To Read on the Journey

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Humbling Fall (Day 25)

For 31 days I am writing to my children
my future grandchildren, great, and all my great-grandchildren.

The crazy thing about Christians is that most of us try too hard.

We try hard to prove we are good and worthy of our titles by volunteering for every church activity under the sun.

We know that salvation is a gift, yet we climb the self-made Christian ladder of success trying to earn our way to God, and to each other.

A few of us pridefully climb so high our brothers and sisters can't reach us.

God allowed me to climb pretty high.
He permitted me to gain a lot of altitude...
ensuring that I would have a lengthy, humbling fall.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis spoke to this climbing-
"In the end, you will either give up trying to be good, or else become one of those people who, as they say, "live for others," but always in a discontented, grumbling, way- always wondering why the others do not notice it more and always making a martyr of yourself.  And once you have become that you will be a far greater pest to anyone who has to live with you than you would have been if you had remained frankly selfish."

Oh! Was I ever a pest.

I'm embarrassed when I think about it.
Embarrassed by my self-righteousness.
Ashamed of how I treated the body of Christ.
I'm sorry that I made Jesus and anyone associated with him look bad. 

I'm also grateful.
I'm grateful Father God wouldn't put up with me giving the family Name a bad rap.
I'm glad that in His mercy He allowed me to fall and see my pride-fulness on the way down (ouch!).
I'm glad He disciplined me. I needed it.
I'm incredibly grateful He extended grace to me. I didn't deserve it, and there was no way I could earn it.  Because of that His "grace upon grace" became that much sweeter.

I'm grateful that because of the Spirit's shaping and molding I am different now than I was when I foolishly started climbing those rungs so many years ago.  I'm glad for the painful journey, and that the character in my story has changed, that it is- "different in the end than it was in the beginning."

I want to embrace Christianity differently now (God help me).
There are many wonderful verses that show me the way.
Most recently this verse is my desire.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that 
he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion  
until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:3-6

No more ladders.

Instead I want to express that I am thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ, grateful that God in his generosity SO LOVED each one of us that HE GAVE His son to be Savior.

Next, I want to be a champion (a warrior or fighter- one who does battle for another's right or honor), praying, encouraging, speaking Truth into lives, nudging one another on to stick with the LORD their God.

Finally, I want to have confidence that HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK WILL FINISH WHAT HE STARTED.  Oh the grace!  No more rungs. It isn't up to me or you, it's God's place and His only to finish what He began in each one of us.

My prayer for you is this that the Spirit will lead you through whatever He wills to shape and mold you into who He wants you to be for God's glory in you and through you.  I want so much for you to live in God's grace, and then to extend it to others. I encourage you to be a champion in the body of Christ. I think of how amazing we'd make Jesus look when if we did that- how others would "know we are Christians by our love." I know that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. I rejoice in all He has planned for you in Christ Jesus.

Live in Peace, 

Day 20 & 21- O I Need Thee 
Day 22- I Know Day 
Day 23- Tangible God
Day 25- A Humbling Fall


ga said...

I climbed a ladder pick olives and luckily I didn't fall. However, metaphorically I know exactly what you are talking about as I have fallen off that ladder as well. So thankful for your strength, courage, and honesty!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

No more ladders. Love this, Denise. What a wonderful and humbling reminder to us all. Thanks for honestly sharing your journey!