Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes He Shows Us

Do you ever look at your spiritual walk and think, “I’m still so far from where I need to be?”  Paul said, “I do that which I do not want to do and that which I want to do I do not do.”  That sounds like a word puzzle, but the bottom line is this:  I have trouble controlling my flesh.  No matter how Godly I strive to be, I am human and my fleshly nature is still strong.  I may have walked with the Lord for years but I fall short of pleasing Him every day because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Michael’s Great-Grandmother Osa, considered a spiritual giant by her family, went home to be with the Lord at the age of 98.  She passed away several years ago and Mike and I are collecting some of her life stories from family members who knew her best.  Last weekend we learned a bit about her spiritual walk.  She came to know the Lord at a revival in her city at the age of 13 (around 1912).  She was the very first person baptized in the Fairview, OK Christian Church, and from that day forward, was considered their oldest church member.  (Unfortunately, not knowing immersion took place while fully clothed, she did not bring a change of clothes and had to walk home dripping wet in November!)  She lived a life of love and service to Jesus.

After decades of walking closely with the Lord, at the age of 89 Osa still had hurdles to overcome.  There were truths that the Lord revealed to her about herself that her flesh wanted to reject.  She spent the summer of 1989 with her grandson, addressing specific areas of pain in her life.  He would speak the Lord’s love and truth to her until he sensed she needed a break. The next week, they would be at it all over again until Osa surrendered, at last, even the most difficult parts of her life to her Lord and Savior.

It took most of her life, but the Lord gently and graciously drew Grandma Osa to Himself through even the deepest areas of hurt in her life.  His timing and methods were perfect.  The glorious love of our Savior carried her until she could draw from His strength to stand by His side. 

That story is beautiful to me.  We’ll never “arrive,” never “be good enough” and we will never cease growing in Christ.  Our Lord is larger than life, more complex than we can ever imagine, and will continue to mold and shape us until our dying breath if we will allow it.  

In His great mercy, sometimes the Lord shines His light and allows us to see a measure of growth that we have achieved thus far.  This is a completely silly thing, but this weekend He showed me how much my life has transformed from solely serving my flesh to truly desiring to serve Him: 

Taylor completed her first week of college and then over the weekend, asked if I would color in her giant coloring book with her.  The invitation was an honor, and as I sat down with crayon in hand, my natural inclination was to pray before beginning.  Clearly, this is not work that will ever been seen by anyone outside our home, yet something in my spirit said, “Glorify Him in this.”  I felt God’s smile and His heavenly hug, showing me that I truly have taken a few steps in His direction.  My progress may not be great, but it is progress, indeed, and glorifying Him is becoming more natural.  Sometimes He shows us the path of our past and uses it to encourage our hearts toward Him.  May we cling to those moments with both hands!

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.  Psalm 36:9 (NIV)

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