.  He thinks things through, looks at all sides of a situation and doesn’t make a decision until all information has been gathered and assessed.  Gee, I barely slow down long enough to realize that there is more than one possible outcome to an action.  lol

3.  Paul, writer of several books of the New Testament, really interests me.  He was an all or nothin’ kinda guy.  When he started a project, he didn’t stop until it was completed.  I can’t tell you how many half-finished projects are in my house right now.  And he understood, I mean REALLY understood so many issues that I struggle with.  But it seems that he conquered most of his shortcomings while I still daily struggle with mine.

4.  My husband, Rodney, is what some of us would call a “new” christian.  He was saved almost 2 years ago.  Now every time he reads something new in the Bible or learns something new at church, it’s like an “AHA!” moment for him.  He immediately applies the new knowlege to his life, without question.  His faith is astounding to me.  I’ve been a Christian half my life and I still struggle with lots of things.  For him, it’s immediate surrender.  For instance, over a year ago Bro. Keith preached about tithing.  After the service, Rodney and I were in the parking lot and I asked if he wanted to talk about it.  He said, “What’s there to talk about?  God’s Word says to do it so that’s what we’re going to do.”  WOW!  Who does that?!?!?!

There are so many more, but I’ll stop there.  That’s enough to give you the general idea of what I’m talking about.

So I look at all these people and I say, “How does it come so easy for them when I have to work SO HARD at it?”  As a christian, shouldn’t these things come very naturally for me?  Well, on the one hand the answer is an obvious “no.”  Of course they’re not going to come naturally to me, because my personality is very different from these people’s.  I’m a sanguine and I fit that personality profile perfectly.  I also have different gifts and talents than they do.

But on the other hand, the answer should be “yes” right?  After all, the same Spirit that lives in them, lives in me as well.  The same Spirit is molding and shaping me into the image of Christ just as it is them.  So why do they seem so far ahead of the game than me?  Is it because they’ve been doing it longer?  Not necessarily.  I don’t know her history, but Annette and I are about the same age.  Is it because they’ve had better teaching?  Possibly, but we’re all under the same teaching now and have been for a few years. 

So what’s the difference?  I just don’t know.  I spend time in the Word daily.  I spend time alone with the Lord daily.  His praise is always on my lips and His Word really is living in my heart.  So I just don’t know what the difference is.

But here’s what I do know:

1.  I am totally sold-out to the Lord.  Everything that I ever was, everything I am and everything I ever hope to be is completely His.  My thoughts, my desires, my dreams, my joys, my heartaches, my everything.  It’s all His.  I love Him.  I don’t know any other way to say it.  I just plain love Him.

2.  I am very aware of His working in my life.  I know where I was compared to where I am and it’s obvious that I’ve grown.  My Nanny paid me a huge compliment yesterday when she said to me, “You are definitely growing in the grace of the Lord.”  So the rate of growth may be slow compared to some others, but I do recognize that there is growth.

3.  My greatest desire is to know Him more, to love Him more, to serve Him more.  Wherever He wants me and whatever He wants me to do, I’ll go and I’ll do.  It’s not always easy (in fact, it rarely is), but that’s not important to me.  What’s important is giving it all to Him.  And He promised that the Holy Spirit would equip me with everything I need to do His work.  I trust that. 

4.  I know that in His eyes, I am beautiful.  Not because I’m anything special compared to others and not because of anything I’ve done.  I’m beautiful to Him because I’m His.  I’m His daughter.  I’m the apple of His eye….His pride & joy.  He has thoughts of me.  That’s amazing!

You know, I’m really not comparing myself to others.  I just wonder why on some issues, others seem to have it all together while I struggle with it.  But I guess with other issues, maybe I’ve got it together where some people struggle.  I don’t know.  I just know that I love Him and He loves me.  And I’m getting there….slowly but surely.  I’m getting there.

And maybe it’s okay if I get a headache while reading the deep theological debates.  I don’t have to be a scholar to recognize the love He has for me.  And that’s what’s most important to me…His love…His presence. 

And maybe it’s okay if I don’t seek any deeper meaning in worship songs beyond, “I love you, Lord.”  Because that’s really what my heart is saying.  “I love You, Lord.  I love everything about You.  And I just want to know You more so that I can love You more.  I love You.” 

I’m not saying that I don’t want to keep growing.  I think it’s pretty obvious that I think continued growth in knowlege & faith is very important.  But maybe right now, at this time in my life, He just wants me to stay focused on His love for me and my love for Him.  After all the pain of the last year, maybe this time of “just loving” is the healing balm my heart has needed. 

Alright, I’m done rambling.  What are your thoughts?

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