A nice surprise…

My birthday was nearing. We happened to be spending the night in a hotel in NC, on our way to a beach vacation.  I decided to check my email.  My eyes scanned words, my brain translated the message, my heart skipped a beat.  The amazing power of words.  I pray I can always appreciate the gift of words, for there on my screen, God indeed gave me a gift.

Ever have a relationship in your life that tests you?  Perhaps one in which you have been ‘asked’ to pour forth into, and hope, but never really receive any evidence that your time, energy or words are simply not bouncing off a wall into oblivion? Yep.  A precious young woman entered our life for a year, and then she exited.  I was definitely changed, not so sure I can say I ever really had that effect in her life… until she wrote me.

Thank you that you’ve let God reign in your life and have let Him lead you with His Holy Spirit!

I had to read this again.  Honesty, I would never have guessed she thought this, let alone, took the time to type and send this to me for my birthday, EARLY!  Big step for her.  To say ‘I appreciated this’ doesn’t even come close to the emotions her lengthy letter evoked.  God allowed me to see a bit of fruit.  He didn’t have to, but for whatever His reason, he chose to.  Obedience reaps reward, love always affects, even when you can’t see it.

Do you have a relationship that is gut-wrenchingly hard?  Is God calling you to love even when bitterness and anger is your only return?  Are you trying to be patience, kind, understanding, and compassionate, only to see the same mistakes, lapse in judgement, or similar hurtful behaviors over and over?

I pray that this one simple example may be the hope that it is possible… even years later.  You see, what caused me to stop and pause in regards to her statement was the word let.  She had somehow deduced that I had let God reign in my life.  I have never thought about it this way before.  It has become such a natural thought process, such a sense of freedom in who I am in Christ, that until I’ve glanced back, I suppose I did (and still do) make a decision to walk in His ways instead of mine.  (Lord knows I’ve messed up so many times that I KNOW what happens when left to myself).

A pastor of mine used a term to describe this, and it’s stuck with me for awhile now.  In learning about Christ, in learning of his love, in learning to view life as a child of His – it is simply my reasonable service.  It’s the least I can do.  In light of my Savior dying to take my sins, it’s simply a reasonable service to listen, to obey, and to humbly serve as He did.

I pray that I may say, just as David did…

My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.  (Psalms 71:7-8 NLT)

I allow God to reign simply because it’s my joy, my pleasure, and my honor.  What are your thoughts about this?  Are you skeptical about relinquishing control?  Do you doubt that a relationship like this is possible?  Perhaps I’ve come across a little too – Pollyanna-ish.  I’m guessing these thoughts because I’ve had them all.  Do me a favor, share these thoughts with someone you trust.  The best way to process thoughts is in the “light”.  Satan will tell you many lies, convince you that hiding them is in your best interest.  Trust me, it’s not.  You could be on the verge of a sea-parting moment.  All you have to do is dip your toes in the water… in faith.

What is your reasonable service today?

 

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