31 October 2008

"...what is the breadth and length and height and depth..."

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Sometimes I still get surprised by how broad and deep the brokenness of the world runs. So many things external to myself that I see and am involved in to varying degrees. Sometimes blindsided by Satan's ongoing work to sow dischord and division where we might least be attentive to it. All the systems and interconnected struggles just for the smallest changes and steps from darkness into light, the bearing of fruit in any given life. I'm being vague, and though I'm specifically thinking of other things, I suppose I could be talking about my own life, too.

I know I need to not make myself a savior in any of these situations. I also know that we are workers called into a plentiful harvest field, no matter where we are. Something about persisting through the long defeat, in the holy shadow of an almighty God's already assured victory. Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3 goes on with an apt benediction pointing us to this true God--his faithful hand and his powerful work and his eternal glory.


I recently got an update from my friend who helps advise the campus ministry at our alma mater. I am heartened once again to read about the work that God is doing in a new generations of believers there. I reflect on His faithfulness before, during, and since my time there. I'm encouraged to hear about the alumni who have been returning for visits to share their experience, heart, and vision of God's kingdom work with the body of Christ in this small college town in Vermont. I really appreciate the hopeful reminders that God sends in the midst of other setbacks or frustrations.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

30 October 2008

Finding Center

There are some specific lies of Satan that I tend give a lot of power to, ways that I have always been prone to losing my center and my identity in Christ, the seeds of which were planted long before I came to faith. Issues with self-image and pride and where I look to find validation of my worth. This year most of those issues have been pretty near the surface with everything going on, and I've gotten to see just how deeply they run.

As some of the difficult situations have started to find some sort of resolution and even redemption these last couple weeks, I'm realizing that I've had so much of my identity lately wrapped up in the trials of this year, and now I need to learn how to let go of that rightly and focus all the more on Jesus' beauty and the ridiculous love that God has for me--to see myself as he sees me.

But even with certain storms passing, I'm already frustrated to be picking up right where I left off in finding old ways to be the same old broken me. The names and faces may have changed, but I have not. Hopefully, that means new ways to repent and new ways to turn to Jesus as my truth and center again and again.

My friend has some thoughts on her blog that I find to be encouraging Gospel truth, and so I re-read them occasionally here and here.

I've also been finding some comfort recently in Psalms 142 and 143.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

29 October 2008

Coming up for air.

Wrestling with joy.
Another round of dying to self.
Learning how to let myself lose and let joy win.
That's not a haiku.