life on the road has it's days as I'm sure you all have figured out by now. I am so blessed to be here with my team as we are still in California, and God is teaching us to choose joy everyday even when we'd rather not (has this ever happened to anyone else?) even when we feel utterly worthless, the joy of the Lord can be our strength!
During the recent (and many) drives up and down the coast of California, God has been teaching me so much about how it's not about my own efforts that makes my relationship with Him good but it's Him. I measure my relationship status with God so often on how much I pray, how much I love, how much I read my Bible and how much I do "good things" but instead I had to realize that it's not me who determines it at all; it's God. And our God is the God of Creation who loves us so much He died for us and died for all the sins that we've committed and are going to commit - constantly reminding us that His love will never fail. He never lets go. It's not by my actions but by His grace and we are called not to live in guilt when we sin but to live in His freedom and ask for redemption which He gives every moment. We are called His beloved, His joy, His delight. .how often does that knowledge stay in our heads and not go down to our hearts? God. . .sovereign over all eternity, ageless, glorious and breathtaking in His splendor. .loves us. God loves us. God loves us. God loves us.
I'm faced with these questions of, 'How does this not change my life forever?' 'How does this not impact the way I see myself, the way I see God, and the way I see the world we live in?' 'How I cannot live for the Lord and put down everything to follow Him?' 'How can I desire to find my worth in other people, other things, in what I do, instead of in the One who made me and called me His own?'
And the thing is, I can't. I can't love God back; there's no possible way. I can't even love myself or other people; how can I love God? But here's the thing: our God is so faithful. We're not supposed to do it on our own, He knows we can't do it alone. Instead He gives us the love we need to love Him, the love we need to see others as He sees them and the love we need to find ourselves in Him and not in anyone else's love. God gives us the desire for what we need--for Him. It's not until we're broken that we see we have nothing and are nothing and know that we need someone else, desperately and our hunger for God is awakened. God uses broken people. God loves broken people, even in their brokenness and sin. God loves us. And when you're madly in love with someone, it changes your life forever.
So take heart, my friends! Even if you don't live in a van with seven other people all the time (and I am assuming you don't. .and if you do, I admire you very much and think we should be friends), know that when we feel like we have screwed up so much and are broken beyond repair, God loves us. .and in His strength we can live for Him and fulfill our purpose to let His glory shine through us. We are broken people. .but God is our strength and our portion forever.
In His love..