Tuesday, January 31

Being "In"

My life continually revolves around my four children, my husband, my obligations, my messes....all while being in the life He has called me to live,  who lovingly is guiding me to live up to the standards He has set for me.  It can be daunting, overwhelming and honestly often discouraging when I feel I am failing.  

The goodness of God is that He always finds very real ways to show His love and heart via my own.  Unfailingly, He brings teachable moments so that I must rehearse His words to another and in the process dig them deeper into my heart.  

A few weeks ago I had a child struggling with concepts in a few classes, with feelings of "stupid" and "not good enough".  This child, a very easy going child, ended up in the nurses office with upset stomach thereby requiring me to pick them up and take them home from school.  My spirit discerned that this was not medical but spiritual...and we all know "how you think determines how you feel".  When I began digging into this child's issue the Spirit prompted me to ask about their classes and experiences at school.  
"Are you being picked on?" --No
"Do you have friends with whom you hang out and talk to?"--Yes
"Did something embarrassing happen?" --Silence
"Are you having problems in any classes?"--Tears
For a child who so desperately wants to please, relishes in the joy of their parents, and likes to be a helper to those struggling...a lack of understanding in an area that seemingly is easy for everyone else and the resulting grades of struggling is devastating.  This situation was robbing the joy from the days, weighing down the hours and depleting all the life from morning to night.  The days were daunting, overwhelming and discouraging----feelings with which I can readily identify.
So often we judge ourselves and others by performance. Someone singing well, getting good grades, having a visually pleasing appearance, being the supermom/dad earns the mental and verbal applause of the community.  Someone working hard but only coming out on average doesn't provoke the same reward; a struggle or failure often garners the mental or verbal "boo" from us and/or others.  

God has had me camped out on this verse for several weeks:
Ephesians 1:6 KJVTo the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.
There are so many nuggets of truth in this one sentence...so many depths of who He is and we are.  His grace accomplished our acceptance just by being "in" the Beloved.  We cannot earn His acceptance, we cannot posture for it nor can we cajole it...His acceptance is simply given because of His grace..and His grace is like breathing, it happens just because of who He is and His character, without effort or thought.

Our arguments of who we think we are and who we really are begin to look like this in the face of daunting, overwhelming, and discouraged:

But God....makes us accepted in the Beloved.
But God....calls us priests and kings
But God....who knew no sin became sin so that we could be called  righteous
But God...has set us apart, made us a holy nation
But God...we can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
But God...we are over-comers through the blood of Jesus Christ
But God...in our weakness He is our strength.

As I sat down with the verse from Ephesians I began to share with my child:
 "I love you simply because you are here.  My love and acceptance for you is like God's grace....it's like breathing...it happens without thought, without provocation and without your seeking.  The struggles are what makes us realize our need for Him, but His acceptance never wavers, His grace is always faithful.  It's our attitude and how we look at Him that changes our views.  Your struggles in classes made you also realize your need to ask for help from me and your father...but your view of us and our acceptance (or worry about rejection) is what kept you from asking for help. As you adjust your view of us and our desire to help you succeed, you will relax and simply ask.  God teaches me that daily, He wants me to simply ask for help with the trust and faith that He is ready to help me succeed. "
So often we lose sight of the vision the Father has for us but is faithful to give us opportunities to see His work in our lives...it's never about the circumstances...it's always about the life in them.  

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