Year three finds me, with expectations that it would be different this time. It always seems that the future looks more promising, the grass looks greener and more hopeful. Elsewhere looks brighter, comparison looks stronger than your own little ordinary. A few weeks into my fall semester it became pretty clear that despite everything my last two years held that this year once again would not be any different. Day after day of alarms before the sun, moment by moment entangled with anxiety and therefore, nights full of sadness and moments full of tears. Weeks and weeks into year three and I have found myself once again lost in a sea of comparison, lost in a sea of dreaming of the greener grass, lost in a sea of discontent, but most importantly, lost in a sea of faces.
This weekend, which happens to be almost the end of October already, I am reflecting on the girl who has poured out her heart and written the entries prior to this. They are all full of hope in the midst of affliction, but that girl is more naïve than I ever thought. That the peace and relief and joy was just continually temporary because there was a much deeper root. A much deeper root that had not yet been acknowledged. Now every powerful truth written from the facets of that nineteen/twenty year old heart stands true on a rock that cannot be shaken. However, without the deeper roots being surfaced the joy will always be temporary because we will continually spiral down the same path, even if it is subconsciously. Revelations have unveiled that this has most definitely been the case for my heart that is so wearing of combating daily, momentary anxieties that feel as if there is no end.
I have always looked into the future. Manifesting in my heart the mercies and joy and peace that I perceive that it will hold. But this becomes majorly problematic as I ignore the now. Year three and this has become the ordinary and I have become stuck in the flowing rut as I became lost in the sea of everyday. I can’t believe that it has taken this long for my stubborn flesh to see the beautiful intimacies of the LORD as He has revealed this through my day to day. But it occurred through my ordinary being stripped and broken down. Causing me to look upon everyday instead of actively engaging. It has revealed the great depths that I found myself in my everyday through a journey of self-sufficiency. It is until I have been broken down in areas I never even imagined, that I can finally see that the favor of the LORD is ever present in my ordinary.
A multitude of “what ifs” that I lived sinfully and anxiously afraid of began occurring. Until I had no choice but to look this day straight in the face and ignore the endless flow of lies being whispered into my mind. I then am reminded of the indescribable truth that the LORD doesn’t need me, but in His boundless love He chooses to use me. Everything that I daily trust in besides my Father needs to be broken, the sinful lust of my flesh for self-sufficiency must die, so that I may experience true freedom as an approved workman for God. But in fact…
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and (by so doing and in so doing,) to enjoy him forever. Now they see that the way to find the happiness that God promises is not to seek it as an end in itself, but to forget oneself in the daily preoccupation of seeking God’s glory and doing His will.”
“God uses men as means for achieving His purposes, nothing depends on man; everything depends, rather, on the God who raises men up to do His will. They see, too, that God is handling every situation before His servants come on the scene, and that He continues to handle it and work out His will in it through each thing they do- through their mistakes and failures, no less than through their personal success.”
“The GOD who sent him and is pleased to work with Him CAN DO WITHOUT HIM. He must be ready to spend and be spent in the tasks God sent him.” (Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, pg. 30-31).
God doesn’t need me. Period. This honestly slaps me across the face so hard in a way that makes me thirst for deeper repentance in whole new depths. By allowing myself to be swallowed in all those areas that I trust in deeper, I am turning away from the true call no matter how naïve I am to it. The now, our ordinary, may not look as we want it to. But God doesn’t need us here, but He placed us here anyway with one purpose as His elect because He loves us. As good and faithful servants it is our duty to do anything to advance the gospel and to gradually die to every part of ourselves that hinders us from living wholeheartedly in worship, even in circumstances we wish were different. Comparison and longing for a different everyday is deep sin of discontent. The LORD is near, the LORD is listening and He is guarding our hearts. May we acknowledge these sinful areas, repent, and transform our hearts continually so that we may be equipped to serve for the gospel in our everyday, our ordinary.
No day of my life has passed that has not
proved me guilty in thy sight.
Prayers have been uttered from a
Praise has been often praiseless sound;
My best services are filthy rags.
Blessed Jesus, let me find a covert in thy appeasing
Though my sins rise to heaven thy merits soar
Though unrighteousness weighs me down to hell,
thy righteousness exalts me to thy throne.
All things in me call for my rejection,
All things in thee plead my acceptance.
I appeal from the throne of perfect justice
to thy throne of boundless grace.
Grant me to hear thy voice assuring me:
that by thy stripes I am healed,
that thou wast bruised for my iniquities,
that thou hast been made sin for me
that I might be righteous in thee,
that my grievous sins, my manifold sins,
are all forgiven,
buried in the ocean of thy concealing blood.
I am guilty, but pardoned,
lost, but saved,
wandering, but found,
sinning, but cleansed.
Give me perpetual broken-heartedness,
Keep me always clinging to thy cross,
Flood me every moment with descending grace,
Open to me the springs of divine knowledge,
sparkling like crystal,
flowing clear and unsullied
through my wilderness of life.
(The Valley of Vision, The Broken Heart)