The things that have gotten me through the last few days include, but are not limited to:
1.) My amazing cohort
2.) Cheery phone calls home to family and friends
4.) Pictures of kittens
5.) the Word of God.
I keep a little list titled “Walk with Christ Passages.” It’s sort of like my QuoteBook (which contains absolutely hilarious or particularly poignant gems from different conversations that I’ve had, TV shows, etc.), but it’s exclusively passages from the Bible that have been convicting or excellent reminders of important truths.
One that I reread today I labeled “Perspective.”
1 John 2:16-17, 20-21 ESV
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
Here’s my little summary of the main points from this time around:
– “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions” are a) not from God and b) not permanent
– the will of God, and those who do it, are here for good (in both the sense of good vs. bad and eternal permanence)
– those of us with the Holy Spirit have a knowledge that we need to be actively embracing and using
These things seem pretty basic, but I seem to forget them, or at least fail to employ them, constantly. “The desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions”- that sure covers a lot. It probably covers most of what I spend my time doing and thinking about. It covers what I’ve decided I want for my life. It covers the adorable, but frighteningly-priced $200 dresses that I see on Pinterest. It covers my cravings for take-out and chocolate when I’m starting to get stressed out. And yet, these are the things that are frail and are passing away. Why, oh why do we lean on the frail things when we have a strong, holy and perfect God who isn’t going anywhere? I’m supposing it has something to do with the brokenness that introduces these distracting desires, but the passage reminds us that broken is not all that we are.
We have the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge that we are frail and these desires are frail. That is a gift in and of itself. If you don’t know that it can be harmful to spend hours and hours under the blazing sun without sunscreen, you won’t take precautionary steps. You won’t change, and you therefore won’t get better, but rather continually worse. But we have this knowledge- and we can and should use it! I love the wording here- “I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it.” For all that we don’t know about what’s happening tomorrow and what some of the significance of what happened today or yesterday may be, we know the truth and we can therefore discern what the lies are. We can tell that something is a little wrong with the cracking branch we’re putting all of our weight on, and then we can turn with confidence to what is surely right.
True Talk: I’ve felt a little bit like I’m at the beginning of a marathon with all of the busyness going on in my own life and around me right now, but this isn’t even the main marathon that I’m running. This is a jog halfway down the block that coincides with the race that I’m running to and for Christ- a race where I live according to His will and for His glory and can’t help but bask in the perfection of both. This is a journey where my love for Christ and the people around me needs to radiate more than my love for my research interests or theory for practice.
I get really excited when I hear songs on the radio that have a unique sound and are still sharing the truths of the Gospel and Christian life. One such song is “Oh How I Need You,” by All Sons and Daughters. As they sing,
“Lord, I find you in the morning
Lord, I seek you every day
Let my life be for Your glory
Woven in Your threads of grace.”
I love this stanza. I find God in the morning whether I want to or not. I wake up breathing, mentally functioning, and excited about different things. I discern and reflect. I seek Him whether I want to or not- I think that we all do. (C.S. Lewis worded it famously and excellently when he said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”). And I pray that God will use me for His glory. I’m so thankful that He reminds me again and again that I know the truth. Through His grace and His love, I know the truth. I’m praying that He will continue to turn each of us more and more towards knowledge and towards action.