Monthly Archives: February 2017

Receiving

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
Acts 4:32

Allowing yourself to be cared for by your fellow believer is one of the most courageous and Biblical things you can possibly do. This culture will not teach us this. And if we know anything, it is that culture influences even Christ’s body to conform to it.

There was a period of time where I had just moved to a new state and was without a car. This did not last very long, but for the length of time that it did, it was a struggle. My fiance is honestly the most selfless person I know and toted me around to work and the like, but with a life and job of his own, this was a burden for me to ask of him. So when I could, I would ask other people for rides if it was convenient and on the way. On the way home one day with my college pastor, I was telling her how difficult it was for me to have her drive me down the street, even though her house was literally a street down from hers.
Pride, disguised as humility.
She proceeded to tell me of an experience she had in Europe. Most people do not have their own cars and rely on getting rides from others to get around. And though not many of us would be comfortable adopting this as a permanent lifestyle, it speaks volumes about who we are as a culture. We are taught to be self sustaining, to not bother others, to be one step ahead of the game. But the lessons I learned about accepting help were profound during that time, as well as the amount of times I was told that it was a BLESSING to others to care for my need and help me in that way. The early church thrived because they shared all they had with each other.

I spend a whole lot of time taking my needs before the Lord and when he uses His people to fulfill them, pushing back on the help. I spend a whole lot of time asking Him to allow me to see His provision and fighting it when it’s right in front of me, simply because it is unexpected, uncomfortable, and maybe not in the way I desire it.

Pride says to hide. Pride says we can do this alone. Pride says His goodness is too good to possibly be real. Pride says there’s a loophole somewhere, or hidden strings attached. Pride says we aren’t good enough to receive, and likes to disguise itself as humility.
But pride is wrong. Pride is fully flesh, it’s the most bitter of seeds in all humans. Acknowledge it. Call it out by its name. Allow yourself to be loved, to be cared for, to receive.

Recognize what laying down your pride looks like for you. Uncover what it is disguising itself as. There’s a whole world on the other side of it. Open yourself up to community and embracement. The enemy hates it. It’s a slap in his face. Yet it is God’s best for us to simply receive. He’s all about gifting His children, if only we would lay down our nothings for His overflowing, our not enough’s for His more than enough’s.

I am learning how to receive. And learning is the most painful process. But what a gift to have to accept that doing this life alone is not an option for the believer. What a beautiful way to live, for the other.

When The Only Thing To Do Is Trust Him

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.”
Isaiah 55:8

Sometimes when the Lord is teaching us, He takes us through the season we’re in and shows us His clear purpose in it all. He shows us, it seems, exactly the lesson, exactly the steps that need to be taken, and in the end we see the exact flow to it and reasoning behind it all.
But most times, we are to walk blindly in the dark with nothing but His presence beside us.
No matter whether it is clear as day or pitch black, His intentions are always the same: good. For our good. For our best. For His glory.

Truth is, He is so high above us that we cannot fathom what He is up to. Even when things seem clear and like we understand His plan, there is still so much going on behind the scenes. He has so many ways and thoughts that we will never be able to understand. He is God, we are not. The only thing left to do is trust Him, and in that is all the peace, all the purpose, all the knowledge we need.

Surrendering control is where the light shines through and the peace takes over.

Debts & Gifts

I have never been put in situations where accumulating mass amounts of debt was necessary, thank God. I have been blessed and taken care of more than I can say. But the few times I have been in debt, one time in particular recently, it was horrible.

I want to discuss the contrast of owing debt, to debt being covered, to receiving a gift.

The Word states that the borrower is a slave to the lender(Proverbs 22:7) & that we are to owe no one anything, except to love each other(Romans 13:8). These things are warned for good reason. Being indebted to another is one of the worst feelings, especially when we know there is no way we will be able to pay it off without help. The worst kind of debt in my opinion is debt owed to a friend. Even though this may be the most lenient kind, since if they are really your friend they will be understanding, the burden that comes with it is the worst emotionally. For physical things like a car payment or school loans, obviously, there is much to lose. The car can get taken away. Our credit can be ruined. But when you owe a friend, a terrible guilt comes along with it. In this recent situation, one of my closest friends loaned me money. It wasn’t much, but enough to be too much to pay back easily at that point in my life, which was paycheck to paycheck. There was nothing left over. Every penny counted. I bit off more than I could chew. I spent more than I had, and all the excuses in the world are not even worth trying. It was a mistake that seemed necessary at the moment, but the guilt and hiding it caused in the relationship was not worth it. Because I owed her this money that I knew I could not afford to pay back at the moment, I hid. I did not speak to her because of how bad I felt about the situation. My friend lent me money she really could not spare and needed back. Paying her back was something that needed to be done. It was the first thing that came to mind when I thought of her. Even to the point where I was unable to bring myself to invite her to my wedding because I felt so bad. When I causally mentioned this to my mother, she immediately told me she would cover it. That I should have asked. For her, the money was no big deal. The friendship and not being indebted was most important. Because I knew I would never be able to repay this in the near future, and my mom knew this, she covered it without a second thought. She payed a debt I owed that I could not repay. She took off a burden and weight that kept me from being able to have a healthy friendship with one of the most important people in my life. When the debt was finally paid, the second I sent that money, I called her and updated her on all things wedding and life. I told her what mindset I had when I owed her that money, and of course she told me I was ridiculous. She told me she was worried since I hadn’t kept up with her and missed me. But that the money did matter, and having it paid off made it so that the relationship was no longer strained, if simply in my mind or in real life. And things could move forward.

Owing, needing someone to pay a debt we owe that we cannot possibly pay, is the basis of our entire need for salvation. And the debt has to be paid. Obviously, if my friend were able she’d love to say “have it, it’s my gift to you.” Of course, God would love to say “it’s my gift to you, have it” but neither could. And just as the wedge in my friendship hurt our hearts, it literally broke God’s heart that sin had severed our relationship with Him. It broke it so much that He made it top priority to make a way, and He did. Without my mom paying that money back, the relationship would’ve always continued this way until it was paid off. And when it was paid off, after my wedding and who knows what other big events in my life, the friendship would have been so strained that who knows if it could ever be resurrected.

There is nothing better than a free gift. There is nothing that brings more relief than when the Lord offers to cover us for no price and not even a harsh scolding, but simply out of His love for us. What sin has severed, grace has mended.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23