Saturday, October 15, 2011

RE: SUFFERING | My Posture

Oh, the banana bread was awesome AND healthy...in a relative sort of way.  I am getting ready to make some sort of pumpkin bread next.  Bring it on, comfort food!

I know I promised to talk more about suffering...  I am STILL hesitant to ramble on about such weighty things, though.  Most of the time, I feel like I am just not smart enough to be a valuable voice in this sort of thing.  But, alas...this is my blog, it's a free country, and the Holy Spirit lives and speaks through me, so whatever.  Here I go.  If nothing else, this is probably more for my own processing than for anyone else.

A few years ago, I went through the roughest patch I've been through so far in my twenty-something life.  I can't really pin point when it happened, but in the middle of the loneliness, the brokenness, the confusion, the anger, the bitterness, the doubt and the feeling crappy about myself in general, a light bulb went off.

I became self-aware.  ...or maybe the Lord just woke me up.  Yes.  The latter.

I realized I had been walking around with my teeth clenched, my fists in a ball, my eyes squeezed shut - maybe not literally, but you get my point - everything in my heart and mind seemed tense and tight.

I wanted the Lord to rip the band-aid off and get the whole suffering thing over as fast as possible.  "Just bring it.  Let's get this over with," I told Him. Day in and day out, I was cringing, just trying to gut it out and get through the mess as quickly as I could.  Rodney Atkins says (or sings) it well (I happen to like country music from time to time, alright?  It helps me get back to my roots.)...please read Rodney's lyrics in a southern accent...  "If you're goin' through hell, keep on goin'.  Don't turn back, if yer scared, don't show it.  You might get out 'fore the devil even knows yer there..."  And, PS - I'm not ashamed to say I think his song is great.  I heart it.  Thank you, Mr. Atkins, for illustrating my point.

So.  The Lord helped me realize my posture.  It was such a tense posture, that I was not only physically and emotionally tired from the stress of life, I was more tired because I was gritting my teeth so much.  Instead of tensing up in the midst of struggle, though, I felt like God was asking me to embrace the struggle.  Embrace.  ...like hug it, invite it, appreciate it, become acquainted with it...savor it, even.
Romans 5:1-5 - Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
James 1:2-4 - Count it all joy brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 
Instead of cringing, I want to embrace.  Instead of tenseness, I want to have peace and rest.  Instead of eyes squeezed shut, I want to have eyes that are fully open and watching for the fullness of what God has for me.  Instead of tight fists, I want to have hands open, ready to receive the Lord's plan for me.

The next time a storm hits my life, please remind me to relax, breathe and embrace it for all it's worth.  I will need the reminder.
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2 comments

  1. As always, I appreciate your thoughts, Liza! I had a friend tell me about 10 years ago (I never remember anything that far back!!) that instead of bracing herself against the COLD of winter (literal here, not figurative) she would just relax her muscles and let the cold come in and breathe, instead of tensing up and holding her breath. Random thought that came to me as I was reading.

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  2. p.s. this was Danielle that posted. Sorry, if I confused you.

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