Archive | January, 2013

A Prophetic Word

27 Jan

I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.

So many people around me have marriage.  Some have children.  I don’t have either of those.

But marriage and family are only a taste of what I DO have: God’s love for me.

I am thousands of miles away from what is familiar.  I am thankful for modern technology that allows me to stay in close contact with friends and family.  But God is even closer.  He isn’t a skype call or an email away.  He is right here with me.  He experiences every moment with me.  

He doesn’t leave me.  He is always with me, always faithful.  He doesn’t let go and say, “Time to do it without me!” or “You need to learn to stop depending on me!”  No, He invites me to come and find rest in His arms.  He delights in me.  He rejoices over me with singing. He pursues me relentlessly, even when I reject Him.  No matter how many times I fail Him and sin against Him, He is always waiting to take me back.  

I am my Beloved’s.

And He is mine.

Mine to lean on.  Mine to rest in.  Mine to be completed and fulfilled in.  My source of strength, and my hope.  

I love You, Lord!!

SelfISH Love?

21 Jan

I randomly picked up a copy of CS Lewis’s “The Great Divorce” from the library the other day (one of my duties on the mission field is my regular profession: teaching.  I needed something to do while supervising my high schoolers’ study hall, so I was thrilled to find the book on the library shelf!).

In one scene of the novela, a woman (who has been given the chance to travel from Hell to Heaven) is demanding to have her son returned to her, even if it means that her son must leave his home in Heaven and go into Hell with her.  A wise Spirit tells her that she can go be with her son in Heaven if she will surrender him and love God more than she loves him, but she refuses, saying she will not believe in a God who would take her son from her.

The Spirit tells this woman that she does not truly love her son beyond the God-given instinct to love her offspring.  If she did, she would surrender her past and her pride to God in the best interest of her son.  What she feels, what drives her to demand her son go to Hell with her, is simply her wanting to fulfill her craving to be loved by him.  

It’s easy to look down on this fictitious character, especially as one who knows the freedom that comes in surrender to God.  But am I really free of guilt when it comes to selfish love?  Do I act kindly towards others because I crave their love, or because Jesus has commanded me to love as He loved?  The former would mean that I act until that person’s expectations of me are met; the latter would mean that I pour myself into that person, seeking out whatever opportunity I might have to demonstrate the love of Christ to them.

Lord, would You take my heart and fashion it into a vessel from which YOUR love flows?!  Would You cause me to find all the love that I need in You and You alone, so that I might freely love others without seeking my own fulfillment or completeness?  Would you cause me to love in such a way that I must express it, that holding it in will hurt more than possible pain of being rejected?  I want to love as You have Loved me!!!

Selfless Love

7 Jan

If you do everything in your power to make your Spouse happier, then you’ll both probably end up happier. If you do everything you can to make yourself happier, you’ll both probably end up unhappy. Selfless love creates joy; Selfishness creates misery.

I have know idea where this quote came from, but I believe it to be beautifully true and so appropriate for someone trying to demonstrate Love as a trait of the fruit of the Spirit in her life.

I have been on break for Christmas, but tomorrow morning I return to my full-time duties on the field.  I have a God-given responsibility to honor my supervisors and complete the tasks assigned to me, but I also will be surrounded by colleagues in ministry and those that I minister to.

What can I do to make them happy?  How can I serve?  When I get home, how can I serve the host family that I live with and make them happy?

This is overwhelming- I am an introvert; I will want to retreat to the solitude of my office or my bedroom once my duties are completed.  And, there’s nothing wrong with my introvertedness- but, it’s not an excuse to be lazy and avoid serving.  Where is that balance between overexerting myself and hiding away from God-given opportunities to love?

My prayer for tomorrow is for open eyes to see the opportunities I have to love selflessly!! 

A Fresh Start?

3 Jan

Well, it is the start of a new year.  New Year’s is the opportunity to make a fresh start. 

I’m wondering, would my readers grant me a fresh start?

I know it’s been several months since I started this “Fruit of the Spirit” challenge.  Unfortunately, I’m finding that I’ve already forgotten what I learned in the first month or two.

So, this is what I’d like to do.  I’d like to go back to square one, and focus once again on the first trait of fruit of the spirit- Love.  In February, I will focus on Joy.  In March, I will focus on Peace.  So on and so forth.

I will try to write every day- my duties on the mission field and my somewhat sporadic internet might make 100% daily posts impossible, but I will be posting several times a week.  I want to go through each day looking for what God has to show me, and then I want to reflect on it here. 

I feel like I had it too easy when I started.  I was working part-time in a minimum wage job, raising my missionary support and waiting for my visa to come.  Most of my day was spent at home pinteresting or facebooking, since I didn’t have spare cash to go out and have much of a social life.

Of course, I don’t have much spare cash as a missionary, either- but working full time and even renting a room from another family forces me to be out an interacting with others 24-7.   This is where the challenge and the learning will take place for me. 

So, to my readers, is it okay for me to use 2013 as an excuse to start fresh?  I mean, there are no eligible Jesus-loving bachelors here on the mission field, so it’s not like there’s a rush to make myself marriage-ready.  And…that’s not my goal, anyway.  My goal is to let God shape me into His vessel.   He’s not in any rush, so why should I be?

Happy New Year to all!!!  May 2013 be filled with blessings!!

In Him,

~Laura