So as I said in my last blog, there was another lesson that I didn't have the space for, so, as promised, here is the final instalment of my blogs titled 'The Challenge of Transparency'. The final thing I have learned whilst on this journey has been about God's power. I've been made more consciously aware of how little I appreciate how strong our God is. For me, I am always aware that He is all powerful in a broader context, but forget that relates to everyday life. I have it stored in my head knowledge, so although I 'know' it's true, I neglect to instantly reach for it whenever little things occur that I need help with. I'll do anything to control the situation so as I can figure my way out of it, unless it's so big that the thought it initially 'God, help me.' At one point, God literally told me to give up making lists so as I would rely on Him more, and not stress myself out so much (I love stationary, have a few Filofaxes and have so many different pads of paper I could open a shop, so this was quite difficult, just to give you an idea as to how much of a step this was for me!) Why is something that is so obvious, so intrinsic to our beliefs, so commonly not used in everyday life? The ones where we think, why couldn't that go right? That little detail just complicates everything! What am I going to do now? I'm still astounded at how often I can have days where I can tell temptation to go away in the name of Jesus, and yet the next cower and head for the hills like Elijah fleeing from Jezebel. The fact that Elijah did exactly what I did, and continue to do, is comforting (and the fact that particular passage leads up to quite possibly my all-time favourite in the Bible helps), but it's been wonderful throughout this time to learn more about the unchanging, amazing power that our God has. There were times when I practically cried from frustration and emotional numbness due to the crap that was running through my head, feeling like I was suffocating under it, and what had started due to a choice to participate had become a domineering compulsion that I couldn't fight; it filled my head at every spare moment, crowding out everything else. At times like that, I couldn't call out, or even whisper a prayer to God, but the fact that I was repeating how much I hated that situation, and I was trying to ask, was enough. I wouldn't always get a brilliant ray of sunshine, so to speak, sometimes it would simply be finding an activity that felt wonderful to complete or participate in, even just listening to silence, but those situations that were more salient than everything going on in my head were provided and I could carry on, thanking God and not get pulled in as deep. As I've said throughout writing about my experience, I'm far from over this mountain, and often think that this will be my equivalent of Paul's thorn; never going away, just being something I, with the help and grace of God, continually battle against as I have asked this to be taken from me many a time. However, I appreciate why God hasn't. I've learned so much; I trust Him more, have more faith in His power, love, acceptance, and forgiveness, feel more confident in talking to Him, and (mostly) look back on this smiling when I think of how far God has brought me. Obviously when I have a bad day my outlook is not as positive. Therefore, although my relationship with God has been impacted negatively, this experience has enabled me to praise Him more, and love Him more deeply. Could I ask you to pray for me, after you've been kind enough to read this? To keep me choosing Him, working on rebuilding this relationship, and relying on Him as my bedrock, instead of trying to rely on myself? I pray that whatever situation you're in right now, you can see God in there with you and are able to appreciate the lessons He may want to teach you, even when it's a lesson that's painful and leads you through horrible paths, even if you can't appreciate it just yet. Thank you, Father, Spirit and Son, amen.
I think our natural state constantly tries to rely on "us" rather than on God so you are not alone in needing prayer to help us focus as we rely on Him rather than ourselves .
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this .
I pray that whatever situation you're in right now, you can see God in there with you and are able to appreciate the lessons He may want to teach you, even when it's a lesson that's painful and leads you through horrible paths, even if you can't appreciate it just yet.