Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Describe and Define

I was listening to a great radio program today on the way to get Benjamin. I heard two contrasting words that I often interchange; Describe and Define. As women, we often place the two together don't we? What describes us-mother, wife, daughter, teacher, etc. is not what DEFINES us. Fabulous thought isn't it? Not mine, but this lady named Liz on 90.3 FM. Anyway, it sparked some thoughts and led me back to an all time favorite book Hinds Feet on High Places. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend you pick it up, check it out, our go borrow it IMMEDIATELY. It penetrates my soul. I love it. The book is an allegory and is amazing.
There is a chapter in the book called Encounter with Pride. I feel that it brings to home that which defines us, perhaps more so what defines us.

"From the very beginning the way up the mountains proved to be steeper than anything Much-Afraid had supposed herself capable of tackling, and it was not very long before she was forced to seek the help of her companions. Each time she shrinkingly took hold of the hand of either Sorrow or Suffering a pang went through her, but once their hands were grasped she found they had amazing strength, and seemed able to pull and even lift her upwards and over places which she would have considered utterly impossible to reach. Indeed, without their aid they would have been impossible, even for a strong and sure-footed person.
(Much-Afraid has an encounter here with Pride. The rest of the quote is after Pride attacks her.)
"Before Pride could realize what was happening, Much-Afraid uttered a desperate cry for help and was calling up the mountain. "Come to me, Shepherd! Come quickly! Make no tarrying, O my Lord."
There was a sound of loose rattling stones and of a prodigious leap, and the next moment the Shepherd was on the path beside them, his face terrible to look at, his Shepherd's staff raised high above his head. Only one blow fell, and then Pride dropped the hand he had been grasping so tightly and made off down the path and round the corner, slipping and stumbling on the stones as he went, and was out of sight in a moment.
"Much-Afraid," said the Shepherd, in a tone of gentle but firm rebuke, "why did you let Pride come up to you and take your hand? If you had been holding the hand of your two helpers(Sorrow and Suffering) this could never have happened."
"For the first time, Much-Afraid of her own free will held out both hands to her two companions, and they grasped her strongly, but never before had their hold upon her been so full of pain, so bitter with sorrow."
"She learned in this way the first important lesson on her journey, upward, that if one stops to parley with Pride and listens to his poisonous suggestions and, above all, if he is allowed to lay his grasp upon any part of one, Sorrow becomes unspeakably more unbearable afterwards and anguish of heart has bitterness added to it. Moreover, for a while she limped more painfully than ever she had since leaving the Valley. Pride had trodden on her feet at the moment she called for help and left them more lame and sore than ever."

Do I allow my situations and encounters with Pride to describe me? Am I trying to write my own description and define myself? Or will I allow the Author of my life to write the story. Will I embrace the times of suffering and sorrow and allow them to define my character or will I resist their aide in my plight upwards and my struggle with fighting off Pride?

Today, I stand thankful that My Shepherd loves me for who I am in His beautiful Son Jesus. My description is not written by what I do, but my defining moment was when my life was wrapped in the cloth of His salvation. For that alone, is more than I ever deserve.

Friday, April 2, 2010

He is to me...

Jesus is many things. Right now, I am thankful for His faithfulness. I have to be careful not to feel that as long as things are Zippity Do Da, that He is faithful then; but to really know His faithfulness and BELIEVE His faithfulness regardless of my earthly state. If Jesus never did more for me, but purchase my salvation on a cross, that would be far more than I ever deserved (took this quote from Alicia). It is easy to fall into an "I deserve" or "God is faithful, see everything turned out my way" mentality. Andi, is owed nothing by God, BUT He loves me. He does because His body was put in a grave and the grave could not hold Him. Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself; save me.
I would love for us to share with each other, whoever reads this, what Jesus is to you. Tell me because there are times when I wonder, "Did this all really happen?" Then, I go back and think of how He has worked in my heart!!! It builds my faith to see His faithfulness over the course of my life. Tell me, what is He to you?