the beauty in brokenness

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." C.S. Lewis 

Whatever you consider your "pain" or suffering, know He wants to use that to draw you to Himself.

I think of the times of "pain" in my life; disappoints, frustrations, hurt, waiting, longing, uncertainity, fear, but mostly the pain from carrying the weight of sin and trying to "do" on my own, that I was never intended to do or carry.

There is such beauty in brokenness

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

I am so thankful for this and for every new day! A chance to start over, to begin your day anew, a reset button. The sun rise is a beatiful promise of Him who is faithful and of a new day, a fresh beginning. The confession and the forgiveness of our sins is just that!  Like the clearing after a storm, what sights and beauty to follow.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." Lamentations 3:22-25

There tends to be these cycles or seasons in my life, maybe for you too. The times where you are flying high and mightily in the Lord, you walk in that He truly is your joy, strength, sustainer, sufficieny. Then comes a time of darkness that creeps in from a hard and heavy season, from discouragement in your life, a waiting time, feeling out of place or insecure and in those times our focus can become so narrow and so focused on "me" and what's immediately in front of me; rather than the perspective and hope of tomorrow and eternity. When were self focused, our selfishness gets a hold of us, our prayer life becomes about "me", our relationships become selfish, and we become takers, rather than givers.

As I grow in sight and view of how mighty and sovereign and true God is, a lesser view of self, and a greater view of sin, I find myself more and more grieved and weighed down by the areas of sin in my life that He exposes and works out in me. It physically and emotionally feels exhausting, and at the point of exhaustion from trying to carry it on my own and "fix" on my own, I'm left with nothing but to hand it over to Him, and there comes the freedom, the joy, when the weight of sin and burden of doing is lifted.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
 Matthew 11:28-30

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

Lay your deadly down
Down at Jesus' Feet
Stand in Him, in Him alone
Gloriously complete

No other person or thing offers freedom, peace, and satisfaction as in the person of Jesus and I am so thankful to bring these things before Him.

"For they (our earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He (our heavenly Father) disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:10-11

Discipline is vision of shaping for the future that has work today. To live is Christ, and to die is gain. To live is not self. These days on earth are shaping and preparing us. That preparation comes today, today's work.
"When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it solves a great deal of anxiety." A.W. Tozer

Perspective is a game changer. Consider Psalm 73 . The Psalmist struggles as he sees those around him not following after the Lord "appearing" to have THE life. They get everything they want and enjoy everything at what seems to be at no consequence. 

"For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles...They are free from common human burdens...From their callous hearts comes iniquity...'Does the Most High know anything?'...Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence...When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply. Until...Oh am I thankful and in need of the until...

"until I entered the sanctuary of God, then I understood their final destiny." Psalm 73:3-17

"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a  brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 
My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion
forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful
to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of your deeds." Psalm 73:21-28

Whom is your refuge, your sight? To whom or to what do you turn to?

As Hezekiah turned to the Lord in 2 Kings 19:14 and spread the pages of a threatening letter before the Lord not knowing what to do, that's what I invision my confessions, prayers, writings in a journal are; spreading the pages of my life before Him in the limited view I have before Him and ask Him to take it, do what He will with and give me His perspective.

"All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size." C.J. Mahaney

I need to visit the cross daily. I need the gospel and grace every day. Remember the Lord. Remember the cross. Remember the Lord. Begin your day expecting God; end your day rememberig Him.

I want to walk with His guidance and purpose to each step I take. And that takes a yielding of self and being humbly submitted to Him, seeking and listening for the Holy Spirit's leading.

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it.' " Isaiah 30:21

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world." C.S. Lewis

Never would I have known the fulllness of Christ that I know today if it weren't for Him allowing and using the flames to refine me. He isn't done with me, refine me all my days.

Fire purifies what it cannot destroy and destroys what it cannot purify. 

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver." Malachi 3:3

"For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver." Psalm 66:10

"But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10