Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ongoing Floods

I just want to reiterate how invasive and insidious this flood of guilt is for me. However, I’m grateful for Truth, where ever I find it, that helps me avoid this flood of guilt. And I’m grateful for friends who share their joys, and the blessings that help them overcome their challenges.

Yesterday I had a wonderful time sharing The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketcham with two dear friends from church. We had a lovely discussion, but we also spent time sharing our experiences here in Shanghai, China. I love how, during this time just sharing with no burdensome agenda and no kids around, we can lift each other’s burdens without even trying to.

And yet, even in this safe environment, I almost got caught in a Flood of guilt again. We were discussing our preparations for the coming COLD here in Shanghai, and I found myself feeling guilty that I wasn’t working harder to prepare in the same way that my friends were. In the past this would have put cracks in my foundation. This time I caught myself, and it only scuffed my cement walls a bit (there is no dry wall in our home here in China, only cold loving cement).

I think that some of the guilt so many of us feel is an expectation from society that we should, indeed we must, avoid anything remotely not up to a certain standard, be it a standard of safety, of looks, or otherwise. My dear friend shared this song in a comment to another post below, and I wanted to share it here. As I’ve said in a previous post, our goal isn’t any earthly standard. The goal is to follow and be close to our Savior. This song beautifully reiterates that goal.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rain, Floods, and a Deliverance

It was raining this morning, raining a deluge of burdens upon my mind and heart and threatening a flood to wash away my proverbial home from its foundation. Large or small, the size of flood is irrelevant. The reality of emotional burdens is real and paralyzing in any size. Some of these I have referred to in other posts both recent and not. Today the burden focused largely on what our family lacked materially. In the past I have resisted praying for humility or a freedom from desiring treasures on Earth rather than treasures in Heaven or gratitude. Did I then over look the real source of my troubles?

In Sunday School we discussed 1st and 2nd Peter, and in this verse God spoke to me. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).

Also in my heart, sits this thought from Ketcham's biography of Lincoln. "It can hardly be doubted that his mother's instruction was of more worth than all these put together. A woman who, under such limitations, had energy enough to teach her husband to read and write, was a rare character, and her influence could not be other than invaluable to the bright boy."

And once again, deliverance from a debilitating burden that poured down upon my head and threatened flooding.

Yeah for humility! Yeah for overcoming the lure of earthly riches! . . . Or was I just being ungrateful that such a burden weighed down so heavily upon me?

Maybe. But the message I heard in 1 Peter 1:7 wasn’t that I shouldn’t seek for earthly treasures. And the lesson I learned from Abraham Lincoln’s mother wasn’t that I should be humble in my trials. The message I heard, and once again and the message that gave me insight in order to truly understand and find liberating peace was that I didn’t have to seek earthly treasures. Furthermore, I didn’t need to feel guilty about it.

Life is hard in many ways for us right now, and the only riches I really need to be seeking are the ones from God. For that, I am truly grateful.

God bless each of you in your quests to overcome the Natural Man, and as you do,

may He

deliver you 

with Truth.