My Journey Along the Narrow Way

Archive for June, 2013

Who I am…

Sometimes there is a huge disconnect between who I am and who I want to be.  Also, from who I think I am and who I actually am.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who wakes up some mornings and wonders who this person in the mirror is. 

I have spoken in the past about my mother, who was literally one of the nicest, most gentle and caring people I ever knew. As it gets close to the anniversary of her death each year I find myself thinking of her and her kind and gentle spirit and I find myself again lacking.
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I so want to be that person that is quiet and has a gentle spirit. But I am in reality so not that person.  I am more of the rambunctious, loud nature and someone who usually laughs when I shouldn’t.

The more I think anout this though, the more I realize that God didn’t give me that same quiet, gentle nature…but it wasn’t an accident. God gave me my personality and gifted me with the gifts I have because that is who He created me to be.  He gave me these gifts to do His will in the way He wanted me uniquely to do it.   To complain or worry because I am not like someone else is to decide that I know more about God’s will and purposes than He does…and we all know that is not true.

So to me the key is to embrace who God created me to be and use my unique gifts and along the way work on cultivating that gentle and quiet spirit that I know is so pleasing to the Lord.  I just know it’s hiding in there somewhere.

1 Peter 3:3-4 …. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

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The Oak Tree…

treeWe have a huge, very old oak tree in our front yard. In fact, that tree was one of the reasons we bought our house. I don’t think I would want to live here without it. One thing I have noticed is how solid that tree is. When we first moved in, even before our furniture had been delivered, Hurricane Opal came through Montgomery. I remember watching that old tree all night long just hoping that it wouldn’t come crashing into our (new to us) house. Everything else around us swaying and moved, including the branches of our tree, but the trunk of that tree never moved at all. A few years later, while digging across the yard to plant some bushes, I found out why that tree didn’t move. There were roots the size of my legs deep across the yard front that tree. You see, the deep, strong roots of the tree held it tight and fast when all around it the storms were raging. Just recently a huge limb fell off that tree onto our roof and it got me to thinking about storms in my life and what exactly keeps me rooted.

Several times in the Bible it mentions that when we are rooted in Christ we are just like our big, solid oak tree.

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Col. 2:6-7

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD
And whose trust is the LORD.
“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

When I read these verses I realize that I, too, can be as firm and steady as that oak tree. But only if I root myself in something strong and permanent in my life. If I only rely on my own strength or the strength of those around me I will surely be uprooted when the storms of life rage. Only in being rooted in something solid and unchanging can I weather the storms.

And boy are there storms in life. Sometimes they are little squalls that come and go quickly like someone hurting my feelings or the car running hot. Other times they are thunderstorms like an argument with someone I care about or having to buy a new refrigerator when we hadn’t planned to. And still other times they seem to be full blown hurricanes like the sickness or death or someone I love or marriage problems. And during those storms I may even feel like I’m falling apart (kind of like a limb falling off the tree), but in reality I’m not because I’m firmly rooted in the love and grace of Christ who will never leave or forsake me.

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.
Psalm 52:8-9